Monday, June 25, 2007


Peyton had her evaluation at The Arbor, the special needs school where we hope to have her one day. She spent time with the lead teacher in the infant room as well as the "consulting behavior analyst" / psychologist. They would love to take her now, but due to space limitations, they do not currently have a place for her. However, they are in the process of building a new school, so hopefully in the next 8-12 months they will have a spot. So, we're on the waiting list. You can check out the school at
I had a phone call from the child care licensing agency with which I filed a complaint against the girls' former daycare facility. The agent wanted to ask me a few questions about the situation. She did visit the daycare on the 20th and spoke with the directors as well as the teachers. It would appear that a couple un-truths were told at the time. I quickly clarified them. It sounds like a teacher may have told her that when Peyton would roll, her hearing aid would fall out, the battery compartment open, and she'd put the battery (??) in her mouth. LIE!! First of all, Ron and I have trouble opening the battery compartment because of the size. They lock tight. The battery compartment would never just pop open. Second, a child her size or even older would not have the manual dexterity to be able to open the battery compartment themselves. So if a hearing aid fell out or was pulled out, a child could not open them.
Anyway, at the end of the conversation, it appears the former daycare will, in fact, be cited with failure to use good judgment where Peyton's placement is concerned. That is, by firmly deciding that Peyton was to move up to the 1 year old room against our wishes and her doctor's, they were using poor judgment. The agent had a copy of the pediatrician's letter we provided to the daycare which outlined all of the reasons for not moving her up as well as a statement that the doctor was confident that Peyton would not have progressed enough by July to be able to be safely placed in the 1 year old room. It sounded like even the agent believed all the reasons we had for not putting her in that room. Also, the agent said that with all the therapists going in and out of there on a weekly basis, how it never occurred to the daycare directors/teachers to ask THEM what they thought about moving Peyton up was beyond her. They had people present constantly who could have explained to them how dangerous it would be. They could have asked them at any point in time, and didn't. It is noted that we have removed our children from that facility before Peyton could be placed in that room. However, had we not moved them out and Peyton was moved up next month, they could have been further cited for failure to use good judgment AND something to the effect of inappropriately transitioning a child. Would be nice to catch them on other things, but I'm happier just to have my children out of there.

Friday, June 22, 2007

MRI Update

Just a quick update. Peyton's MRI that was supposed to be a few weeks ago had been rescheduled because they felt she wasn't quite over her illness from when she'd been hospitalized in early May. It was rescheduled to this morning. However, early this week, Peyton started coughing and sounding congested. I took her to her pediatrician. She felt like it probably wouldn't be a good idea to sedate her for the MRI so she called over to the hospital to check with them. The agreed. So, the MRI is off again and is reschedule to August 1st, or sooner if there is a cancellation. It was important it be done a month ago, so I'm not happy about it being in August, but what can you do. It wouldn't be safe to sedate her, so I understand them not doing it. In fact, I'm a little relieved as we've had a lot going on lately and cancelling today gives me a break today and also cancels the follow up appointment next week, which is also turning out to be a very busy week.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Touring The Arbor

