Monday, October 02, 2006
Boating with Grandpa at Lake Powell in September
Here in Utah, a partially state funded program called Early Intervention provides therapy and services for disabled children from diagnosis or birth to the age of three. At three years of age children begin special needs preschool provided by different organizations based on the child's disabilities. Although it's hard to believe, my little girl will turn three in January. So my wife and I recently met with representatives from the schools my daughter qualifies for. It was a very interesting meeting.
There were two schools that offer special needs preschool for my daughter's specific conditions. The first one was the Utah School for the Deaf and the Blind or USDB. They offer two hour classes that take place four times a week. They focus mostly on speech therapy, sign and other communication related skills. It seemed to me like eight hours of school each week is a lot for a three year old to handle. But I guess the earlier these skills are acquired the better. The scope of these classes also seemed a bit limited considering how many thing my daughter needs to work on.
The second option is a special needs preschool at an elementary near our home. It's provided by Jordan School District. It's only a couple of hours twice a week. And best of all the classes focus on a more rounded approach that I think will suit my little girl a lot better. They will work on physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech and signing skills where necessary. I'm a little torn because I would like to focus more on my daughter's ability to communicate, but not at the expense of her motor skills and walking. This school does seem like the way to go though. They pick the kids up, and bring them home afterward and it's only about 15 minutes from our house whereas the USDB facility is closer to 45.
Before making a final decision, though, my wife is taking our daughter to a classroom visit at each school. This afternoon they are at the elementary school meeting the teachers and seeing what class is like. I'm hoping it will be a good experience.
I know my daughter could use help with so many things and there's only so much my wife and I can teach. Being around other children and having skilled teachers will be a big help for her. I sure am grateful for the amazing amount of support we get from the programs here locally. I know my daughter has progressed farther faster due to their assistance. It still feels like I'm too old to have a child going to school. Oh well I guess I'll get over it.