8/28/2006

Let the battle begin...

If you've read my past posts, you know that Super O is 3 1/2yrs old and not talking yet. I took her for an early childhood eval last spring at my local elementary school and basically they said "she needs speech therapy, but we can only do it at 2:30 on Tues & Thurs afternoon and we can't provide transportation". HELLO...I'm a single mom who works full time! I work 30 miles from home and her daycare is 10 miles from home (in another school district). Since it was the end of the school year (4 weeks left), I decided to forego the therapy until school started again. Guess what??? School is starting again.

I had a meeting with her daycare teachers and the director. Everyone feels she needs the help, but we should try to do it at the elem school in the town the daycare is in. The daycare teachers and early childhood/speech teachers can work together. Not to mention the fact that Super O is shy and stubborn. If we put her in our elem school, we all feel she would go backwards because of the new environment. If we can get her into the other elem school, she'll be with friends from daycare AND she can ride the bus. Obviously I want her closer to the school because of the transportation and the fact that all of the teachers can work together.

Now, the fun begins. My state has an "Open Enrollment" law. Basically, during the month of February, a parent can enroll their child in a school other than the one where they live. Well, it's not February...it's August. I missed the deadline. The other issue is that my resident district has to pay tuition to the other school. I'm sure they'll hate that. Well, tough shit! I'm completely unimpressed with my local elementary school and the new principal is my upstairs neighbor. The guy is a complete jerk!! I don't want my child to have anything to do with that school. So...here's where we are.

I called the county special education consortium. This is the agency that governs all of the special education in my county. Both of the schools are in the consortium. Basically, I was told that because of the way the laws are written, I can't change her school district without doing the open enrollment. Since I missed open enrollment, that's not an option. I have to let my local school "program" (that's the word they use) her. It doesn't matter to them that I have a transportation issue. Either take it or leave it was the feeling I got.

I called the elem school principal at the school I want her to go to. She told me that it's not as bleak as the consortium made it out to be. She suggested moving forward and meeting with my local school to see what they have to offer. If they "allow" me to transfer Super O, then there's no issue.

I talked to my daycare director (who is the most wonderful woman in the world!!). She is very pro-family. I'm getting a "release of information" form so that I can have her speak on my behalf. She's also agreed to go to any meetings with me if I want her there. HELL YES!! This woman is like a bulldog with a bone. She feels VERY strongly about Super O being in the elem school near the daycare!

I could move to the other town. This is a last ditch option. My mom currently lives right around the corner from me and is a huge help with Super O. She sees NeeNee (that's what O calls grandma) at least 5-6 days a week. As a single mom, I don't know what I would do with out NeeNee so close. She's my rock! I don't want to move 10 miles away from her just because some consortium doesn't want to help my baby!!!

So...I'm going along with the system for now. We'll see what happens. I also have an appt. with a speech therapist at our local hospital next month. Maybe I can get some help there.

Mind you, this is the extremely condensed version of the story. This has been going on for a few weeks now. In the meantime, Super O isn't getting the help she needs! As her mom, I don't care if she never uses words. She signs to let me know what she wants. However, her lack of speech is affecting her friendships at daycare. Other kids think she's "wierd" because she doesn't talk. She's also started hitting kids because they can't understand what she wants. Maybe I should beat them up :)

6 comments:

  1. I think you've done a great job at your first blogging!

    As for Super O, just keep going. My little one is 2 and it took me almost 6 months to get speech and I am just now geting OT adn PT for her ( make that about 9 months!) I am very lucky because it is done through the county and the therapists come to me! That will probably change when she is 3 or 4 I'm sure. FYI I am in Orange County, FL.

    It sounds like you are doing your best and I think that's great! I'm sure our girls are very different but if you want feel free to email me.

    And by the way, I love going to my mom's or mother in law's for some tlc when I'm sick, too!

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  2. Oops, meant to tell you I found your blog through Jackie's!

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  3. My youngest child had language issues and didn't speak until he was about 4yrs. We started him in therapy when he was a little over 2. I am soooo glad we didn't wait. One surprising thing I learned was some of his behavior directly related to him not being able to express his questions about what was going on and his feelings. His issues were language, not speech.
    BTW, your daughter is entitled by FEDERAL law to therapy. The states handle how the programs are handled but you may want to raise a stink with federal people if your school district continues to make this hard. Besides her social interactions with peers this affects her in ways you probably don't even know now. I sure didn't see the connection til someone pointed it out to me.
    PS-Be careful what you pray for. God has a sense of humour and often gives it to you.-My son never shuts up now and he is so funny it is almost impossible to punish him when necessary.

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  4. Thanks for the info all. Unfortunately, Super O is too old for the Birth to 3 program so we're stuck with the school system. I would have started this earlier, but since her dad left (Dec 2004), we've moved a few times and are finally settled now. I would have loved to take care of this a year ago, but it wasn't possible.

    I've got some good people on my side who really know their stuff. I won't stop until somebody is willing to help me and my baby :)

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  5. Teri,

    I don't know services in Wisconsin but the health department in Tennessee has programs that offer these services and many of them are in your own home. Call them if you haven't already-I hope they are able to help you or at least link you with a service who can. Good luck!

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  6. garfieldfan25 -- Super O is too old for the birth to 3 program, which is what WI has that will come to your home. Unfortunately, she's too young for our 4yr old kindergarten program and too old for birth to 3. The path I'm on is the only one I have right now. Other than going the medical route, which I'm also doing.

    Send me an email...we haven't talked in a while :)

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