Wednesday, March 26, 2008

She's Eligible

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!


Michelle said...

Sounds like Sammi and Phil will be a great match. I need to get tips from you before our meeting! It's coming up soon. Great news about Steve. That's so cool!

Pam said...

Hi there! I haven't had much time, but I just finally got around to looking at your blog.

I have to let you know that Sammi is so adorable!! I love seeing her smile, she is so beautiful.

On T21 you asked about Rhett, and how old he is, he will be 30 months on Monday. His birthday is Oct. 7, 2005.

When is Sammi's Bithday?

Also, do you mind if I link to your blog? I would love to visit more, and learn more about Sammi.

((Hugs)) to you guys!!

Pam and Rhett

Robert and Karen said...

Hi, Sammi is a cutie! I am hoping you can help me out with some info about services for kids with DS in Arlington County. We are an Australian couple with 4 children moving to northern Virginia in January 2009 for 2-3 years. Our youngest, Matthew (5 months) has DS. We want to choose to live in an area with a school that will provide services for Matthew as he grows up. I have been searching the APS website and cannot identify which schools offer special needs preschool.

My oldest child grade 2 will probably need a gifted extension program, I also have a 3 yr old and a 4 yr old. So finding schools/preschools for everyone is tricky. Any recommendations?

Becca said...

Robert and Karen--I really want to reply to you on this, but your address isn't available here. Please e-mail me at