Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Rookie Road Rules

Practicum time has arrived, and I'm now embroiled in the everyday semantics of academic and career counseling, along with the occasional social emotional encounter to round it out. To be honest, it has been wonderful so far, though I find it difficult to live in a constant state of worrying about whether I'm doing enough, learning enough, gaining enough experience, doing things well, etc. I have some confidence, but as I've said before--I'm used to have interns, not being one. The paradox is frightening!

It helps to have terrific people to work with, and I'm surrounded by other supportive, helpful counselors who make me laugh and give excellent guidance. Each has his/her very distinct style, but they complement one another. I'm almost halfway through this first placement, I'm working with a group counseling project, working with our "tweenies"--students who should be seniors but are actually juniors credit wise--and mostly seniors prepping for graduation, college and tech school. I've been able to participate in numerous meetings and sessions that give me a very different view of my school. And I like what I see. I worry though, this is all a mirage. And just when I get comfortable the mirage will disappear and I'll be back where I started.

But I digress.

The family is engrossed, at the moment, in a Max and Ruby video. Our kids are nuts for Max and Ruby--two little bunnies that get into a bit of trouble. You can imagine how Jarod, who stims on people doing naughty things, likes this video!

Speaking of the little boy, he had his IEP this past week, and is lasted for 2.5 hours! It was a reevaluation IEP, which is done every three years. Therefore, there were a lot of reports to go through before we could discuss current progress and IEP goals. His team is excellent and the information was very helpful. There is discussion about Jarod's placement next year--autism program, or CDB, which means cognitively disabled borderline. If her were to stay in the autism program at Traeger, he would remain largely in the regular classroom. However, there is concern about his ability to progress when 3rd grade is likely to be tough and the district may not be able to provide him with as much para support as he has had in the past. On the other hand, if he were to go to CDB, he would spend more time with similarly abled peers, but this may cause a regression in his behavior which has improved via inclusion. In CDB, he would be on this side of town and have more para support. If he stays at Traeger, he would be with people he knows in a school he likes. It is difficult to know which way to go. However, since one of my practicum placements is at the school CDB would be in for Jarod, I plan to do my homework, check out the school and teachers, and make a decision toward the end of the year. I'm not worried so much about the program as I am about which placement will best meet his needs.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we were invited to Ohio to CCI regarding a possible dog for Jarod. Our appointment will be on April 20 at 1 p.m. We plan to drive down on the 19th, and drive home on the 21st. The drive takes 10 hours nonstop, so the 19th and 21st will be long days. I've also thought of driving back part of the way on the 20th, but we wouldn't get to a hotel until 10 p.m., and then I doubt it's worth it! So we'll plan it this way for now and see how it goes.
In the meantime, I'm setting up an appointment to discuss medication modifications for Jarod since his current regimen isn't helping as much as we'd like. We're also putting together a social story and hopefully a video of the facility before we go so he knows what to expect.

The girls and Chris are fine. Chris is applying for part time weekend jobs to pick up just a few extra hours a month. I'm working with homebound students and Carroll Electric has hired me to do some writing for them. A publishing company called Eye on Education also hired me to review a textbook and I just completed that, which was an interesting experience. I kept the manuscript and will definitely be checking out the text once it is published!

Natalie's therapy starts on March 5--only 3 weeks more to wait! Our neighbor will be serving as our nanny since we must have someone in the house for therapy to occur--the therapist is not responsible for her. So the neighbor, Jessica, will be in charge of Nat, and will be helping to keep the house clean since she won't have to actually watch Nat very much. It's a great help and gives the neighbor some much needed income as well. It will be difficult, though, to say goodbye to Cathy who has watched our children for 7 years. Lord knows I'll be working to keep in touch!

I'll stop rambling, dear friends, and leave it there. Our happy thoughts and good wishes go with you wherever you are! Be well.