Friday, November 07, 2008

Lots of catching up to do!

Wow, seems like forever since I've sat down and just told stories on my kiddos or given any slight detail about our lives! It's been a busy month and November has come off with a BANG too!

Here's a little something funny, though. Today I had the 4 kids and was going to the grocery store. Do you ever see someone you know and teasingly say something out of character- like "excuse me, you're blocking the aisle"- and then when they see it's you they know you're just kidding? Ok, well, I called my mom after I got to Wal-Mart and she was there too. I grabbed a few things I needed at the front of the store then headed back toward the toy section to say hello. She was buying Christmas toys for some kids at the local children's home. So I came up behind her and I said something to her along those same lines. I wasn't super rude about it, just teasingly and she was of course surprised then when she realized it was me she laughed.

Well, you never know when you're going to make a first impression...

In the aisle with my mom was another mom with her son and also a store associate. Realizing they now just think I'm weird I said "this is my mom" and they both smiled and chuckled. But... then... the mom came up to me and started talking to me. "I read your blog" she said. I LOVE when people introduce themselves to me when we're out and about because I love to meet people who 'know' me on here. We chatted for a few minutes and she commented on how tiny the kids are compared to how they 'look' in pictures. That's true!

Anyway, so much for first impressions. I love my mom and tease her and she teases back... but you never know who else might hear your sassy remarks as their very first impression of who you are. I kinda felt bad about it afterward, but, well... what can you do?

Thanks so much, my new bloggy friend, for saying 'hi' and also for offering to help us out to the car when we left. Though I definitely blog because I enjoy it, it's wonderful to know that others are impacted by the work of the Father in the lives of our kids (and us!) too. Thanks for stepping out of your comfort zone to introduce yourself today!

On another note, this morning we had Brianna's evaluation for the school system. I understand that we'll be having her IEP meeting in the next week or two and figure out what her placement will be in January. I'm not sure how I feel about the placement ideas so far, but the evaluation went fine. Brianna's considered in the mildly below average (average being 90-100 she scores just under that) in most areas including fine motor, social, self help, etc. She has more delays in the areas of speech and gross motor because she speaks less than 30 words (sign doesn't count I suppose, which is good because it keeps her qualified for speech intervention) and she is just now walking and not doing stairs or simple transitions yet. She qualifies for PT/ST/OT most likely, though they'll do a formal OT evaluation and are waiting on our PT's eval to determine the goals for her.

I understand that the placement that will be suggested at the IEP meeting will be a 3 morning/week preschool setting at a school 30 minutes from here. It would be M/W/F mornings. This option sounds like a very difficult one for our family. Yes, they would provide bussing. No, I will not be putting my 21 pound 3 yr old on a bus. And driving her 30 min each way three days a week does not sound like it will benefit her or our family with much practicality. This would also most likely mean discontinuing the morning program she's currently in on Tues/Thurs because I know she's not ready to be in school 5 days/week. So if we were to do this, Kristopher would go to school Mon-Thursday, Brianna Mon/Wed/Fri, and Micah Tues/Thurs. And Emma has a homebound teacher come out on Monday and Thursday afternoons (everyone else's is mornings). Plus add in that Micah and Emma have speech therapy on Wed nights (B does right now too but would have it at school instead). And Emma has PT at least Thursday mornings right now but we're trying to possibly get more intensive therapy going for her. Oh, and did I mention that we're about ready to add in OT for Micah and Emma because developmentally they're getting closer to being able to really benefit from it?

Yes, of course, we knew all along that having multiple children with disabilities would require a lot of therapy that would come from several different areas and would be busy to keep up with. Never did we imagine an hour round trip 3 days a week for just one kid in addition to the therapies that come to the house or we go to the local center to do (5 minutes away).

So... I'm not sure what we'll do there. Yes, we have BRIANNA's best interest in mind for whether this is a good placement or not, and we also have the HEALTH OF THE FAMILY in mind as we determine what therapies, school placements, and services we will have for each of our children (including Kristopher) and it HAS to be something that is manageable for everyone and in the end will really provide a benefit.

Ok, that was long... LOL I'm just getting back into this!

