Well, what we didn't realize, going into the eligibility meeting for Arlington County special ed preschool yesterday, was that we don't actually find out whether she'll be recommended for the full-day (well, 5-hour) program until the IEP meeting. Yesterday's meeting was just to determine that she qualifies for services through Arlington County schools. Well, duh. I mean, the kid has Down syndrome. I think that alone should qualify her. They did choose a label for her. The two "labels" on the table were CD (cognitive delays, formerly known as MR) and DD (developmental delays). We were hoping for the DD, but were worried it wouldn't allow for her to be eligible for the full program. Well, they did choose DD (which means that she has significant delays in more than one area of her development), but at the end of the meeting everyone (including the special education person from Arlington County schools who headed the meeting) pretty much said they'd recommend the full program! It just won't be official until the IEP meeting on April 22nd. Incidentally, DD has to be removed by the time she's 9. Whether this means that she gets moved to another label, or if her services are removed, remains to be seen. She'll be re-evaluated every 3 years until then. I'd love her to not need services, but I imagine she'll need at least speech therapy through her life.
Samantha was sooooooo good, just sitting on the floor and playing while the meeting went on for an hour. It was a conference room full of people--The teacher, the occupational therapist, speech therapist, Arlington County Schools person, PIE services coordinator, social worker and psychologist. The only person not there was the physical therapist. Phil, the teacher, sat near Samantha and played with her during the meeting--she's quite taken with him, which is great!
On another note, Steve started his job with Arlington County Special Olympics the other night. He said there were 26 athletes that needed coaching for a track relay event. They ranged from mild to severe cognitive disabilities, but mostly moderate to severe. Apparently only some of them will qualify for the State trials in Richmond in June, and Steve has been chosen as one of the people to accompany them there. After that, they may have another job for him, but at this point it's just temporary. He really enjoyed it, and worked closely with some of the more severely disabled athletes. I love that he's doing this!