We had our tour of The Arbor this morning - the special needs school Peyton's pediatrician recommended for her. There was us, another couple, and a woman there for the tour. The director and the consulting behavior analyst provided the meeting and tour. In the initial meeting, we each “introduced” our kids (it was parents only). They told us a bit about the school and then took us on the tour. There are multiple small buildings which make up the tour. They have a very small (emphasis on “very”) therapy building. In the new school they are building, the therapy facilities will be about 2,000 sf. We went to the infant/toddler area. There were 3 kids there. The youngest was 16 months – a girl named Payton. They had these special chairs 2 of the kids were in. They were low to the ground, on wheels, and had a large table/tray attached, so they were like mini high-chairs. The lead teacher in that room (there were 3 teachers) gave a very detailed description of what they do there. The programs are geared towards the individual. The kids are not geared towards the program. Every child has goal sheets and they track data all day long. The first thing they teach is “Look at Me” which focuses on getting the child to make eye contact. They have goals for number of times they can do it and increase the length of time they do it. They said that if they can’t look at you, they won’t learn. They teach sign language. They had a 2 year old boy in there and she was asking him to do various signs and he did every one. She said he’s at about 65 signs that he uses regularly.
We were taken to all the classrooms to see what they did in each. The director and analyst were both very participatory in the classes on the tour. Even though they are the administration, they knew every child’s name and offered praise when the children were doing appropriate things. It was really nice to see how involved they are in every child’s education. There wasn’t always a 1 on 1 teacher student ratio, but if it wasn’t 1 on 1 it was 1 teacher for 2 students. They have a lot of teachers and aids. They also have a lot of high school kids volunteering. Mostly from private schools where they require credits for service projects or something in order to complete certain education requirements. They said that a lot of these kids often go on to special ed work after college. The teachers in each class would describe how their curriculum works but the class didn’t stop for us. They all just went about their days. The kids were happy to see all of us and were all smiles and saying or waving “bye”. In one of the classes, they had a couple kids using “talkers” (I think that's what they called them). They each had a different kind, but essentially they are little computers with touch screens showing icons. I think you can change the screens to have different sets of icons for different themes. It’s so that non-verbal kids can use words and work towards stringing together sentences by keying in these icons so they can “speak”. They key it in and the computer says the word for the icon.
They have on-site therapists. That is billed through insurance, so it’s separate from the cost of the school. School hours are 9 - 2:30. They have before school care from 7:30 and after school care until 5:30, but they are at their limit right now. If for some reason she could get in now, we would have no before/after care. Peyton will go for her evaluation on Monday at 10 am. It’s mostly with the analyst guy we met today. They’ll have her in a class and do things with her and observe and figure out what program she’d be in. It’s my impression that the classrooms are more or less age-appropriate, but the “program” is how intensive their curriculum is while they are in that class. The tuition is from about $12K a year to over $28K a year. They do have financial aid, but not full scholarships. I suppose we’ll get into that once they figure out where she’d wind up.
I'm just happy to know that a school like this exists and hopefully we will be able to get her in in the not too distant future. I'll keep you updated on how the evaluation goes.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

New Childcare: An Update

While still feeling the everyday stress, Ron and I are happy to report that we feel SO much happier the past couple of days. I feel like I almost have a spring in my step. I know I'm smiling more. The changes that this week brought about were obviously meant to be.
Moira has had 2 full days in her new daycare. She has had no accidents. Kind of makes us wonder how at the old daycare she was having 2-4 accidents a day. Moira loves her swimming lessons. She goes for 45 minutes every day. Plus on Tuesdays and Thursdays, her class gets to swim for 45 minutes in addition to the lessons. She is a little chatterbox all the way home each day. She has made the transition very well. I was so concerned. From the minute we walked in the door yesterday, she was at home. The director said you'd never know that she had just started. Again, makes you wonder about the old place.
Peyton is settling in well with the home daycare we have her in. We're very happy so far. Peyton is taking more by bottle and is taking more rice cereal than the daycare ever was able to give her. She, too, seems happy in her new surroundings. Tomorrow she'll have more new surroundings as the lady who watches her had already planned to have tomorrow and Friday off. She does, however, have a back up provider, so Peyton is off to that lady's house. The back up just happens to live directly behind our house and over one! That's pretty convenient! She'll be the only one going there tomorrow, so she'll get plenty of attention. I'm not sure how many children this lady watches regularly.
We are just so happy to finally have the daycare crisis behind us and we can move on. We will tour the special needs school next week and see if they have a waiting list for their next upcoming school year. We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Daycare: Crisis & Resolution

