One of the biggest motivators for our move out of Florida was for better services for Sophie. So far I am very happy with our decision overall and Sophie is now receiving her services here.
In Florida Sophie had only been given 2 hours of instruction with a preschool teacher and 1 hr a week of speech therapy. The preschool teacher that was going to be assigned to Sophie was very flaky. All she did during the IEP was complain back and forth like a teenager with the other women that were there and fix her hair every 2 minutes. I did not like her she seemed extremely cold. Despite my efforts they refused to give her any other therapies through the school. She received private sessions of therapies at home at 1 hr OT, 1 hr PT and 2 hr ST/FT.
My first meeting with the school board in NC was in August it went great! They were very interested in Sophie and I had already expressed to them how unhappy I was with our FL IEP and the horrible experience I had at my first IEP meeting, it had truly been a nightmare. Here in NC however I walked out very pleased with the outcome. We are still in the process of having the new evaluations done (at my request) before we get a North Carolina IEP but in the meantime they are honoring our FL IEP. Sophie is now receiving 2 hours of instruction a week but I absolutely love her teacher Mrs Patrice. She is patient and caring and Sophie interacts beautifully with her. The best part is Mrs Patrice understands my concerns and priorities and is very supportive and communicates with me. At this point life skills are my priority for Sophie instead of the basics most children this age focus on like their colors, shapes and numbers. It’s not that she’s not going to learn them just that I’m not pushing hard for that right now there are other more important skills or tools she needs to learn first. The rest will follow when she is ready. Mrs Jessica is Sophie’s speech therapist. I am very happy with the way she interacts with Sophie and there is just so much kindness I could not have asked for more. Once all the evals are done she will also be getting OT and PT through her IEP. We are currently awaiting for an eval from the deaf and hearing impaired teacher before everything is redone.
Privately she is also getting 1.5 hr ST/FT and 1 hr of OT. She will be getting PT in the future but there seems to be a shortage of in-home pediatric therapists here so we are on a waiting list for a PT eval. I really cannot complain so far.
Because of Sophie’s health all services have to be done in-home which can make for very limited services and can cause complications with scheduling and coordinating. As of right now though this is the best route for Sophie and I am hoping the isolation will benefit her immune system. She is getting exposure to germs when the other kids get home from school but not as bad as if she was there herself. She is becoming increasingly interested in interaction with others and wanting to venture out of the house more. I would like the opportunity to send her to school in the future if her health does get better. I originally did not think she would benefit but as she is growing and becoming her own person I have realized she would most likely do great. Considering she is in an environment that can work through her sensory needs I really think she would love it.
Who knows what the future holds but I do know I will do what I need to continue to encourage Sophie and give her the best opportunities to succeed in life.