We had our big meeting at Elizabeth's new school today. The meeting is to present Elizabeth's needs to the school where she will attend Senior Kindergarten, this is to let (or warn) the school what they need to prepare for the fall. Our biggest concerns are concerning; safety (during gym time, outside and in the halls), her needing assistance for changing her shoes and putting on her coat etc, a suitable/supportive chair for the classroom is available, having an FM unit available for her, the Itinerant for the Deaf assess her classroom and to provide support, having PT and OT consult and set the environment up for her needs and to ensure she is included in all activities to the best of her ability, equipping the bathroom for her independence (versa frame or grab bar) and ensuring her speech therapy is to continue.
We were lucky to have some of her therapists/teachers present at the meeting as they know her so well and are instrumental with the successes she has made. Her PT made it as apparent as she could that Elizabeth was not safe and requires close monitoring and equipment to maximize her potential but she is not able to outright say what she should receive (restrictions made by the organization CCAC that assesses her need for OT/PT). Her Speech Path on the other hand laid it out that Elizabeth has a moderate speech delay and should be getting the max 24 sessions.
The school staff that were present listened with interest and during the meeting seemed genuinely concerned with her needs and as they had met her they agreed with some of our concerns. Unfortunately the CCAC manager did not show up to the meeting as planned.
I thought things had gone well with the meeting until I asked when would we be hearing what services Elizabeth would be entitled to in the fall. Of course things became quiet and they said they would wait until the fall to put the paper work in for requests for service but she would recieve Speech therapy as requested by her SLP. I politely said I don't think this is the normal routine (I work for one of the agencies and know a bit more than the average parent)and will look into it tomorrow.
So tomorrow I will make some phone calls to find out the process and ensure things are ready the day she walks into her classroom. Waiting for the fall will not be an option. I am fairly aware that fall means maybe an October visit and then another month to order her chair and before we know it Christmas will come and she still will not have a chair. As for safety she is not safe at certain times and has to have support available when needed. I really hate playing this game, I try so hard to be nice and trusting and not get their backs up but now I have to be the pushy parent to get what she needs.