Joey’s IEP meeting went well; we were offered everything that I wanted for him. He will be getting adaptive PE, speech therapy, an occupational therapy assessment before the end of the year (and there seems to be a presumption that he will qualify for occupational therapy as a result), and a special needs preschool program that I had already decided sounded like a good fit for him: a small class taught by an education specialist that runs four hours per day, five days per week. The program does reverse mainstreaming—that is, one of the typical preschool classes run by the city visits the special needs class for half an hour three times per week so that the kids can all play together.
There were a few ducks for me to get into a row before Joey could really officially be ready to start school; I had to fill out some paperwork, talk the pediatrician’s office into faxing a copy of his immunization record, and make a copy of his birth certificate. But it’s all done, and Joey is going to see his new classroom and meet his new teacher, Mrs. Tong, this afternoon. He’ll start school December 2, since everyone has the week of Thanksgiving off. I asked Joey’s speech therapy supervisor whether there’s some kind of transition plan for three-year-olds starting school, and she said yes: the plan is that you drop your kid off and then return four hours later. I can’t quite imagine.
Joey’s birthday also means that he has graduated from the Buddies program; on Tuesday, his last day, everyone sang to him, and the staff wrote some sweet birthday wishes for us to take home. He adapted beautifully to that environment after a month or so, which gives me hope that he will be able to do the same (hopefully more quickly) in preschool. He’s a sweet and mellow kid at heart.