Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bedtime Stories

I know I'm a horrible blogger. I only write when the spirit moves me and that darned spirit is one lazy son of a gun, so I don't blog that often...

But since Ralph's been gone, Marielle has been sleeping in my bed with me. Every night. Now, I had looked forward to stretching out in the queen size bed, being able to lie any way I wanted and not have another living soul next to me, but Marielle had other ideas. She's concerned about me. She doesn't want me to be lonely at night. (It's very lonely sleeping alone at night, did you know that? Just as Marielle. When she's in her bed, there are no less than 25 stuffed animals on the bed with her every night so she won't get lonely.)

Have you ever slept with a 7 year old in your bed? Here's the thing...they move....a lot. They don't know about the "your side of the bed" rule. They don't realize that people normally sleep with their head at one end and their feet at the other. Oh, and Marielle is a "whapper". She likes to flail her arms around when she sleeps. She lifts them up and the allows them to come crashing down and believe it or not, half the time, at least,one lands on my face. Not fun, being woken up by a hand landing on your face in the middle of the night.

But, you know what else? One of the best things about having Marielle sleep with me, is when I crawl into bed. I'll lie there and look at that sweet, innocent, sleeping face. She looks so little, so young, as she sleeps. All the baby memories flood back to me. I have to really control myself, not to hug her. What is it about a sleeping child? It just moves my heart.

And you know what else? Both my kids are solid sleepers. I mean solid. I can turn on the light, turn on the TV, the dogs can bark, the phone can ring and they don't wake up, they sleep right through. But, when I crawl into bed, at least 3 times a week, as I'm lying there, drifting off to sleep, a little hand reaches out and holds on to mine, and I fall asleep hand in hand with Marielle. It's like she has mommy radar. She really doesn't wake up, she never remembers it in the morning, but there it is, that little hand grabbing mine.

Now, how can I not love that?!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Fun with the microscope

So Rico got a microscope for his birthday and this evening we were having a lot of fun with it. We looked at blood, saliva, salt crystals, hair and the mouth parts of a honey bee. The last one grossed them out the most. I just know it's going to be a fun activity we'll do over and over again.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

SST meeting today....

Here's how it went....
It was agreed that Marielle does not qualify for an IEP at this point in time. However, it is very likely that at some future point in time, she will be eligible. In other words, her tests are not bad enough at this point to qualify her for an IEP. But, as you know, her problems will continue to impact her learning, and it is very likely that she'll need the IEP in the future, as work becomes more difficult.
We did arrange a 504 for Marielle, which includes:
extra time to complete work

reduced homework and classwork...teacher will highlight problems/tasks that Marielle needs to complete

10 minutes per day of reading intervention with an paraprofessional to work on reading fluency and phonetic elements

Marielle will be able to take a break in the office, if she becomes anxious or overwhelmed(An adult will direct this, when Marielle says she feels sick.)

Marielle will work weekly with the school psychologist (to help her learn self identify how she feels when she's overwhelmed or doesn't understan things)

Preferential seating at the front/center of the classroom

Teacher will give visual and verbal prompts to help her stay on task

Teacher will repeat directions to Marielle and then have Marielle repeat them back to the teacher, to make sure she understands them.

Marielle will be retested (all children are routinely retested) in January and we will meet again after those tests to review determination for eligibility for IEP.
Marielle's tests scores were all over the map...not showing anything as far as strengths or weaknesses.

I think it went well....we got accommodations and the chance to revisit in a couple of months. I feel ok with it.

In some ways, this feels a lot like when Marielle was first diagnosed with cancer...a bunch of professionals speaking Greek and you are trying to understand what it all means and how it applies to your child. Welcome to the educational system. Not fun at all.

I want to also mention that we did hire an advocate and thanks to her help, it was much easier to understand and navigate through the system.