Thursday, October 8, 2009

So I have an issue.. imagine that.


So my naughty little skitterbug is now 4 years old. Holy crap.

Last year after his 3rd birthday he officially "transitioned" from the Early Steps birth to three program to "schoolage"... scary.

We did alot of research into looking for the best fit for him in a pre k program. The local mainstream elementary school was our first option. Considering V's collection of special medical issues, along with the need for tube feeding, he needed to be placed into a "special needs" classroom. No shocker there.
The teacher was a lovely older woman who was immediately taken with my boy. She did comment on the fact that the special needs class was for kids from 3 to 5 years old, and they had never handled a child of his tiny size or with his extensive medical issues. At that point he still was not even walking yet. She admitted that he would require quite a bit of extra attention not only for teaching but to keep him safe in a classroom of typically sized children. He was not mobile to where he could participate in most class activities or even on the playground. He still didn't even have meaningful speech. She did say that she would be willing herself to make whatever accomodations were neccesary for him, but she would not be teaching the class after the start of the next year. She was retiring. The new teacher was younger than she, and new to the special education teaching position.

One option OUT.

The next and final option was our local "Easter Seals" school. I was excited about the possibilities there because my older brother, who was born with cerebral palsy had attended the ES pre school program when he was a child. He made amazing strides there.
When we first toured the facility we were very impressed with the staff. They were friendly and accomodating. They thought V would do very well in their program.
The only problem was that their 3 year old class was comprized of a group of walking, talking toddlers who dwarfed my tiny munchkin in size and ability. The head of placement thought he would fare better in the 2 year old class. It was understandable, but the 2 year old class was not a pre k class. It was more of a daycare with a therapeutic edge. Not bad, but not what we were hoping for.

You see, cognitively, V was far ahead of his physical ability. We didn't want his mind stunted by being placed in a room where he would do nothing but sit and play on a rug for 3 1/2 hours a day. He could do that at home for free.

Still, everyone felt he needed to make the move from home based intervention to a school setting so we went for it and hoped for the best. It took weeks of testing and paperwork, doctors orders and medical approvals, but we did it. And so began his first year of pre k.
The first week was rough. His room was cold, a problem with the air system, so we were asked to dress him warmly. Still, every time I picked him up he was a teeny tiny popsicle.
The second week he began to get low grade fevers and was sent home on two occasions.
By the third week they were asking us to keep him home if he even sniffled because of his medical history, and by the fourth week the school nurse called me at home and stated that perhaps he was not ready physically (immunity wise) to be in a group setting.
So ended our pre k experience. The head of the school gave me the necessary paperwork to apply for home schooling based on medical need, but before I could submit them to the school board for approval, the whole G tube nightmare began.
In and out of the hospital, infections and fevers galore. Definitely not acceptable for school visits, even at home.
Since then he's had to miss an extensive amount of therapy as well since he just wasn't able to participate in a care setting, and home visits, given our housing situation, are not optimal.. or popular with the local therapy providers.

Finally, over the past month he has begun to blossom once again, and I am attempting to find available therapy to get him restarted. He should be receiving 60 minutes per week of PT/OT and speech. Hopefully that will be up and running soon.

Now I am left with the pre k issue.

I'm not super excited about returning to the Easter Seals school again. I really don't know that his immune system is any more ready than it was last year, and with the flu craze.. don't really wanna go there. But this year and next he will still need pre k services before he can start kindergarten.
He is definitely mobile now, he started walking earlier this year. Not yet very steady, but he's getting there slowly. He still does not have meaningful speech for communication. He does sign some, but most of his interaction is because WE understand what his sounds and signs mean.

He is also still VERY small. He wears 12 month pants and 24 month shirts. Little butt, big belly :) Not even close to his school age counterparts.

All this combined with his other medical history makes a Mommy worry.

Does anyone have any helpful advise? To homeschool or not to homeschool?
What would/did you choose for your child???



  1. Please consider boarding school.

    I'm granting him a full scholarship to the BoomBoom Institute of Higher Learning. Now, it IS a sleepaway school...but he will be thoroughly snuggled and guaranteed to fully master whatever curriculum concepts can be presented via Cheetos as manipulatives.

    I can forward his admission paperwork immediately.

    P.S...Stephanie at is a CRAZY talented homeschooling mom. She'd have tons of resource suggestions, I'm certain...but if you pick me, I'll throw in a free Tshirt.

  2. LOL! Love ya Courtney! You are welcome to send him for boarding school at 3:21 Dayschool, the "official" name of our homeschool.

    You situation sounds SO much like our it isn't funny. We are off to the doctor this a.m., but I will certainly e-mail you when I get home tonight. :)

    Hugs to all! Hope you are over your sickies now. :)


  3. Jax is homeschooled with all of his medical issues. But they have been horrible at coming out to the house. They haven't been out once this year and he started in September. But I guess its a little different because Jax is like an infant. Doesn't interact and can't even sit up. I would do homeschool if they are good about coming out on a regular basis.

  4. Oh and I tagged you on my blog. Go check it out.