Just months after Aiden's cochlear implants were activated, he discovered the sound of an airplane as we sat watching his brother's baseball game. I was lucky enough to hear the plane ahead of him and had camera in hand, ready to capture the moment, praying he heard it too. Sure enough, he was astonished, staring into the sky, HEARING it, as he watched it fly over. I marked another simply amazing moment on my never ending list as tears rolled down my face.
Fast forward to today and I just cannot believe we are at the point that Aiden's daddy and I will be touring, at the least, three different preschools to send Aiden to AND are beginning the process of transitioning him from an IFSP to an IEP , which will happen once Aiden turns three. Where has the time gone?
All my life I've been one to cram. I was the college student who wrote every paper at the very last minute; the one who studied zero all week until the night before the test and then pulled all nighters with my two liter of Mountain Dew by my side. This is not the time to cram, although I'm getting close to that mark. Now that we're only five months out from Aiden's third birthday, the time is NOW to understand all I can about the laws, the terminologies, our RIGHTS, the procedures, what we want written into his IEP, etc, to a "TEE" in order to be able to stand up and speak intelligibly for what we know is best for our little listener.
I saved this Preschool Placement Checklist for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Kids from Drew's mom quite awhile back, knowing I would use it one day. I plan to fill it out during each visit to help us in choosing the right preschool fit for Aiden and our family. We did consider touring some mainstream preschools in our area, and we still may. We feel pretty strong though that what Aiden needs at this time is a deaf oral preschool program. We feel a placement in this type of program will definitely benefit him and help reach our goal to have him mainstreamed by kindergarten. I'm excited about all the tours and love the fact that we have different deaf oral preschool options. Options are always a good thing.
Aside from choosing the correct preschool program, we know there is MUCH, MUCH more to this whole transition process. I would love any additional tips, advice, websites, suggestions, etc that you can share that helped make the transition to an IEP easier for you and your family. I'm getting too old to cram it all in last minute ... and Mountain Dew just isn't my thing anymore.