September marches on
How are we this week?
Last Monday I was notified that therapists from Infants and Toddlers would go back in person! Yay! I immediately emailed daycare. Five minutes later I got a message that they are only going back in person for home visits. Considering all we had heard from our therapists and everyone else was that the major concern was going into people’s homes, this makes…very little sense. But, our speech therapist had an 8am spot on Tuesday so she came back and it was great. Well, it was stressful because apparently some people in my house think that we should clean our house for our speech therapist to come into our house and evidently my attitude of, “if the coaching model means integrating speech into our regular lives, shouldn’t we keep the house looking like it regularly looks?” was not helpful. Anyway, I cleared the table, Mark cleaned the rest of the house, and then we sat on the floor anyway.
We also started special instruction this week, virtually but at home…which is the worst of both worlds, since it was supposed to be virtual at daycare or in-person at home. I’m honestly not sure how we ended up with virtual, I agreed to it by accident, and now I have to figure out how to fix that. The problem with parent-directed therapy is they start by asking what are your goals for your child. That is not how these conversations should go, especially for something as nebulous as special instruction. They should start with, “do you have any specific goals or things you would like to work on?” and if you say no, they should be allowed to suggest some options for the parents to choose from. Because my goals for Lila are that she do…more? than she is doing right now? But I don’t know how to quantify that or how to turn it into a goal. I also don’t remember what 3 year olds can do, because it’s been 4 years since I had a 3 year old, and Molly is not a great comparison anyway.
So, for now we are going to work on matching and understanding things that are the same and things that are different. Which feels like a reasonable place to start and is something we can integrate well at home. It went fine until she threw all the fruit from her color sort bin in my face, but at least we have behavioral therapy again this week.
We did have in person OT as well. We wound up doing it outside because of the general lack of communication from Infants and Toddlers. We have our transition meeting scheduled, and we are very strongly considering enrolling Lila in the part time preschool program nearby and hiring a nanny to be with her the rest of the day. The programs have a very small size and are already using AAC with the kids in it, so Lila should fit in well. Right now, she is less unhappy at daycare but we can also tell she is getting lost in the shuffle of such a big class. There are days where her talker stays in her backpack, there are photos of her engaged in activity where it isn’t with her, and when we check in on the cameras she is often not engaging with the other students or her teachers. None of this is the daycare’s fault, and they are not required to offer her additional services besides allowing the therapists to come into the building and work with her. Three just seems to be the age when kids like Lila need more support, or at least can’t graduate to lower levels of support the way their typically developing peers can - Maryland’s daycare ratio for 3+ is 10 to 1.
Searching for a nanny is slow going. There are a lot of factors that all need to fall into place in order to find the right candidate, so in the meantime the plan is probably to keep her in daycare for the afternoon, figuring that the afternoon is mostly lunch + naptime + outside play time. She should be eligible for transportation from the preschool program to daycare, but there is a huge shortage of school bus drivers right now, so it’s looking like I will have to go pick her up and then take her to daycare. The bell schedule has shifted at least, so instead of ending at 10:30, the program now ends at 11:15, which feels like a more reasonable time to designate as my lunch time and spend on a 1.5 mile bike ride.
So, for now, we stay in this holding pattern, waiting to see what happens next and hoping that magically something falls in to place. Which sometimes happens. And sometimes we do the imperfect thing and it works well enough and we make it work for awhile. The hugely positive things we have heard about this program make it seem very worth it to figure out how to make it work, and it feels good to have at least one piece of this puzzle fall into place.