non-special needs parents, try and keep up, or leave me a question in the comments. The world of special needs often sounds something like THIS from the movie, Good Morning Vietnam.
Today we graduated from the fairy tale land of IFSPs to IEPs. Just how in the world is my girl almost 3 years old?! I baked brownies during breakfast so that they would still be warm for our 10:45 meeting. I am not above bribing through chocolate baked goods. (yes, they went over quite well)
Most of our faithful team from Early Intervention (EI) joined us that have been with us for years (ST, DT, OT) though PT couldn't make it. I have come to love Sophie's therapists dearly and will miss them very much. Mark sat next to me as we listened to 9 professionals discuss our daughter's strengths and weaknesses. Does a parent ever truly get used to that? Together we wrote her first IEP. She will be considered a transfer when we move, though technically she won't turn 3 until we have been in our new home for less than 2 weeks. It needed to be really comprehensive because our new team will have to follow the transfer IEP as closely as possible, by law. Only after they have had some time to get to know Sophie can we meet for the purpose of changing it.
Unbelievably services (as in preschool with special ed support) are available through the summer in our new state. As of now we have elected to continue in-home therapies for the summer months and then enroll her in preschool in the fall. According to our new case manager, this is available to us.
I wish we could take our EI therapists (and even the team that works in early ed here) with us when we move. The writing of Sophie's IEP went swimmingly. I did not hesitate to state my requests and had very few times where I was met with resistance. In each case I was backed up by either an EI therapist or an Early Ed therapist. We have an IEP ready to go that is really, really well tailored to her needs. Some of the goals or supports are ones I hadn't even thought of, but our great team is on her side and they want the best for Sophie. Easy peasy.
I suspect that future IEPs will not be such a piece of cake (or brownies as it were). Especially as I felt such comfort and solidarity from our EI team's presence. Today was like an IEP on training wheels and after today, the wheels are coming off and we will be on our own. I know we can handle it, but I recognize that we have been in a very good place for 3 years of EI. So much is changing.
We have begun a long, long drawn out series of goodbyes in our current home town. Today, we checked one big item off of our to do list and I left the building grinning from ear to ear. Since we had Respite watching the monkeys in the zoo for another hour, Mark and I headed for a slice of pizza and a pint of Guinness for lunch. Now, if only the air conditioning repair people could get here before next week to recharge our freon as it's eighty-freakin-six degrees in this house! Oh well. It's nothing that another cold pint can't cure!