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speech therapy, ieps and basketball, oh my!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

How did I do it?
When I worked full time how did I get all of this stuff done?
You've had this kind of day, I'm sure. You run from dawn to dusk and beyond and at the end can't figure out what you accomplished.
That's me.
It started off with speech therapy for Maddie here at the house.
Thursdays are always a little stressful for me. I somehow have to clean a weeks worth of mess up in just a few hours. Why not clean the night before, you ask?
I have four kids.
Enough said.
So I cleaned this morning, the speech pathologists arrived around noon...
and the fun began.
Maddie is starting to really push our buttons. I don't know if its a late reaction to all of her life changes, if she's just getting more comfortable and is searching for her boundaries, or if she's bored...but the girl is really starting to act out during speech.
She jumps up and runs around, plays when she's supposed to be working on her sounds and doesn't listen at all.
Listening is kind of important when your learning to speak more clearly.
I tried ignoring it and letting the speech teacher deal with it ...it didn't help.
I left the room for a few minutes to see if I was the trigger...it didn't help.
I even tried disciplining...which helped for a few minutes.
Patience, Tami, patience.
IEP meetings are not for the faint of heart.
Especially if you're dragging your four kids with you.
Today was Anya's annual review, so after school I sat down with the teacher, her speech pathologist, the audiologist and the student teacher.
After sending my four kids to the four corners of the room
(in hopes it would help them keep quiet, HA~!) I sat down at the tiny table, in the tiny chairs for the not so tiny review.
It took an hour and a half...90 minutes. I think that's the longest review I've ever had...and I've gone through quite a few of them.
Anya is doing great in speech. She is self-correcting now, which means its only a matter of time before she won't need speech anymore. She's stoked and I'm thrilled for her.
But the meeting also proved to me there are more issues emerging for my little Anya.
We've noticed for awhile Anya 'shuts down' when she gets overwhelmed with information. I thought it was just her emotional nature and as she matured, I hoped she would learn to CUT. IT. OUT.
But tonight the teacher shared some more things with me that, combined with the homework fiasco from the other night, has convinced me there may be some more issues she's dealing with.
So we're checking into Auditory Processing Disorder.
APD affects the way auditory information is processed in the brain. Kids with APD sometimes can and other times can not process verbal information. They may be able to repeat the words back word for word, but the meaning is lost. And it doesn't help to repeat the instructions.
APD is incredibly common in post-institutionalized children. Alek has it...and Anya's symptoms are exactly the same, except for the way they handle the disconnect.
Alek zones out. He'll fix his attention on an object and daydream.
Anya either shuts down and refuses to do any more work...or she breaks down and cries. (Thankfully, she has only had one breakdown at school).
I'm anxious to find out the test results. If it truly is APD, it could mean a world of difference to Anya. The exercises, tips and coping skills they have taught Alek have made a huge difference in how much he is picks up in the class.
A BIG difference.
There are also some preferential things written into his IEP that forces the teacher to pay a little extra attention to him to make sure he's 'getting' it. He sets in a specific place in the classroom and the teacher checks to make sure he understands any directions for tests.
It doesn't single him out in the classroom...but it gives him the extra help he needs.
We are writing those extra helps into Anya's IEP.
I can't wait to see what difference it makes.
To wrap things up last night Alek and I went to a basketball game.
Not just ANY basketball game.
A college women's basketball game.
Now, why would I be taking my BOY to a GIRL's game?
Because his little league football coach is the women's coach.
He thought it was SO cool.
And the ladies won, which made it even better.
100 to 74.
Pretty cool way to end the day.
Afterall, how many times do you see a ladies' team score 100 points?!

And how often to I get to spend quality one on one time with my big guy?! :)

2 salty messages:

Diana November 22, 2008 at 12:59 AM  

Joseph's first IEP meeting was over 2 very long and draining hours. You are right - they're definately not for the faint of heart. Lucky me. They hadn't quite finished the testing for the first one. I get to do another review this week and another one probably just before Christmas.

Maddie - keep hanging in there. Don't knee-jerk react because there could be so many different things affecting it. But do pay attention. She's been home long enough now for the honeymoon to be over and for her to be willing to show you a little more of her true needs and personality. You may find that a change of venue is needed for therapy, too. I know my kids would have a really difficult time paying attention to anyone about anything for very long at home.

Tina in CT November 22, 2008 at 6:50 AM  

Very busy day.

It sounds like the school is right on top of any issues that might arise considering the depth of the IEP.

Going to a college basketball game is a good way for you and your son to have Mom/Alex one-on-one time.

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