School Meeting + Hippotherapy

We had our meeting with the school last Monday morning. The principal was there, along with all the therapists, teachers (only 1 special ed teacher, not both), facilitator from the school district, someone taking notes (I forget her job), and Andy and I. I met the vision teacher for the first time. She’s is totally awesome, understands kids with cortical visual impairment, isn’t making assumptions about what Maria can and can’t do, has ideas of things to try; but also is frustrated at how the school district works–I hope we don’t lose her. I also met the occupational therapist assistant (I forget his title) for the 1st time. Hmmm, how do I put this….I think Maria is probably a bit much for him. I’m going to ask someone why they assigned an assistant to her, considering the breadth and depth of her issues. Everyone else was great, helpful, open; nobody was defensive. The therapists all agreed to give me weekly reports, whether handwritten or emailed doesn’t matter, as long as they do what works. The special ed teacher is supposed to create the checklist of things I want to know about (how many steps/time in the walker; time in the stander; if she didn’t eat, why; how much she drank; etc). Not sure why it hasn’t already been created since we talked about it during the parent-teacher conference, but maybe she wanted to wait until after we had this meeting. I brought coffee cake and coffee, as suggested by Vicki at Raising Special Kids — good move, I advise this for others. Shows them we came in peace.

After the meeting we met with the vision teacher and the speech therapist and a few others were in there. We came up with some more ideas for the Tech Talk. For one, try a pink background since Maria seems to like pink. Try to use a better printer, my new laser printer prints photos very faded for some damn reason. I’m going to try using my photo (ink jet) printer. I also broke down and bought a laminator and trimmer on ebay because it’s such a pain in the ass go down to Kinko’s when I need something laminated; and it’s especially annoying when I do go down there and laminate 4 sheets and cut them all too short so they get stuck in the machine, like I did last weekend (AAARRRGGGH!). Vision teacher also had some other good ideas, but I wasn’t exactly tracking what she meant, so we’ll see how whatever she suggested works.

Tuesday afternoon was Maria’s first Hippotherapy of the year. It went great except that it was 95 degrees (yes, in November; no, I’m not kidding) and her helmet was too big and kept sliding around and pushing her glasses off; and her therapist was new (to Maria); and she used a different, much smaller belt. Maria was very floppy; I don’t know what she was doing, but she kept flopping onto her back from sitting. I think she was playing because she was smiling. They were out there most of the hour, which was shocking considering it was her first time of the season and it was so hot; so she got a lot of horse time in. The therapist tried another helmet which fit better, but had velcro in it, so it pulled Maria’s hair when she took it off. I think we’re going to have to buy her a helmet. (we went to 3 stores and haven’t found one yet…). We got home and 45 min later, Barb (the other physical therapist) came for her regular appt. Maria did well considering what she’d just done an hour prior. But boy was she exhausted Wed and Thurs! I don’t think they’re totally thrilled that I’m taking her out of school early, but there’s no other option.

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