Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Being Thankful

The month of November has been very busy for us, especially Cha-cha.  This month, he has spent 4 Wednesdays visiting a local public school for his CORE Evaluation for Special Education.  Originally, they were only going to test him in Speech and Language, however we opted to go with the full CORE so that everyone could get the big picture of him and find out what would best suit his needs.  This process is not an easy process, especially with me being a teacher, and it's horrendous on your emotions.  I know too much and I feel like I am the evaluator's worst nightmare.  I know what I want for my child and you can't tell me differently.  I am the psycho who will call and ask a million questions and complain while doing it, however in doing so, I am heard and I know they also want the best things for Cha-cha.

Which brings me to the thankful part of all of this.  I am ever so thankful to my husband and my father, who accompanied Cha-cha to 3 of his test sessions.  Since both hubby and I work, taking him to these evaluations during work hours is next to impossible, especially for me.  For me having to take a step back in this process and let others do it has been both stressful, but good for me.  I've had to let others do it for me, which is never easy for me to do.  I am thankful to my other family members, especially my mother and sisters, and many friends who listen to me vent or hear me through when I'm thinking about the whole process.

Through this process, I've been reminded that I need to be thankful for so many things.  I'm thankful for our health insurance, and even though it's going up $2,000 for next year (don't ask), Cha-cha's outside therapies are covered with just a copay and he gets unlimited sessions for the entire year, as long as the paperwork is filed.  I'm grateful that EI is paid in full by our health insurance with no copays.  Thinking of having to pay for all of that therapy is mind boggling.

I'm thankful that Cha-cha has amazing therapists, who fell in love with him the moment they saw him and work so hard to see him succeed.  One of his therapists has been with him since he was 7 months old.  He loves her like an aunt.  His face lights up when he sees her.  She has been my confidant through all of this, taking my texts and phone calls when I have a question, and crying with joy with me when he accomplishes something.  We are so blessed to have found a wonderful SLP undergoing her Fellowship year, who Cha-cha adores.  On Saturdays, all you have to do is mention going to see "Eh-eh" and he has his coat and shoes and is ready to roll.  To hear compliments from his therapists like, "He is such a pleasure to work with!" and "He has great play and attention skills," make me feel good that we are doing it right.

Through this evaluation process, the head of the Special Ed Department visited Cha-cha's daycare/preschool and as soon as she left, she called me to tell me what a wonderful place it is.  I am very fortunate that my school system realized how important it was for teacher's children to have a wonderful daycare/preschool.  It took a lot of work on behalf of a few of the teachers, but the daycare/preschool is now into it's 3rd year of being a success.  Today, the SLP testing Cha-cha raved about it after hearing about it from her director.  Of course I knew it was great, but hearing from the specialists that have seen almost all the daycares around here, they have said that this school is like no other daycare/preschool they have ever seen.  As a working mother, to hear that about my child's daycare/preschool - it just reaffirms that we again did the right thing.  I have to say, I am thankful for Cha-cha's teachers - from the ones who rocked him as an infant to the ones who are teaching him to count to 10.  They have bent over backwards and learned to take direction from specialists coming in and helping them work with Cha-cha.  They occasionally send me pictures and texts of his accomplishments of his day and always give me a full report when I pick him up.  They know his quirks and have quickly become mind readers when he needs something and can't say it correctly.

I'm also very thankful for having a wonderful daughter.  We are learning that being 5 1/2 and in Kindergarten isn't easy sometimes, but she is taking it all in stride to the best of her ability.  She has become very patient with Cha-cha.  They have their moments for sure, but she is always modeling appropriate language and trying to elicit sounds from him all the time - just like his therapists do.  Seeing him say words makes me so proud, but hearing her yell, "That's great!  That was so clear!" makes me tear up.  Hubby and I say she is going to do great things, but honestly, she's already doing them.

We don't know where this evaluation will take us.  Cha-cha has come a long, long way from back in June when he only had 7 approximations.  Just the other day, he counted to 5 on his own and told me to, "Go car momma" (guh ka ma-ma), when he wanted something from the Toys R Us flyer.  Hubby and I have a lot of decisions to make on what is going to be best for him and for us.  I'm not good with change and uncertainty.  We'll be doing a lot of talking, thinking, and praying about it all.

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