Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Preschool Part 1

Today was our big "phone interview" about Addison, Early Intervention (EI) and (gulp) Preschool. In PA, EI goes from birth to 5, but at age 3 it transitions from "in home" to "on site". Currently Addison gets OT, PT and SI (Special Instruction) a few times a month at home - or the park, at a restaurant, or any other setting she may struggle with. At age 3 it will then become an educational setting and look more like prepping her for what will be expected when she starts Kindergarten with a side of any PT/OT/Etc., provided that she qualifies for it. Or it could become on site where I'd just take her in for appointments for PT/OT/Etc. Just because she qualifies now, does not mean she'll qualify for preschool. Different assessment and rules. And yes I realize it makes no sense whatsoever as to why if she doesn't qualify for preschool but does qualify for PT & OT still that I would then have to take her in for her appointments vs her coming here. (And I know some places actually do on site therapy from birth, but that's not ever been the case for us. I am greatful for that.)

So today we talked about what I should expect in the coming months as they prepare for this change. And we scheduled her formal preschool eval. That will happen in Nov (when she is 2yrs 9mths). I will find out that day if she qualifies for anything further and how that will be handled. I cried at the end of this phone call because um, yeah...I am not ready for my babies to go off to preschool these two are not ready for preschool.

Now - some of you maybe wondering about Blake. As for now we have a few options. Currently he receives no EI services (he was discharged shortly after his first birthday). He part of what they call their monitoring program here in PA, where I fill out questionnaires periodically in regards to his development and if they see concerns they will offer an eval or if I have a concern in the interim I can request an eval. To date, he has had no developmental concerns. At age 3 we will have him evaluated under the preschool guidelines to see if he qualifies for services at that point (unless we have a concern sooner). 

If he does not qualify (and Addison does) then we have a few options. This all really depends on Addison though and what parts she is eligible for. A.) He could be allowed to partake in the same preschool/class as Addison and be the "class model". B.) They would go to separate preschools. C.) We can opt to forgo EI Preschool and enroll them both in a different preschool that is still a part of EI but also allows for community kids with/or without delays. Now should Addison NOT qualify for any services, we'll be looking into preschool at the same preschool as mentioned in option C or elsewhere.

So that's where we currently stand with all that. Did I confuse you? Because I am still scratching my head about some of this.

If you have experience with EI in a different state - how does it vary?

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