Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Details, details

This afternoon was Nikko's annual evaluation with the Clearbrook therapists as well as a representative from Mount Prospect School District 57. This was the first of a few meetings we'll have to determine if Nikko will qualify for the Early Childhood Special Education preschool program or for regular preschool. It's a pretty safe bet that he will qualify for Special Ed - - he has zero words, he has cognitive delays, and he has social challenges. Autistic signs to a tee. All the people evaluating him agreed that Nikko is a sweet boy who has improved a lot since he first started in Early Intervention, but he has a long way to go between now and when he starts preschool.


May, June and July will be months of important meetings, vision/auditory/physical exams and making sure we follow a timeline to see preschools and get evaluated properly... The three big meetings to come are the Consent Meeting in May, the Evaluation Meeting and the IEP Meeting in June. It is totally possible that if Nikko meets all the related criteria, he could be enrolled in preschool for the fall semester. Amazing. Oh, and Jen the DT threw me a big blow by saying that she will not be his DT anymore after this week because there are other demands in the groups she works with. Luckily, she found us a new DT to replace her and that person can probably work on Tuesdays or Thursdays at noon. That works out better for our schedules, but I AM COMPLETELY BUMMED that Jen will no longer work with Nikko. Denis told me that if he had an unlimited supply of money he would hire Jen to be Nikko's private therapist who would handle everything he needed. But that is not the case. Jen is an amazing therapist and the one that garnered the most respect from Nikko. I am bereft that we won't be working with her anymore. I can only hope that the new DT will have a solid commitment to help Nikko in this area of delay.

For some reason Nikko did not have an easy time going to sleep tonight. I don't know if running around in the basement wound him up too much to sleep easily, but he protested when Denis left the room and continued to cry for at least a good 10-15 minutes afterward. Tomorrow we have a busy day, Speech at 10a, my chiro at 1:30, Audrey has a doctor appointment at 2:20, and Nikko is starting a swim class at the Rec Plex with Denis at 7p. Gotta make sure he is ready to go by 6:30, so I'll probably serve him a light dinner around 5:45. We'll have to see how the day goes. Brianna should be around during the day, too. It's supposed to rain like hell tomorrow so we'll have to find things for the boys to do. I have to warn her that the basement might have seepage, too... how are we going to handle this, with Denis not being around? I think I'm going to have to empty those window wells if they fill up. Before he goes to work in the morning he's going to have to show me how to do it. :(

Finally, this evening/morning I was reading some posts on Babycenter.com related to autism and I was interested in two topics: one person wrote about routines and if they were important to their kid. It isn't necessarily the routine expectation of doing the same thing at the same time every day, but it is about order; doing this first, then this, then that. The importance to the kid is that he knows what is going to happen next. I try to do this with Nikko already. I try to warn him in advance when I am going to change his diaper so he isn't protesting all the way. Or I tell him in advance that I am going to change his clothes, or wipe his face, or give him a snack, so that he can see it coming and not be thrown off-guard. The second interesting post was from a mom who was in denial at first, that felt in her gut that her kid has autism but was refused by many pediatricians for an autism referral. I am surprised to read that kind of thing. At Arlington Pediatrics they have autism screening and they were great to refer us to Clearbrook's EI program. I can't imagine a pediatrician looking at a potentiall autistic kid and saying there is nothing wrong with the kid. How can that be??

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