Tuesday, December 1, 2009

No Surprises

Today (IEP Day) has been, well, a VERY long day. Well, I suppose things started last night. All I can say is I can't figure out how kids just seem to know what is the worst possible time to, well, damage themselves a bit.

Let's start with Simon last night. When we took them upstairs to begin the "nighttime routine", Daniel just started playing with him right away and knocked him head first into his bureau. Fortunately, other than a short stint of crying, there was no harm done. But then, when we were going into the final stretch of preparing for bed, he tripped over Kevin's leg, right into the bedpost. He didn't come out as cleanly that time. He immediately had a large bump growing out of his forehead, that required an immediate application of ice. Well, if anyone reading this has ever tried to put ice on a head injury in a 34 month old autistic child and was successful, PLEASE tell me how you did it!!!! We took short stints trying to get as much benefit from each icing period. Fortunately, by the time he woke up this morning, he still had a bump but it didn't dominate his face as we were afraid would happen last night.

Then, this morning, Kevin and Rachel were playing in the same ways that they have played regularly for I'm not even sure how long -- playing the "Swoop Swoop" game. Rachel was already crying when I brought her into the room after getting her dressed -- I stayed out of the room to get Daniel's clothes for the day and pick up the twins' room -- but something changed in her crying. When I came into the room and asked her why she was crying, the look on Kevin's face told me that something was SERIOUSLY wrong. He informed me that he felt her arm pop during the game and that she wasn't using her left arm quite right. We learned during the summer that Rachel has "nursemaid's elbow" when her shoulder popped out with minimal apparent cause. When I was trying to comfort her and I noticed that she was rubbing her left eye with her right hand, I realized we had a problem and I immediately brought her downstairs and put her in the car to take her to the ER (I know better than to take a chance of not popping her arm back properly). As we were approaching the ER, I noticed that she had stopped crying. I looked back and she was holding her sippy cup with both hands and was reaching (with her left hand) for (and successfully grabbing) a toy on the seat. So, if she had dislocated a joint in her left arm, it had popped back in on its own. When I saw her successfully grab that toy, we just came home and went about the day as planned.

And all of that prior to 8am!!!!!

The meeting though, started at 10. When we arrived, Rachel found her favorite book (Goodnight Moon) and was determined to keep it. So, when it was time for us all to come into the room for the meeting, the committee got to, let's say, see her "determination in action". She stayed in the room for about 10-15 minutes before she joined Simon in the classroom. We went through the whole actual IEP and determined eligibility, set goals and objectives and there was no question as to what her placement would be -- she is an ideal candidate for CAPP which is the autism program offered by Montgomery County, MD schools that is based on the ABA system. There was no surprise about this placement at all for me, Kevin, or probably anyone else. But at this point, I knew that the dream of keeping them together was pretty much completely dead (Simon wouldn't do well at CAPP -- if there was any hope of keeping them together, Rachel's placement would have had to be to MPAC).

After we were done with Rachel, we immediately jumped into Simon's meeting. I think I was really hoping for a break, especially to get my head on straight after realizing that the expected result for Rachel came true and keeping them together was a lost dream. But one of the committee members had to return to the central office so time was of the essence. We did the same procedure as we did for Rachel and, at the end, they suggested sending him to MPAC. Kevin was sitting next to me and I could hear the sigh of relief coming from him. This was, again, the result we were expecting. But the same time I could hear Kevin's sigh, I felt the floor fall out from under me. I already knew the dream was dead, but having it directly facing me in the eye, well, I'm not sure exactly what it's done.

I'm not saying I'm disappointed -- because I'm not. These are the best results and what we were hoping for in most ways. But I still can't get over the fact that they are going to be attending separate programs. I'll adjust to it, I'm sure. But it's going to take some time.


  1. having them in seperate programs at such a young age would be difficult..i know that it is frequent in the public school system to seperate twins in to different classes, at the same school...will they be attending at the same time in the same building or will they be on completely different schedules? i know it's what is best for them (as i'm sure you do) and it will work out, but i understand your disappointment...prayers and blessings

  2. The twins will be going to 2 different schools about 2 miles apart and the two schools are probably about 5-7 miles from the house. They will both be bused (separately). MPAC is Mondays 9-12 Tues-Fri from 9-2 (Simon's program). CAPP is Mon-Fri from 9-3 (Rachel's program). Then Daniel's in pre-school Mon-Fri from 9:15 until either 12:30 or 1:15, depending on the day. Daniel is the only one I drive to school (except for Mondays [carpool day]). It will work out, but I was planning on keeping them in the same class through kindergarten and possibly as far as 2nd grade (from what I've been told the schools are good about it, but I have to tell them that's what they need to do). Now that dream is gone. As I mentioned in the post I'll recover from that -- it's just hard to lose the dream I've had since learning I was pregnant with twins when I was only 6 weeks pregnant.