Friday, April 16, 2010

Parent Pep Talk

Today I had to give myself a Parent Pep-Talk. I was in the middle of a meeting for an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) for Micah and I felt tears coming.... should I back up and explain? I think so.

(I wasn't sure if I was going to blog about this because it's personal to Micah, but I think it could help other parents, so here goes...)

Micah is developmentally delayed. Okay, typing it - the tears are threatening. But, it's OKAY. (<--Parent Pep-Talk.) He is delayed in speech/language and fine motor skills. We've suspected these things for a while and we are so lucky that we signed up for the Parents as Teachers program back when he first came home because our Parent Educator helped us get where we needed to be. We knew that most 3 year-olds have a pretty large vocabulary, and Micah does not. He communicates really well, but not verbally. His receptive language ability is well within the average and there is no question about his intelligence level, but he has a difficult time getting what is in his head out through speech/language.

So, he was screened when he turned 3 and today was the meeting for his IEP. Back to the Parent Pep-Talk. It's just simply not easy to hear that your child is not developing typically. Especially when you KNOW how smart he is. And of course I wanted to fall into the, "What could I have done differently" trap, but I have done pretty well avoiding that so far. Today when the tears were threatening, I had to remind myself how smart and inquisitive our child is. How he has worked around his speech issues to find a way to communicate with us. And that it is time for him to get the help he needs. And that this isn't our fault.

The good news is that he will now be in an integrated preschool classroom four days per week. Seven of the children will have an IEP and seven will not. He will get 90 minutes of speech therapy per week and 30 minutes of OT for his fine motor development as well. I could not be happier about this. And, I feel REALLY good that we took the initiative to have him screened. We followed our Momstinct/Dadstinct and we were right. And that is a GOOD thing. (Still in pep-talk mode here.)

Micah is about to go through a big adjustment. Okay, I'm about to go through one too. Instead of lazy mornings at home, or Micah & Mom Fun Days on Wednesdays, Micah is going to be at preschool four mornings per week - getting the services he needs. It's good, but my mama-heart hurts just a little bit at the thought.

A recent Micah & Mom Fun Day, which we also like to call "Adventures."

"All Aboard!"
(He has no trouble saying this - and even got to say it on the train speaker last time we went to the zoo. Big moment for Mic.)

Another big moment - when the train engineer let him sit ON the engine. Happy boy.


  1. You guys are amazing parents and Micah is an amazing, intelligent boy. I'm so glad you got him screened and he'll be getting the services that will help him.

    Your an awesome mom!!!!!

  2. You did the best thing a parent could do...get him the services he needs...early!!! So many parents don't do that and the earlier the better!

  3. Love you for your honesty! my daughter is in Early On intervention and is seeing an OT (not sure how well that is working). Gross Motor skills primarily. It is SOOOOO about helping our children scale the mountains. Still smiling and thanking God everyday for this miracle from Ethiopia. Keep your head up, he will be MARVELOUS!!!

  4. Oh yeah, and YAY for preschool. Oh the free time you will have!!! LOL

  5. I'm proud of you for being an advocate and proactive for Micah. Micah will love preschool! Asher is being evaluated by Babies Can't Wait for being delayed with his gross motor skills. Like you, I just want him to get the help he needs. My mom reminded me that we don't know what kinds of "challenges" (although I'm not sure that is the right word) we will have with our kids-biological or adopted. I'm sure you are going to be amazed at the progress he makes!

  6. What your doing is going to make all the difference for Micah! As veterans of IEPs and having gone through the integrated preschool program ourselves I can tell you you'll be amazed at the progress he's going to make! Additionally you're going to meet other parents who will be remarkable sources of support and great resources.

  7. Stacie,
    He is going to LOVE that program! Miles is in it. We took him to get tested for speech and he was borderline but they decided to put him in the class as a regular ed student. HE LOVES IT! The best thing is that I have a 5 year old now that is in a Pre-K class with children of so many differences that the best thing, I think Miles has gained from it, is that he is building his character and learning compassion. It's amazing and he's learning to read! They don't dumb down things. They encourage learning! Hang on Momma!

  8. Hey girl! Let your tears fall, but know that you have already done the hardest thing...embracing it. Now you have people who will help you. As a special ed teacher, I can honestly say that the kids whose parents are denial are the ones that struggle the most. Just reschedule your adventure days and keep telling him how awesome he is : )


  9. You guys are amazing and I love that you are on the right track for your sweet Micah. My best friend Nikki has a son with expressive language disorder...he has been in speech therapy for the past several years at school and he is right on track now and he is BRILLIANT...he is 10 and just made all A's on his report card (which he is very proud of, which is the best part) and he is very active in Soccer and has made some close friends. She went through some hard times when it was first diagnosed but she was relieved that it wasn't something more serious, like autism...which she was starting to suspect. You all are going to be fine...MORE than fine! Hugs!

  10. smoochies. Way to go Mom & Dadstinct. This will be great for Micah and though a difficult transition at first, it will be so beautiful to see his progress. love to you all!