We went, they observed, she cried, they evaluated, she waved bye-bye, and now we wait.
That's basically what took place in the two hour meeting this morning. There were 3 different therapists all gathering information on Ash and writing their own notes about her. Each one of them tested her in their own areas of expertise and then they did a lot of watching and question asking. It wasn't as painful as Ashley Kate would've liked for us to believe, but it wasn't a whole lot of fun either. Just being honest.
At one point they asked me to speak in English when giving them Ash's history and that made me laugh a little. There have been times that I felt like that, but I guess I've been doing this with Ash for so long now that I tend to speak in medical terms when repeating her history and forget that not everyone is going to understand what I'm talking about. So like I said, that part made me laugh and I started all over and tried to speak in "English".
In the end we found ourselves in a dilemma. They have no idea where they will place Ash and what services they will use with her. In some ways they would like for her to be a home bound student(in which we kind of agree), but in other ways she needs to attend "school"(which we kind of agree with too). Legally though they have to label her as one or the other and their not sure what they want to do with her. She can't be both. At least they don't think she can. They've never had a student like Ash(no surprise to us. we've heard that about her in almost every doctor's office or evaluation that we have ever been in).
In a perfect world if we could all do what we would like we would attend "school" outside of the house for a couple of hours a week working one on one with speech and then physical therapists in their classrooms. Then we would bring in a teacher to supplement her education for 2-4 hours a week in our home. She would still receive private therapy with our physical therapist here at home and still be taught by me as well. This is what we would all like to happen. Realistically it probably won't. We will have to choose home bound or classroom which will leave her lacking in one of the areas.
Our main goal was to try and get Ashley into the signing education classes to supplement her signing lessons. Much to our surprise we were told she does not qualify for this class because she is not deaf. We were a little stunned and really disappointed to hear this. Ashley's only communication is through sign. Even though she can hear, she can not speak. We don't know if she ever will. Only time will tell. Unfortunately our school systems will not teach her sign language skills even though she needs them since she is a hearing child. I am disappointed, but I won't allow it to keep us from pursuing more help. If I have to take classes in ASL myself then that is what I will do. We will figure something out.
At the end of the two hours I think everyone was a little confused. No one really knows where she will fit in, but we are all going to work together to develop something for her. She is very intelligent and I do believe that they were able to see that this morning. That is an answer to prayer. When we arrived in the classroom Ashley looked around the room, pointed to a bulletin board across the room that had apples on it and signed apple. This literally happened in the first two minutes of the evaluation. From there she went on to sign bug and point across the room, then cup, drink, ball, train, etc. as she located the items in the room. I was very proud of her. Very, very proud that she did that.
Gaps. That's pretty much what was decided on this morning. Ashley's development has huge gaps in it. She knows a lot of things, but is missing other things. When you look at the big picture of her life I think that makes a lot of sense. Once we manage to help her fill in those gaps then she will be able to progress further in her development.
This part of our life hurts. I don't pretend that it doesn't because it just does. Plain and simple. The key is to not let the hurt keep us from equipping Ash with all that she needs to overcome. When the sun goes down, when the house becomes quiet, and the children are all safe in their beds we lay next to each other and share the hurts, share our tears, and pray a lot for our sweet Ashely Kate. She is an amazing kid. She brings such joy to our home.
Whatever it takes. That's what we have decided. No matter what. We will figure out what she needs and how to get it for her. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for praying us through today. It was emotional. It was hard. It was necessary. I love you guys for loving this little girl of ours. Thank you. Trish