It’s kind of exciting around here. We are excited and nervous to start new things, I haven’t worked in 5 years and before Jeremy got riffed I was going to do find some work, something not too hard/stressful, something maybe part-time and work around Jeremy’s career, but NOW, I’ve got the opportunity to find something exciting and challenging and interesting. Hmmm, I wonder how it will go? All these years, it hasn’t been me who has been taking the family all over the world, it’s been Jeremy, I’ve always been the one who has followed him. We’ve actaully fallen into very traditional gender roles even though it’s nothing that either of us had invisioned when we got married. So Jeremy laughed at me yesterday and said it was my turn to support family and take us somewhere interesting. Ha ha! We’ll see, we’ll see.
I feel a kind of lightness and happiness, things were getting a bit stale at Jeremy’s work, but we were kind of reluctant to give it up since he had such a history with it and he made pretty good money and with Edda’s diagnosis, we wanted to settle somewhere for a few years at least. But now we have a little gift of time, Jeremy’s got a bit of severance package, the health insurance also continues for a little while and we have my parent’s empty house to move to. So now we have a chance to start fresh and clean!
Yesterday, less than 24 hours after Jeremy lost his job, I was at the IEP meeting in New York which was kind of strange. The IEP meeting is the yearly meeting for special needs kids to determine the services for next year – all the occupational, physical, and speech therapies as well as the school and the type of environment that you’ll have. Will Edda have a 1-on-1 aide? Will she have physical therapy everyday? Will she be integrated into a class with typical kids or will she be in a class with only special needs. That type of stuff.
The IEP meeting was in the afternoon and that morning, I went to an ABA school which I saw and I liked and I had heard some rumors of people not really “believing in the philiosphy”. ABA is Applied Behavior Analysis which is a fancy way of saying that there is a lot of 1-on-1 tutoring where the teacher places flash cards to teach.
So you can teach the alphabet, you can teach how to talk to a friend, you can teach how to perform any task. So let’s say Edda is going to learn how to read, you would put flash cards in front of her and have her choose the letter “A” correctly 10 times. That’s the trial part. So it doesn’t look very much like preschool, it looks like rote training. The parent advocate at the IEP told me that she cried after taking a tour of the school. It’s very little interacting with typically developing peers, very little “free play”. My dream is to have Edda communicate effectively enough to participate in mainstream class by kindergarden or first grade, but I feel like she has to make some progress with the communication. All the people at the IEP looked at me as if I had an extra nose for wanting to go to this ABA school. But it all doesn’t matter because we won’t be here.. Ha Ha!