The past couple months have had a few bumps in the road. PCFA (our ABA services company) has struggled since December to fill Leila's therapy hours. Two weeks ago between unfilled hours and therapists calling in sick Leila received only 7 hours. At that point I got very mad and started making phone calls. I've said before that Leila's therapists are very young and it's starting to show in their work ethic. The tiniest bit sick and they call saying they can't make it. VERY frustrating. So I called our case manager at the Regional Center and asked what my options were as far as switching providers. She was able to get me in touch with another company that agreed to take on Leila with her existing assessments. After I made Natalie (our supervising ABA therapist), and Sonja (our lead therapist), aware of this they told me the reason Leila's hours hadn't been filled was because I was requesting experienced therapists. So I told them to just fill the hours!!! So viola! Her hours were filled. I really like her new Monday/Wednesday morning therapist very much. Leila's afternoon therapist I'm not so fond of. Leila has had her for a week and still continues to struggle and tantrum with her. I emailed Natalie this morning to let her know my concerns. She sent me a rather cold, generalized email back. I am counting down the days till I don't have to deal with PCFA. None of these therapists have children. None of them know what it's like to listen to your child scream and become so upset that they choke themselves (yes, I stopped the session this time). Not one of them understands how painful it is to hear your child struggle. I will NOT be using them again for Leila's social skills hours.
Leila had her school district assessment this past Friday at Croce Elementary here in Livermore. They have an entire special education program, kind of like a school within a school. Leila was assessed by 4 different people, a therapist, adaptive P.E. specialist, speech therapist, and nurse. She was assessed in 6 different areas, academic/pre-academic achievement, social/adaptive behavior, psycho-motor development, communication development, intellectual development, and medical health history. Part of the assessment was the exact same test Leila did in October for the Regional Center's official diagnosis. I actually saw a huge improvement in some of the areas they tested her on so that was awesome to see. The therapist told me she would call me back by Friday with their recommendations but she called today! They are recommending Leila have a full program. Which means on Mondays she would go 11:45-2:15 and Tuesday thru Friday she will go 8:30-2:15. Her day will go like this:
8:30-11:00 Speech program. A class with 6 other children 1 teacher and 2 aides.
11:00-11:45 - Lunch/recess
11:45-2:15 - ABA based program. A class of up to 10 kids with 1 teacher and 6 aides.
So... I knew this was a possibility but I just didn't think they'd do the all day program. Now that they are, I'm sad and a little overwhelmed. There will be no transition period, she turns 3 on a Saturday and starts school that Monday. I've gotten so used to being with her at home it is going to be extremely hard to let go so suddenly. I don't even know how to prepare for this. I mean, Lucy only goes to school 3 days a week for 3 hours!! I know to be thankful for these opportunities for Leila and receiving these awesome services and I know the progress we will see but I'm just so damn protective of Leila and I won't even be allowed to co-op in her classroom. I've kept Leila in my bubble for a long time now and to not be able to be with her watching her every move will be difficult. She shows the most affection to me, and I think I understand her efforts at communication best. However, she can barely communicate with me, how will she make it in a classroom all day?? Anyway, I have a lot of mixed feelings right now. On the 25th I have the opportunity to go observe the classes that Leila will be in so I think this will help ease my worries, or at least I hope.
Otherwise, Leila is doing great. Her little personality is finally starting to emerge and I'm finding that she has a very eager to please disposition. For example, she is very hard on herself when she doesn't get something right the first time. She loves, loves to read and sing songs! We recently put up a play structure in the backyard with swings and she could spend hours out there just swinging. She loves it! AND we have more progress in the potty department. Now, instead of practing sitting in on the little potty she prefers to practice sitting on the regular toilet with ring! That's a step in the right direction!!!!