Monday, March 23, 2009


After several months of working with the school, Amata is finally receiving early intervention services from the school. The issue pretty much boiled down to what exactly constitutes a need. The professionals at the Development & Behavior clinic who diagnosed her with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome were all under the impression that with that diagnosis alone she would qualify for service, but they were also pretty surprised that she hadn’t qualified even without the diagnosis.

The ECSE teacher with the school, however, contacted the state who told her that Amata still had to “show a need”, but they didn’t define exactly what a need was. She assumed that meant Amata needed qualify under the same standards that a child without FAS would have to show, and when she evaluated Amata at the beginning of this process, Amata did not qualify. So, she basically said we’d have to wait until we received the written report from the clinic & hope that there would be a specific need documented in that.

That teacher was actually on medical leave when we received the report, so I emailed the state to get a clarification as to what this “need” would be. I actually didn’t think their response was very helpful, but when the teacher got back from medical leave, she said it was more information than she had ever gotten out of the state; they basically stated that the need didn’t have to be as great as a child without an FAS diagnosis. So, a meeting was set up with us, the teacher, her supervisor, and Amata’s preschool teacher.

Her preschool teacher said that she is beginning to see a growing gap between Amata & the other kids in her class. She also said that if there isn’t another adult helping with Amata’s class, she would not feel comfortable taking the class outside. Towards the end, the ESCE teacher still sounded like she didn’t think Amata would quality, but thankfully her supervisor spoke up. He went though the items he had jotted down during the meeting, and said that with everything we had discussed, he didn’t see how they could say that Amata did not show a need.

So she is now going to school on the school bus 2 mornings a week, in addition to the one morning a week she goes to regular preschool. She started about a week ago, but it didn’t quite go off without a hitch. The first morning, we waited for the bus. When it got here, I walked her to the door, and stood outside the door until she got onto the bus. About 20 minutes later I got a call from the ESCE teacher. She said the bus driver called her to tell her that I didn’t physically walk Amata onto the bus & buckle her into her booster seat…I wasn’t aware that I needed to. But what killed me was the fact that the bus driver had to call the teacher so the teacher could call me…she couldn’t have just gotten my attention while I was standing in the doorway 20 feet away. But oh well, I’m still just happy that she is getting services!

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