I've had a busy week, but am very happy to be done with both boy's IEP meetings. We have a plan set for next year, and I'm at total peace with it. I don't know the exact schedule yet, but I do know the boys will be in a preschool course for 3 afternoons a week from 12:30-3. I don't know the days yet, but will know closer to fall when the schedule is set. We're going to have the boys together assuming it won't be a problem since they don't stick to each other when in social groups, but if they do for some reason, we have the opportunity to separate them for one of the afternoons.
I had two VERY different meetings for the boys. Brady's meeting was Wednesday morning at the school district office (Jay was home with the boys for that hour thankfully). I don't know how to explain IEP meetings to anyone who has never had a child with extra "needs". Even when you're prepared, and you were the one who called and asked for re-testing because you KNEW there was a problem, it's STILL hard to listen to strangers read their reports to you and look at you when they're done. I will say that everyone I met with was very kind and most of them I met last year when they tested the boys. No one said anything offensive or hurtful like I read about online from other parents who have IEP nightmares, so I'm grateful for that.
So.... Brady. Well, last year he only scored significantly delayed in speech, so he was put in his speech class.Then we realized quickly he was not thriving in that class, so his therapist added a one-on-one session. That has helped, but his progress was not exactly moving much. I noticed a very big difference between Jax and Brady this past year. Jax was always behind Brady in every developmental measurement. Suddenly a change happened in Jax and he not only caught up to Brady, but he passed right by him and poor Brady has been kind of... stuck. Brady still has the upper hand with gross motor and fine motor skills, but in the area of cognition and communication, the poor bean just didn't seem to advance.
Our observations at home were definitely confirmed with his test results, almost to a point of painful though. Brady shows a significant delay in cognition, personal/social and communication. I was SHOCKED when they said personal/social, but when they explained that a lot of the testing for that area requires the child to speak, it made a bit more sense (he can't tell you his name, age or refer to people by name without prompts etc). Brady's communication actually scored in the severe disability range, making him practically non-verbal. Again, we do know this, but omg it hurts to hear and then sit there with a straight face. His receptive understanding is of course leaps and bounds above his expressive, so we talked about his Apraxia of Speech needing to be targeted.
It was agreed that Brady would be in the Early Childhood preschool program with most of his target being on attention, cognition, and speech.
Jax's IEP meeting was this morning in his classroom before school started (the boys played while we met). It was AMAZING. Jax met every single goal from last year and he officially does not have a delay in cognition (HAPPY TEARS). The therapists and teacher told me that Jax came into the program with a tough disposition of attention to break through to actually work with him. He now shows an equivalent attention span of a typical 3-4 year old and zero behavior issues (take that possible ADD!), so I am over the moon to hear this!
Jax still shows a delay in speech, and fine and gross motor skills. We obviously know his issues with speech now are Apraxia-based, but he definitely has shown growth in this area and attempts 4 word sentences. Jax still has a lot of uncoordination with gross motor skills, so he will actually be a part of a specially designed physical education course along with his physical therapy. He still shows a weakness on his right side from his torticollis (neck muscles grew wrong because he was positioned awkward under Brady in utero) and low muscle tone. He's met all his goals, but he has a new set to meet this next year. The therapist recommends that he get re-fit for a new pair of ankle braces, so it doesn't look like those will be going anywhere anytime soon. I do need to start alternating between socks/shoes/braces and easy sandals this summer to give him more support.
Jax will have occupational therapy to continue growth with the coordination of his hands. The therapist was so excited to tell me how Jax has grown in his readiness skills and he's so eager and happy to try anything.
I will say that out of all the people I met with this week, the same word kept coming up about both boys - enthusiastic. Yup, they definitely are! The boys must save up all their whining and meltdowns for me!!
I'm very excited for the Early Childhood program to get their hands on Brady next year and to see both of their progress!
Jax's tummy is back to normal. He just needed a gut-break for two days of applesauce and Pedialyte with full night feedings. He was a bit resistant to get back to normal feeding with those breaks, but after a few time outs and some stern talks, he's back to his normal resistance, ha, ugh.
In other news, I found some summer-help! I asked the neighbor's nanny if she knew anyone and it turned out that a friend of hers is a 4k teacher and works at a daycare part time in the summer. I contacted her to see if she wanted 4-6 hours of extra work (the daycare is near my house) and she accepted. How lucky are we??? So she starts next week for two afternoons. I'm really looking forward to getting some work done while knowing the boys are having fun outside, with a preschool teacher no less (and I'm not up every night working until 11pm). So we'll see how that all goes.
I'm sure I'll have plenty of pictures to post after this weekend. I'm on my laptop waiting for Brady's speech class to finish up, so I don't have access, sorry! Have a great Memorial Day weekend!