Last week I had a meeting for Toby to discuss the transition from the Early Steps program to the school board once he turns three.
The process is this: About a month before his birthday (in late May) I should get a letter requesting I schedule his assessment with the school board. After their assessment they will call me back in without Toby to go over findings and suggested services. In St. Lucie County those services could be:
A. Highest Need / Medically Sensitive. These are for kids who's special needs require a nurse. Not Toby.
B. High Need - half day program at Windmill Point Elementary (This is where Kaden goes/Blue will be in Kindergarten next year.)
C. Modest Need - 1 hour appointments as needed at Bayshore Elemetary.
D. He scores too well and does not qualify at all.
In spite of the fact that Windmill Point is closest to our house and that's where my other two will be next year, I'm rooting for option C. I don't want Toby gone a whole half day. He's still my "baby." Also, I have a feeling that compared to the other kids in that program Toby might be higher functioning and I want him around kids that will push him. I'd like another year where we go to appointments and I busy up his schedule with other things - playdates, My Gym, Minsky Gym... (I haven't been to their pop in play time since Blue was three?!)
On Tuesday Toby's speech therapist did his expressive language testing. This time he scored a little lower, about 7 months below age appropriate, but according to her a score too high to continue qualifying for services! The good news is, he has to be retested no matter what, she doesn't have to hand over her findings, and in a new environment with new people I don't expect Toby to score as well for the school board folks... Or maybe to ensure that he doesn't I'll go in and poke him throughout the night the night before his test so he'll be tired, cranky, and uncooperative. :-)
In our conversation on Tuesday, his ST used the phrase, "Non functional language," and that really pin points his verbal usage. He talks plenty. He's got lots of words. Well, nouns. And not just the basics. Like with animals it's not just cow, dog, cat, bird. Today I brought out some animal flashcards and he distinguished between a ladybug, dragonfly, and bee. I remember for awhile when Blue was two every color was yellow, every animal was a horse, and every fruit was an apple. It was a funny stage. Toby has never gone through this stage. He gets thats there are specifics. But he's not so big on the verbs, pronouns, modifiers... And it's mostly just jibber jabber. Labeling, labeling, labeling. Not communicating wants or ideas. For example, today at one point when I strapped him in his carseat he pointed back at the house and said, "House! Yeah!" I'm glad he's excited about our house but... what am I supposed to do with that? "Yup, that's our house," and keep strapping.
So that's where he is with expressive speech and that's where we are with his future services. If he doesn't qualify or if he really bombs and they assign him to the half day? We'll address it when it needs to be addressed...
In other transitions...
He's pretty much dropped the nap. I only even attempt to put Toby down for a nap once or twice a week now. One day he was yawning all morning so I put him down and nothing - fussed and played until I came back for him an hour later. The main problem with this is that if you put him in the van after 4pm on a no-nap day, he will fall asleep in an instant and this really messes up our evenings. When all three boys were side by side in Papa's Saturn Vue, no problems with car naps, but now that he's in a van again, it's already happend like four times in less than two weeks!
I'm trusting him more with a fork.
No interest in his potty seat. I ask him if he wants to go on the potty and he very adamently says no. The one time I put him on the potty against his will he started clapping and saying "Yay, pee pee." Even though he hadn't peed. I thought this was interesting because he obviously understood exactly what he was supposed to do and was trying to fake me out to get me to let him off! For the other two boys we used a small potty chair. Maybe we should go that route. Or I should get books etc just to make the topic a more comfortable norm? We have a Bear in the Big Blue House episode about potty training, maybe it's time to dig up that DVD. At least I have figured out that Step 1 for Toby is not get him to go on the potty, but rather be willing to sit on it at all.
And here's some miscellaneous Toby cuteness. On Wednesday I wanted to mow the front lawn. (Yes, here in Florida we have to mow even in February.) Mowing used to be a nap time task, but... no more naps. So I set him up on the front porch with a whole mix of things. Mostly toy cooking gear, but also cotton balls and a pair of plastic tongs. (I'd seen somewhere that tongs and cotton balls could keep a preschooler busy for forever. Maybe it would have, had Blue not broken the tongs after five minutes.) Anway... Toby was cute, playing with his stuff: