Today, I took Caleigh to an evaluation for pre-school or PPCD as it's called. Eric was working, but was able to take a few hours off to be there. This meeting was to prove that Caleigh needs special education services at a pre-school level.
So we showed up and met with a diagnostician, speech therapist, our vision therapist & operations & mobility specialist. They had a series of questions and really just observed and listened to my stories. We sat at a table and I held Caleigh. They gave her some stacking rings which she tried to pick up with her fingers, but got bored pretty quick. Then they gave her a red ball with white spots and Caleigh pushed it away. Then they handed her a small baby doll and she immediately grabbed it and gave it kisses. The diagnostician said "of course she didn't like the other toys, those were boy toys." Caleigh's love for baby dolls started last week while we were reading a new book, or at least that's when I noticed it. She also loves it when Elmo "asks a baby" during our morning Sesame Street viewing.
So they asked the standard speech questions and then we pulled out the iPad. Caleigh first asked for a drink and then asked me to give her kisses. Then we did some of the kindergarten flash cards. They were all super impressed. I was proud.
The diagnostician finished up with a few more questions like: does she follow directions? does she know what No means? How is her hearing? When she was done she said that the actual scoring or number that they assign Caleigh will probably be low because of her physical limitations but then she said "it's obvious that Caleigh is cognitively age appropriate but is unable to vocalize." She said that same statement 3 times during our meeting. She talked about doing an IQ test in a few years and was excited that they would be able to do that. Right now Caleigh is too young.
Caleigh followed my directions during the meeting, she stopped fussing when I asked her to, she answered questions on the iPad, she picked out the dog on a puzzle they showed her, she played with the baby doll, and she gave lots of kisses. She was an intelligent princess throughout the whole thing.
So the plan is that they will finish up their report and recommendations for Caleigh. She will be recommended for pre-school based on her speech delay. Our ARD meeting is scheduled for July 23rd. I've got a lot of reading and research to do so that we can be ready for it.
We left the meeting feeling proud that someone...a professional, agreed with our thoughts about Caleigh's cognitive abilities.
Before we went in for the meeting I had promised Caleigh a new toy if she did good and didn't fuss. Bribery and reasoning is something new that I've only been using a couple of weeks and amazingly it works. Whether it's music or an object it works. So we headed to Target after the meeting and Caleigh chose her first baby doll. She's been loving it all afternoon.
Today was a good day and a good start to our school journey.