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Wednesday, June 13, 2012

An Overdue Update

I can't believe that it has been months since I posted an update. While I was away from writing, we sold our house, bought a new house, moved, ended the school year and had our last tee-ball game of the season. Oh...and we had our IEP goals negotiated and agreed to, met as a team during two ARD meetings to finalize everything, and are now prepared for next year. Lastly, Sidney had her 10th birthday...yep, she has it her double digits!

The House The Lord blessed us abundantly by allowing us to sell our house in two and a half weeks. We bought the second house that we saw, just 8 miles away from our previous house. It was important for us to find a house that had a family-friendly layout, everything else we knew that could change over time. This house is definitely a fixer-upper with blue cabinets in the kitchen, wood laminate floors in the study and dining room, and a outdated fireplace, and an golden oak banister up the stairs. It will take us years, maybe decades, to update it. However, it is located on a court street, has a pool and hot tub, and a flat driveway for our new basketball goal.

A quick story...When I drove up to the house for the first time to view it, I noticed that a 'deaf child area' sign just a few houses down. No way that you can tell me that this wasn't a sign from God. Unfortunately, the family with the deaf child moved a couple of years ago. Super bummed that our little man wouldn't have another deaf child on the street. Alas, there are plenty of normal hearing peers on the street. Can't wait for some cooler weather so we can get out front and make some new friends. Some pics from our first few weeks in the house...

Thomas, the prince of the pool, on his new float

Sidney, our bathing beauty

Sean and the kids in our new tent...even though it is located in the playroom and not outside :-)

Thomas and is wonderful swim teacher, Ms. Kathryn

The School Year Sidney ended fourth grade and will be heading to intermediate school next year. I found myself wondering how this happened. How could she already be out of elementary school? She was just born yesterday, right? Thomas ended his mainstream preschool year two weeks earlier than Sidney. We were so blessed this year with two AMAZING teachers at First Baptist. Thomas learned so much from them and made some very dear friends. Unfortunately, he won't be going back next year because of what I learned during his IEP meeting...

IEP Meeting During our IEP meeting, I learned that Birdville ISD is providing an inclusion model for their auditory/oral class next year. This means that Thomas will have 17 other kids in his class with the majority of them being normal hearing peers. Can I get a woohoo! He will receive the same number of minutes of speech therapy AND 45 minutes a day of pull-out instruction from his amazing TOD. So, Sean and I decided to put him in this new program five days a week, rather than having him go between the auditory/oral school and his mainstream preschool. We think that this will be an excellent opportunity for him to make an easy transition to mainstream kindergarden year after next.

Another quick we began our IEP meeting, the Thomas' SLP, Ms. S, said how much she loves our little man and how much he LOVES to learn. His TOD, Ms. H, began her portion of the meeting saying that Thomas is the only 4-year old that she knows who knows all 50 states, their locations and several capitols. I can't take credit for teaching these to him. He learned them by playing the stack the states app on his iPad. He has also started to learn many countries and the continents. She also said that he was ready for kindergarden now. I'm still thankful that he has one more year of preK because I want him more advanced than his normal hearing classmates. Coming into next year, Thomas has 26, yes that's a 2 and a 6 together, IEP goals. They include academic, speech, language and theory of mind goals. The development of these goals was a collaboration between his SLP, TOD, our new communications consultant provided by Cook Children's and myself. It was an awesome process with everyone working together. Definitely another area of life where we saw the hand of God at work. It was so cool!

Coming Up This summer will give us lots of time for fun activities...a week at the beach in Florida with my mother and my sister's family, a long weekend in Arkansas to see my parents, grandmother and my brother's family. Two acting camps, Super Heroes and Cars 2, at Texas Creative Arts Academy for Thomas. A week of church camp and a make-up and costume camp for Sidney. A visit by the my sister and her family to Texas in August. And, loads more swimming. Finally, we will be preparing for discharge from Cook Children's AVT, Ms. Becky, because Thomas is testing at or above his hearing peers. I keep trying to tell Ms. Becky that I don't want to discuss discharge until September. However, she keeps preparing me to let go at every AVT session that we have. Speaking of which, we have a therapy session with her in an hour. So, I'm gonna scoot off the blog...I just promise that it won't be this long again between posts.

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