Thursday, October 17, 2013

31 for 21: Read This

A mom on facebook posted this and it's spot on.

There is so much I could respond to in this from personal experience ("Cut it with the sympathy.  Cut it with the pity.  It separates you from me."... yes, administrator, your decision making process about your typical son going to kindergarten vs. mine...not so much a comparison since, you know, we're sitting here in this IEP meeting and I'm guessing you're not having the same level of intervention with you son...gah!), but read it for yourself and have a great glimpse into what parenting a child with DS or any disability looks like.

Monday, October 7, 2013

31 for 21: Dancing

Ellie started predance classes last year at the studio where Meredith has been taking classes since she was little. The studio owners are awesome and the teacher was great. We had a fantastic experience and I think Ellie loved it, since she asks to wear dance clothes everyday!

We do work hard at helping her master her dance. For the first recital prep, I know I danced in the class for a few weeks to help her keep on task. The other kids are a big distraction, but her lack of attention is in keeping with the other kids in the class. (I don't know how the teachers herd cats every week!)

We video the rehearsal once the whole dance is choreographed and then practice it at home. For the spring recital, I think I put our versions on YouTube and shared them with the other parents for extra practice, which they liked. Other than that, I'm really grateful that we don't have to wait two more years for Ellie to try the adaptive ballet class and appreciate how great she if we could just get her hippotherapy therapist to teach her to ride standing up with flaming hoops..... :-)

(Holiday 2012)

(Spring 2013)
These are from backstage and dress rehearsal, but who can resist little kids in tutus and maribou?

Sunday, October 6, 2013

31 for 21: I'm not late

I'm fashionably delayed.  :-)  October means blogging for 31 days in honor of Ellie's enhance 21st chromosome. I like the idea of it super lots, but, of course, hate the discipline that it entails...note starting on day 6.  Hopefully, 31 posts will have to suffice since I have some thoughts about politics....that's for another day.  Meanwhile...enjoy the Patch Girls!

From April

From today (10/6)

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Developmental vs. Chronological

We're in talks with our school district about Ellie's placement for next year. Because of how her birthday falls, she is eligible for another year of preschool; but she could also progress on to kindergarten.

We met with the district, county, and teachers [In Ohio, preschool services are provided by the county, so the teachers and evaluators are county employees. Services are provided in the school district, so they are also part of the process] a week or so ago and it's hard to separate the aggravation I personally feel towards [not the teacher...we love her!] some of them with the whole decision making process.

This is where the developmental vs. chronological debate comes in. Ellie isn't like her chronological peers. She's developmentally about three (she turned five in January) with more significant delays in speech. On the one hand, I don't know that she'd gain much more academically by going to preschool for another year. However, it would give her more time for verbal communication and for us to escalate signing for her expressive language. It would also give her more time to develop some OT skills (writing, drawing, etc.) and take more cognitive leaps towards kindergarten readiness.

The other side is that we should keep her with her chronological peers,which could mean kindergarten in the fall. She'd need lots of support, especially with communication [ongoing battle, her signing expressive language outstrips her verbal but can we get an interpreter in the room...nope] so I'd worry that the bar is to high and that it's too deep for her. On the other hand, she learns through mimicry so I think she'd really benefit from exposure to older kids and the academics.

On the selfish side, kindergarten would mean all day, every day and no daycare vs. four half-days with daycare.  The financial savings alone could be channeled into therapies to help with gaps. So while you all enjoy Ellie sleeping in the car during lunch...I'm working on talking to some other parents to get some input.

And I should note that I know there's more to the developmental vs. chronological debate (inclusion, separate, etc.) than what we're facing and I'm certainly one to support whichever a family chooses for them; which is why I'm talking to others so I'm better informed and can make the best choice for Ellie.