November 12, 2012
Big goings on at our house today.
Today is Mia's first day of school!!!
Though in case you hadn't noticed it's NOVEMBER. Not exactly the timing we expected but as we are learning getting the services your child needs and deserves is not as easy at it should be.
We are fortunate that we have good resources both medical and educational in our area. I am the CEO of a large medical group and understand how to navigate the healthcare system. My husband is a former teacher who did his Masters work in the area of school funding and improving access to special education services. One would think as a parental team we would rock the IEP universe and Mia's needs would be immediately identified and swiftly met.
Oh how naive we were.
Getting the services our daughter needed turned into a minor odyssey riddled with so much bureaucratic dysfunction that it almost made me miss my interactions with USCIS.
It has taken us SEVEN months to finally get our school system to implement an IEP and admit Mia to the developmental preschool. As a mom, HER mom, it crushes me to think that was ANOTHER seven months of lost development. After all she has endured I had hoped once with her family we would be able to spare her anymore loss...
With a diagnosis of cerebral palsy qualifying for the services should have been straight forward enough. It was not. And sadly her adoptive status played a role in the delay in getting these services. If she had been born in the US with this same condition there is no doubt in my mind she would have received state funded services from the time she was an infant. Instead as a Chinese adoptee we got to waste seven precious months of her life arguing about whether her delays in speech were due to her not being a native English speaker or the fact that a porencyphalic cyst has consumed the entire speech center in her brain.
It was ironic (and exasperating) because of course we have been going through intensive OT and PT with Mia and we have worked exhaustively on language development and now here we were finally getting the evaluation we were supposed to have the first month she came home and we were being told she might not qualify.
Finally (I'll spare you all of the gory details) following a series of meetings and ahem some friendly reminders about the school district's legal responsibilities, (you know...to all kids... including adopted Chinese kids) Mia was admitted to school.
God bless her she of course has no idea about what it took to get here. She's just a kid excited for her first day of school.
Pictures of her first big day tomorrow!
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