A little while ago, I got a pep talk from a friend of mine.
Amongst her words, the ones I will always remember are these:
"You need to trust your parenting more."
Last spring when Jake and I sat through Quinny's IEP (individualized education plan/ ie. a group of six-ish professionals sit around a table, talking about your child's special needs and how their school can and will accommodate such) we left almost in tears.
Yamhill Carlton school district was and is not able to accommodate Quinny's needs- she is too high functioning, but too "disabled".
The main stream classroom was not going to work.
The special education classroom was not going to work.
The "plan" they had set out for Quinny was (in our opinion) detrimental to her self worth and ability set.
It was horrible.
After a lot of talking to Q's therapists, doctors, Patty, mom's I trust, Lou's teacher...Jake and I decided that Home Schooling Lou was going to be the best option.
We would FIND social scenarios to enhance and practice social skills and develop more friendships, but we will have her learn in a calm, quiet, SAFE environment.
And then Carter's body started to mal-function and the thought of balancing doctors, therapies, working, home stuff AND home schooling was just TOO damn much for this scallywhompis brain of mine.
Not to mention Quinny started to ask us to go to "normal school" once the back to school commercials came on in august.
Deciding to move back to Forest Grove is turning out to be one of the best decisions we have ever made.
We listened to our friend's advice (trust in our parenting) and we listened to our Quinny's wishes:
Quinn's first IEP meeting at her new elementary school (Harvey Clarke) was incredible.
"It feels like we're getting hugged!"
-Quinny needs occupational therapy, but the transition to special ed for such services would defeat the whole damn purpose of such- NO PROBLEM THEY SAY! We'll have a skilled aid in her classroom so she can do her OT throughout the typical day, in a typical classroom!
What? No problem?
-Quinny needs a touch screen computer, as her cross coordination brain activity is a huge deficit- NO PROBLEM...and they hooked it up WHILE WE WERE THERE!
-Quinny needs special adaptations with her fine motor skill work
-Quinny needs visuals to help her transition from activity to activity
-Quinny needs a special seat to sit in and a special heavy lap pillow for circle time
-Quinny needs sensory breaks, numerous times throughout her day (ie. playing with playdough, lining up small objects, joint compressions)
-Quinny needs visual reminders throughout her classroom to combat her constant anxiety
-Quinny needs someone SKILLED in social skills to help her navigate her peers
-Quinny needs someone SKILLED to help her get "un-stuck" when something doesn't go as planned
-Quinny needs a heads up when a fire drill will be happening, and a safe place to flee during an assembly
-Quinny needs extra time on activities...
NO PROBLEM THEY SAY!!!
Quinnlyn Julia Snell, is in a MAINSTREAM classroom, ALL class time- with an incredible (and according to Lou, "Calming") SKILLED aid to help her navigate over all of her barriers.
Grateful doesn't begin to describe mine and Jake's feelings right now.
It is still early in the game, but we see a team of teachers and therapists who are looking out for our Lou, with the resources to match their belief in her.