Katya's 7 weeks of summer camp at the school "in the big City" were so successful, that we KNEW we wanted her to return there for fall. We also knew she NEEDED to return there. She needs on-going help learning how to effectively learn to communicate using her Ipad and App. The school's goal is to teach her the equivalent of being a speed typist, rather than a hunt and peck, along with the appropriate skills to form meaningful sentences etc.
Our local school has truly taken Katya as far as they are capable of taking her at this point. She needs the best specialists that there are in this state. She needs a school where the staff across the board are ALL familiar with using the LAMP Words for Life App to communicate. She needs a school where she is just another pupil--not the school "freak". Yes, no matter how vigilant the local school was, (and they DID try!) Katya was called things like that from time to time. I personally heard some of them when dropping her to and from school, so I am sure that she heard it at times when I was not there either.
Katya needs to in a school where she has peers using devices to communicate also, so that she is able to model and imitate.
In short, even though the days are long and the schedule is very tight, Katya needs to be in this school.
We advocated for that. The specialists at the school in the Big City advocated for that, and eventually, the local district agreed! Yes, we are thrilled! I can not wait to see where Katya goes this school year in such a supportive and specialized environment. Instead of being in a room with 20 some other kids (which was just too overwhelming to her often) with one teacher, a para, and an aide, she will be in a room with 8 kids to 4 teachers! Yes, you read that right--teachers. Not aides and paras. Teachers.
She will get speech therapy 4 days a week, and music therapy. She may eventually be getting OT/PT/Sensory therapy--that is to be determined a little later into the year.
Katya was so happy when we told her she was going back! She is very eager for Monday and her first day! We hope we remember to catch a few pictures of her!