Thursday, October 4, 2012

Team Orion Update: Texas Chapter

(Hat tip and "ILY" sign to DC/Maryland!)

We had an ECI (early childhood intervention, another name for infants-toddlers program) IFSP Evaluation Meeting at our apartment. A handful of new faces for Team Orion- speech/language, vision, AI (Auditory Instruction? Texas's version of D/HH) teacher, physical therapy, occupational therapy and O&M (orientation & mobility) and the usual interpreters.

It was productive and I felt a lot of information was shared and learned regarding Orion's current performance and some of his history.  He was having so much fun!  What was remarkable was that he was so happy exploring a small carpet square, staying focused on it and smiling, perhaps delightfully amused by it.  Orion did a good job demonstrating he can lift his head and hold it steady for several seconds, roll over, grasp objects, sit in his floor seat for a long time.  What took the cake was him doing his usual spontaneous crying and signing "MILK" for some of the service providers to see for themselves. Yes!

[Edit: I forgot to add that Orion also wore his processors and was vocalizing.  It was noticeable, like always, that when he wasn't wearing them, he was quiet; when we put it on, he switches on vocalizing.]

I'm happy that the appropriate service providers are coming into the picture, just like in Maryland.  What's new to us is that here in Austin, Team Orion has expanded to appropriately include a vision consultant who has a impressive knowledge of Deafblind children and an O&M teacher.  And that is not including the consulting by a DB specialist from Texas DeafBlind Outreach and one from the Texas DARS Blind Children's Program.  There are a lot of loose ends to tie up, in the forms of papers signed by doctors confirming diagnosis, whatever other signature-hungry form is out there and applying for certain programs outside of ECI to supplement what Orion needs.

Orion's D/HH teacher has been getting to know him very well.  I can see that Orion is comfortable with her and responded positively to her presence.  It helps that he's seen by her 4 times a week.  We have been coming over to TSD's PIP house for short visits to get used to the environment and experience the PIP schedule. This will help us figure out Orion's schedule and frequency.  The kids there are so sweet and clever.  One little 2 year old girl is very compassionate and touched Orion with her little hands. He accepted that and did not push her away.  He's more likely to push away big hands!

Yesterday, we went to PIP and the whole class went to the wading section of the pool on campus.  Orion splashed and splashed the water pretty hard the whole time he was sitting in the water, resting his back on my legs.  His splashes were pretty big for a little guy, I think.

Anyway, to wrap up the Team Orion Update, I look forward to a well-oiled, loaded hot rod of an IFSP for Orion.  We'll get there!

The last pieces of today's news is that Thomas, Falkor and our newsed van is finally here. They got here tonight!  It has been way too long.  What's left is our sainted kitty Katra Jaminn being cared for by our friends Bill, Carol and their two feline furbabies.

Coming soon: Hi-ho, hi-ho, off to DB family 'camping' weekend we go!  

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