Let me end with a question for those of you that have experienced intensive therapy and the use of a therasuit with your children or friends. Our local center has just started a 3 week 5 day/week 3 hours/day program of INTENSIVE therapy that I understand Emma could greatly benefit from. Three weeks of this is supposed to be similar to 1 YEAR of therapy. With the amount of time Emma missed out on any intervention I really think this might be a neat opportunity for her. I don't yet know whether our insurance will cover any of it and it's expensive ($4500) to do. I'm looking in to it, though, and would love any feedback on this type of program from anyone that has experience!


  1. Wow. That therapy sounds interesting. It also sounds expensive. Hope you can find a way to do it.

    Is there any other school closer that Brianna can go to? I know you've checked it out and I know what they say. they said similar things to me. Has to be 3 days or 5 days, no half days, has to be this school. When we decided to take him out after his first 6 weeks last year, they ended up coming to the home 2 days a week. Then this year, suddenly, there was another school we could take. We decided on 3 full days. They pushed for 5 but we didn't think physically he could handle it. THEN low and behold, we were told if we wanted to do half days on T or Th or both, we could along with the 3 full days. They suddenly started being more flexible with their rules. Want me to send Randy down there? He can move mountains and he loves 'debate'. All kidding aside, he's great. He's a bulldog when it comes to his kids. I know most IEP meetings you can have an advocate with you. If anyone down there has gone thru this and might have a better insight as to what to do, might be helpful.

    It's hard to balance what's best for the WHOLE family. No one can tell you what's the right way but you guys. YOu have great instincts. So, go with your gut.


  2. why can't they provide services at a location closer to home?

  3. That sounds very expensive but so beneficial!! Will her medicaid cover any of it?? Also, just curious, why is Brianna's school 30 minutes away?

  4. The therapy sounds interesting, you'll have to tell me all about it so I can see if it's something that might benefit Anah.
    Also, if I sent Anah and/or Jonathan to the special school that is for children with special needs (it's a GREAT school by the way, I LOVE it) it would be at LEAST 45mins-1hr EACH way! I won't send my kids in the bus and I sure don't relish that drive myself every day, especially in winter. So for now I'll homeschool and have therapies at home. We'll see how things pan out later, but for now, that's our plan. Praying for a good outcome for you all.

  5. I agree with the not driving 30 minutes one way to a school. Nor would I put my child on a bus going to a school that far away because if it takes 30 minutes in a car, she's going to be on a bus much longer than that(with other stops and such). I hope you are able to work with them on an option that's closer to home for Brianna!

    As for the therapy with Emma, I have never heard of that type of therapy but if insurance covers it, I think you should do it. I would do it in a heart beat for Xander if I could find something like that around here.

  6. I def. agree with NOT putting her on the bus and the drive does quite much with the others. But I know all families are different and you will figure out what will work best for yours. The therapy sounds interesting, sounds perfect for E. Are you thinking about M too or just E since she is so much older? Also is there a payment plan that you can work out? I will pray that you can come to a decision

  7. You can request (MANDATE) a car seat for the bus. We did and our 3 year old 20 lbs nephew has done fine on the bus!

  8. Hi Meridith,

    You have already made a first impression with me on how you show God's love to all your children! Besides I am normally sacarstic and joking around. I was afraid to invade your "space" today. You were with your mom and kids and I didn't want to make you feel uncomfortable. It was a pleasure to meet your beautiful family in person! May God guide you, strengthen you and bless you! Karen(Mom from today)

  9. Hi, Insurance does not cover it but it is very important to do it. Intensive therapies helped my son walk within 2 weeks of therapies.

  10. I had a student using theratogs last year for a while. I am not sure if this is what you are looking into. I can't say I was impressed by the results.

    As far as the bus we have parents every year struggle to put their three year old on the bus (yes most weigh 20-30 pounds- very common). However, the children all end up loving the bus ride. They are safe and the parents are later glad they did it. In NC you can have your child ride just one way if you want. Some parents put the child on the bus one way and drive them the other. It is easier on the parents schedules but still gives them face to face time with the teacher.

    Taya - EC PreK Teacher in NC