Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Preschool Previews

Oh, lordy

Today we had Piper’s transition IFSP review.  That transition, of course, being the transition from the Early Intervention program to the school district for preschool

PRESCHOOL.  Can you please explain to me HOW we can be talking about preschool???  REALLY???

Our coordinator met us when Piper was still in the NICU.  We always talk about how teeny she was back then and how different she is each time she sees her.  This time, the BIG difference was how much more vocal Piper was- she’d never heard much noise come out of her (and believe you me, there is NOISE now!)

Today we talked about what we wanted to make for our last set of goals in EI.  Everything, ultimately, boiled down to how we can make the preschool transition easier on Piper.  Our new expectations are things like she’ll sit at the table and complete preschool activities {read: she won’t use her “charms” to get out of activities that she doesn’t particularly like} and use her verbal expressive vocabulary more frequently and with longer phrases. 

I’ll admit that I’m a little apprehensive about sending her to school next year.  I keep reminding myself that, because of where her birthday lands, she won’t be starting until next September.  And that’s a long way away (don’t judge- the lie makes me feel better.  So sue me…)  I don’t know really what bothers me about it; her skills are age-appropriate, so I’m not so concerned about what services she’ll need and get- all I really care about is speech, and that shouldn’t be an issue.  And she’s got such a great personality that I’m sure she’ll be accepted by her staff and peers (it was brought up today that she’s gonna love preschool!) and I can’t wait to see how she blossoms once she gets there. 

I asked about our preschool itself.  We can see it from my back window, which has obvious benefits.  Apparently, our service coordinator knows of lots of families who are trying to choice-in to that school- it’s supposed to be REALLY good (WAHOO!), so that makes me feel better.  They’re opening another elementary school (which also has the preschool in it) just a couple miles away (really super close) which could be an option, too, but it’s not open until next fall, which means there’s nothing there to observe.  So, I guess I’ll make a trip up the street one of these days and take a peek at the classroom and make sure I like the teacher well enough. 

ChildFind is supposed to contact us in February or March to do a pre-assessment (to make sure she actually qualifies, apparently?  I dunno- seems silly when my kid has Down syndrome, but whatever…  I guess they also determine who, as far as therapists, need to be at the actual assessment) and then the assessment and IEP meeting are scheduled together a few weeks later.  I like the idea of the assessment AND the IEP being done in the same sitting. 

Everything sounds like it should be fairly straight forward and mostly easy.  I guess one of my concerns is that I’m afraid Piper will pull her “shy” act and not, for lack of a better term, perform to what she’s capable of.  Our therapists will write reports and submit them, too, which, I’m telling myself, will cover those holes, if need be. 

My big “ugh” moment, though, is that preschool is FOUR DAYS A WEEK.  And I’m not so sure what I think about four days a week.  It’s three hours a day, which sounds okay, but FOUR DAYS?  Honestly, I think it’s one of those harder-on-me-than-her kind of things, but yikes. 

Preschool, huh?  How can a person be so excited and so anxious, all at the same time???



  1. I can totally understand that excited and anxious thing. Just having my own moments realizing that my baby is almost 1. And that 3 is going to be here before I know it. So far I'm in denial, just dealing with 1 milestone at a time. Seems reasonable to me.

  2. We are going through the same process right now too and I am excited because I think Emily is going to love, but nervous at the same time too!

    Kelli @livinglifewithes

  3. I'm so glad that everything seems to be looking like it will be a smooth and easy transition for you guys! We are in the beginning stages of it as well (end of March birthday) so I've been trying to educate myself on the IEP process and I've learned a ton, but hopefully I won't need any of it.

    My one piece of advice that I've heard so many times before that I thought I would pass it on as well...get a copy of the assessment reports a couple of days before the IEP meeting. This way you have time to digest what they say in your own time and way. Piper is doing amazing so your reports might not be as difficult to read, but I know for me that reading about Sweet Pea's deficits is very hard. The IEP is completely almost based on deficits because those drive the goals & services so I'd rather have time to come to terms with them before we need to talk logically about goals and services. When I read in her 2 1/2 year report that she her bilateral skills were at the 8-12mth range and that is where her sister was I cried. But then I was able to move on and focus on what we could be doing to improve that area. If I had heard that for the first time in an actual meeting...let's just say it wouldn't have ended well.

    Please keep us posted on the process. Different states do it differently, but in general the process is fairly standard and I love hearing tips and tricks that people learn to help make it as smooth and painless as possible.

  4. We had our transition meeting yesterday. Yikes is right.

  5. I know it came so fast, didn't it?

    We have our meeting in February. Lucas will start school two days a week after his third birthday in March. We're also having our therapists write an eval to take to the meeting just in case he doesn't perform.

  6. Crazy that it's time for preschool already! I'm already freaking out about it and we still have another year... :)

    She'll do fabulous!