Sunday, March 22, 2009

Teagan PT Update

The PT evaluation is complete; I am just waiting to go over the “official” results with Kathy (the PT) and Crystal (EI) on Thursday. Unofficially, Kathy said that Teagan has a 2-3 month delay, which doesn’t seem so bad until you consider she is just now 6 months old. It means she functions as a 3-4 month old baby- not good! It sort of took me by surprise and I really can’t help but blame myself, mostly for my lack of unavailability to “play” with her like I did with the others.

On the bright side, at least I put my pride aside and was able to get her the help that she needs, and just since Friday’s meeting with Kathy, I have already seen some progress. Teagan has learned that she can roll from her side to her back by using her arm for momentum. It may seem like a small feat, but it’s a step closer to rolling over. Also, she has been grabbing her feet more, and she enjoys playing “Peek-a-Boo” and me singing the “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and “Pat-a-Cake” using her legs. I had her sitting for about 20 minutes yesterday morning. I had to have her propped in front and back in order for her to sit, but again, little progress is still progress. However, once she tired out, she refused to go into a sitting position for the rest of the day. I think she was sore and her muscles tired from their workout. Like my drill instructor said in Basic Training, “No pain, no gain!”

So, it seems that just as I am in the thick of teaching (I began full-time teaching this past Monday), our schedule at home has also become more demanding because of Teagan’s therapy appointments. She will have EI on Mondays and PT on Thursdays, and I have class on Tuesdays and we go to church on Wednesdays and Sundays. But, once April is over, I will be less stressed because school will be over and I will be almost graduated. I can’t believe there is only 1 more month- it seemed like this time in my life would never arrive and now it’s just around the corner!

My time as a professional student is ending, although I suspect I will never loose my desire to continue to learn as I grow and age. When I was at the WILDS last weekend, I attended a workshop on reading and books. I am such a nerd! = ) I loved it! I found some great authors and books and talked about censorship and found an awesome curriculum that I hope to purchase with any money I receive for graduation. The curriculum basically takes a book and has lesson ideas that correspond with the book and for a week, everything revolves around that one book and its central theme. I can incorporate it with my kids at home or at school. I am very excited to get it and see it as a lifelong investment.

Well, my bed is calling loudly as 5am approaches quickly, especially when I am tired! Have a great week!

*Psalm 105:4~ Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore!

Dear Lord, help me to pray, remember, and apply this verse to my life daily, especially in this next month of deadlines and appointments and all-around busyness.
In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Teagan Update

Wow~ it’s been a long time since I’ve posted. I had intentions to update more frequently but, simply put, other obligations take precedence over this blog. The point of this entry- Teagan.

As you may recall, I was trying to get Teagan into BabyNet. Teagan qualified to receive services through BabyNet. An intake nurse came to our house, evaluated and scored her according to her age and ability, and informed me the next day that she qualified. We were assigned an Early Interventionist (EI), and last Friday Crystal called (she will be Teagan’s EI). At this point Teagan’s development is not terribly behind those of same-age babies, but there is enough of a lag to warrant services.

Two days ago Crystal came over to meet us. She and I, along with Teagan, met and discussed some goals. The goals were then written into an Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP), which is part of the special education law that covers children ages birth to 3. With my experience in the school district, I deal with children ages 3-21, and as a teacher, write goals into what is called an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP. Can you see the similarities? It’s all the same law, just slightly different terminology based on the age of the child.

Crystal and I decided upon 3 goals to work on over the next 6 months: 1. to have a Physical Therapy (PT) evaluation; 2. for Teagan to roll over; 3. for Teagan to sit independently. These goals will more than likely be met within 6 months (considering she’ll be a year old in another 6 months!), and once they are, then we will create new goals for her to work on. The PT eval has already been approved and the PT from the school I am working in this semester has actually been assigned to Teagan. I am in the process of scheduling her visit so she can come and evaluate Teagan to determine her specific needs. Based on the results of her assessment, more thorough goals will be written for Teagan (basically things TJ and I can do at home to promote better trunk strength, head and neck control, and increase her low muscle tone). I am hoping to have her evaluated by the end of next week so her therapy can begin shortly thereafter. In the interim, Crystal will be coming over once per week to work with Teagan. Her visits will last between 30-45 minutes depending on how Teagan is doing (whether she’s hungry, tired, fussy, etc.)

As I go through this process, I am amazed at the hand of God in my life. I would be a fool to not give God the glory here and instead try to accredit these circumstances to “chance” (Jeremiah 5:21). Last semester, as I was pregnant and still taking college courses, He placed me in a course with a professor new to the university. She is young, slightly more than a year older than I. She and her husband have a daughter who was born 13 weeks prematurely, and she is very understanding when it comes to family matters, particularly in terms of health issues. Because of her daughter’s prematurity, she is all too familiar with the BabyNet program. This has been all new territory for me because, as I wrote above, the school districts work with children ages 3-21. We learn about the services offered to those younger than age 3, but do not get a working knowledge like we do in the school system.

My professor last semester is now my mentor teacher this semester. She has been an awesome resource for me in so many ways. Related to Teagan, from the minute I called and told her the pediatrician referred Teagan to BabyNet she has helped me every step of the way: from knowing which questions to ask to suggesting an EI to listening to my own fears as a both a mom and special educator (I am looking down the road- the “what ifs” sometimes concern me and being in special ed is not so good! :} ). The Lord placed me in her classroom last semester to build rapport for this semester, and I am so thankful! The classroom is challenging, but I have gained so much in terms of learning and friendship from being there with Martha. As you go through trials in your life, isn’t it comforting to know someone else who has already been there? I know for me it has, and I often think back to my miscarriage. I was so alone during that time, but I am now able to see how the Lord has used me for His good as a result. I am better able to minister to others, the same way Martha is ministering to me now.

So, that’s where we are with Teagan. This is a lengthy post and long overdue, but it’s the best way to disseminate information with everyone since our time is limited and talking on the phone is near impossible (because of the demands of parenting- too loud, too many distractions, too late at night, etc.). But, feel free to call/email, particularly if you have questions you’d like to ask or if I didn’t convey something very clearly. In my head this all makes sense but I’m looking at it from a special educator’s perspective. Because of my own deficits in finding quite the right word to convey what I am trying to say, I often use too many words in my writings (too “wordy”!) :)

Have a great day!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Not enough hours in a day

I need to update my blog about many things, but school is taking precedence at the moment. I will be back sometime, although I am headed to a ladie's retreat with my church at the Wilds this weekend for some much needed time alone with the Lord. The update might not be until next week.

Take care until then. . .