Last week, I had a conference with T's teacher and speech pathologist.
T has an IEP, which stands for Individual Education Plan. This also categorizes him as an "exceptional family member" as far as the military is concerned. This just means we had to jump through some extra hoops when we PCS'd (read: moved) back to the US.
As a baby, T was early or on schedule for most things. It wasn't until he should have started talking that it became obvious there was some sort of issue. I took him twice for screenings because I was concerned about certain aspects of his development. Both times my concerns were waved away. I get that kids develop at different rates. But deep down, I knew something wasn't quite right. I didn't know why and I didn't know what, though.
After S was born, I enrolled T in a home daycare preschool three mornings a week. Ms. Joyce was amazing and it was after talking with her about T and his development I took him back for yet another screening. With Ms. Joyce's help, they took me seriously this time. At this point, T was three but wasn't potty trained and was mostly unintelligible to anyone who wasn't around him very often. And while his gross motor skills were above average, he was behind with fine motor skills.
It was a long process. It was a stressful process. But we finally got him into speech therapy and into a Dept of Defense preschool program while we were in Germany. Their focus was on improving his speech. But his prek teacher and I talked often about the fact there were other issues too. She was the first one to mention sensory issues to me.
To get a diagnosis of sensory processing disorder for T? Oy! It was an uphill battle. But I tell you what - when I read about SPD and went through the checklist, I broke down in tears of relief. All the behaviors I could not understand or seem to correct with T were smack dab on that SPD list. Finally! FINALLY! I could come up with a plan to help him, whether or not the stupid school district agreed or participated.
It hasn't been easy. I've been, at times, extremely defensive about T and his behaviors. Those of you reading this that are parents understand when I say that I would gladly take someone out who hurt my kid. I know that I will not always be able to protect him from being hurt, but that doesn't mean I won't try. I say this in all seriousness...you do NOT want to mess with my kids. I do not forget.
Anyway. Conference last Thursday with T's kindergarten teacher and speech therapist. This school year, T has also been seeing the school therapist to deal with some of his behavioral issues. I wasn't sure when I got to school if I was attending an IEP review or something else, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that T has met all of his IEP goals - both speech and behavioral - and from now on, will simply be just another kid in his class.No more special status with the military. No more being singled out for this or that. Thank goodness! I'm so proud of how hard he's worked! This time last year, we expected it to take a couple more years to complete the goals for his IEP.
And, T was student of the month last month. My heart runneth over with pride and gratitude. Thankful doesn't even begin to describe how I feel right now.