In the past few days, our ongoing battle with the girls' daycare came to a climax and then a sudden end. Peyton's vision teacher had been to see her at the daycare last Wednesday. In getting the report from her, I inquired as to whether or not Peyton had been wearing her hearing aids when she arrived. She had not. She put them in herself and left them in when she left. However, when she turned back, she saw a teacher remove them. This whole issue makes us so unhappy. On Wednesday night, I requested that the daycare start logging the time she spends with her hearing aids on and I explained, yet again, the importance of keeping her hearing aids on her. The vision teacher had also explained this when she was there. I was going to say, our repeated requests seem to have been falling on deaf ears... At any rate, they did log the time on Thursday. It wasn't great, but at least they were logging the time. On Friday, they logged 8:30 - 9:00 am and 4:10 pm. I picked her up at 5:30 and they were out. I was furious that she had them in so little that day. I went home and wrote them an email that I requested go in her file.
On Monday, yesterday, when Ron dropped the girls off at daycare, he wound up in a discussion with the owners about the email. It was my intention to firmly impress upon them the importance of her wearing her hearing aids for so many reasons. I ended my email by basically stating that by denying her the access to her hearing aids, they were depriving her of the right to experience the world around her in addition to blatantly ignoring the medical necessity for the hearing aids.
The daycare just refuses to back down on their stand that the hearing aids are a choking hazard (they aren't). They pretty much implied to Ron that they no longer want to deal with Peyton. He said he did not want to drag it out any longer, so what kind of notice of termination did they need. They said none. I know they require 1 or 2 weeks, so that pretty much says right there they don't want us there. He said fine, both of them would be removed as soon as we secured a spot for each of them.
I left work early yesterday to meet Ron and Moira at the daycare we found that was near the special needs school we ultimately want Peyton to go to. We were there about an hour or so. Moira loved playing with all the toys. The center looks like a barn and they do, in fact, have some animals - a pony and a donkey as well as some birds. There may be more that we didn't see. They also have a pool and offer swim lessons. We were impressed enough to ask how soon she could start. Moira started today. She is enrolled in the swim lessons, so will swim every day. The classes, in general, get 2 free swim days a week during the summer, so today she had her free swim plus her lesson. I emailed the daycare earlier today and Moira is doing just fine. Seems to really enjoy it there. She was not shy at all this morning. She went right to the toys and started playing. She didn't make strange at all. I was probably more clingy to her than she was to me!
We left that daycare and I took Moira home while Ron went to pick up Peyton. He picked her up and told the daycare that today was Moira's last day and asked them to go clear out her cubby. They were surprised. I have no idea how they could possibly be, but they were. They asked what about Peyton. He didn't withdraw her last night because we hadn't seen her babysitter yet.
We all went to visit a lady who babysits in her home. She's near to our house, which is convenient. She seems to have a pretty good set up. She was very up-front about state requirements and her license and inspections. You can tell that she is doing everything she can to ensure she follows all the regulations. We were comfortable enough with her to ask how soon Peyton could start. Peyton started this morning as well. No word yet on how she is doing. I intend to call shortly.
After dropping her off, Ron went back to the old daycare to collect Peyton's belongings and give her notice. I think they were fairly surprised at how quickly we terminated them. They wondered if we had been able to find places for the girls. Ron said yes, they were both there now.
So, hopefully all our daycare crises are behind us now. I'm feeling better about things although I'm anxious to get to the end of the day to make sure they are ok!! It's a new day!
Oh, and in case anyone wondered....I did file a complaint with the State last week. I intend to follow up with them as well as send a letter to the daycare and various agencies regarding our decision to terminate so it goes on record why we did what we did. Aside from that, it's all behind us now!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

ENT & An Eye Infection

Peyton saw her ENT yesterday regarding the obstruction part of the sleep apnea problem. He checked out her tonsils and they were normal. He checked her ears and found lots of wax, which he cleaned out. Then he found she had an ear infection in her left ear. We need to see him again in 6-8 weeks for that. It came as a surprise to us that she had an ear infection, so I'm very glad we saw him. He doesn't want to compromise whatever hearing she does have be letting an infection linger, so that's why we need to follow up. If she has more than a few infections in the next 3 months, then he might wind up putting tubes in her ears. We'll cross that bridge if we get to it. After all of this, he put numbing drops in her nose so that he could put a scope up her nose and into her throat. Her adenoids are normal and she appears to have a clear airway. There's a little excess saliva but probably because she may have some swallowing issues. Nothing to worry about from his point of view, and certainly nothing to do surgically. He went over the sleep study and told us, unfortunately, the bulk of the problem is with the central apnea which is related to the brain. We need to follow up with the doctor who did the study, but he said that there's probably little they can do to "fix" it. Maybe certain medications might help, but probably nothing they can do surgically.
Peyton's eye has been runny for the past few days, but by the time yesterday afternoon rolled around, the skin around the outside of her eye was very red and very irritated. While I was waiting in the ENT's office, I called Ron asking him to call her ophthalmologist. He left a message. When he got home, someone from her office called back and as he was explaining the problem, without actually looking at her or having seen her since the morning, I brought Peyton out to help aid in the description. As he was talking, I whispered "can we email a picture???" It was after 6pm and that particular doctor doesn't have clinic hours on Fridays. Sure enough, the doctor was still in the office as Ron was talking to the secretary, so he got the doctor's email address. Within minutes, I'd emailed a close up picture of Peyton's eye. Mere minutes later, Ron's phone rang and it was the doctor calling back. She said it was likely just very irritated from all the drainage coming from her eye. The drainage might be a viral thing or perhaps related to the ear infection somehow. She called in a prescription right away and we were good to go. Talk about great service!! I guess it pays to have such a great relationship with the doctors. Saved an office visit, having to take more time off work, a $30 co-pay, mileage/gas/parking for the car, etc. Now we can cruise on into the weekend will all medications in hand and hopefully without anything arising over the weekend. Doesn't it always seem to happen that way??