I'm sure you remember that I mentioned we applied for a scholarship to attend the AG Bell Biennial Convention in Orlando this year.
Well, we didn't get the scholarship. They had around 65 families apply and gave 5 full scholarships/1 half scholarship. We were really bummed. Ok, beyond bummed. I was also kicking myself for not understanding what a great opportunity we had back in 2008, when the convention was right here in Milwaukee. Hopefully, we will be able to attend the 2012 convention without relying on a scholarship.
We met with AJ's teacher and SLP at school a few days after his surgery. Nothing like crunching everything together, right? Anyhow, our purpose was to pow-wow before AJ's actual IEP meeting, which was the following Friday. We got quite a bit accomplished! We reviewed AJ's (then) current IEP (Individualized Education Plan) and both Jeremy and I were both pleasantly surprised as to how many of the goals he had already met. He had more "met" or "emerging" than "not met" goals, which was very encouraging. I hadn't looked at his IEP in quite a while. It was a mirror with a much different reflection. AJ had progressed. There was no denying that. We discussed what we were going to "pitch" to our home school district about schedule, and his current needs, etc.
AJ's IEP meeting that following week went OUTSTANDINGLY WELL. It lasted 1 hour and 15 minutes...which I think is a record. It was smooth as silk. The principal sat in on part of our meeting, which was interesting. He totally reminds me of my own grade school principal. It gives me warm fuzzies that everyone in the building seems to know who my little man is and when his own principal cheers him on in the hallway...that is special.
AJ will again be attending Lowell for the 2010-2011 school year. YAY! He will go a full five days, with 3 half days, and 2 extended days. Which means two days he'll be eating lunch in the lunch room with his peers. That just screams "boy" instead of "toddler", doesn't it? We are pleased with his new goals, some carryover from the last IEP, but most of them are new. He will also be participating in a special PE program, which is super exciting.
AJ's last day of school was last Wednesday. I am so sad the school year is over. The year ended with a field trip to the zoo, and on the last day, a slide show and picnic at the park. I really feel like we're a little preschool family. All the parents know one another, and support each other's child. The staff for the preschool program...I don't have words. Really. They are all amazing and we are so blessed to have them help AJ on his educational journey.
All of the kids have grown over the year. It was truly amazing to watch them all grow as kids and as learners. I truly enjoyed my time volunteering this year. I've been asked to return as a volunteer, which makes me very excited!! We'll start school again in September.
While AJ is technically out of school, he's not really on vacation. We struggled and struggled with how to best support AJ over the summer, especially in the area of speech/auditory skills/language/communication. While everything else seems to be chugging along, these seem to be sitting on the tracks. I will say that AJ had an explosion of signs that emerged in late April/early May which made all of us ectastic!
Last but not least, AJ qualified for ESY (Extended School Year) through the Waukesha School District. He will attend two days a week, for about an hour, from late June through July.
Therapy:AJ will be working with the AVT (Auditory Verbal Therapist) at the Center for Communication, Hearing, and Deafness over the summer. We will see the AVT once a week to work on Auditory Skills Development and hopefully he'll make some wicked progress. I'll write more about this later.
In addition, AJ will be attending a tumbling class once a week, feeding therapy once a week, occupational therapy once a week, and physical therapy once a month. AJ has not had PT since March, due to insurance thinking he's doing too well. Yeah. How about that? His PT submitted for summer sessions only. We thought it would be a slam dunk, no problem. They approved, with modifications...8 visits from now until November. We can either fight it or take it. We've chosen to take it. Something is better than nothing, right?
Not a summer vacation...but its what AJ needs.