Yesterday was our appointment with our RDI consultant. It was an intake appointment, designed to get to know her, give her the kids' background history, and ask some questions. We were there for 2 hours, not including the hour drive there and the hour drive home. I was absolutely exhausted when I got back to where the kids were staying! It was a good appointment and I'm very excited to get started with the assessment process. Austin will be first, next Friday. Reece will start the Wednesday after that. We will be done with the assessment process (called RDA) in the middle of June.
I really like our consultant, and I hope the kids will like her as well. I am concerned that she is going to recommend medication for Austin's anxiety. She is a pyschiatrist by training, so I think they do rely heavily on meds. I am really frightened about the idea of meds for Austin. But then again, if we could avoid the sort of response to things like he had this morning, maybe it would be a great thing? It's confusing. I will be praying about it, but honestly, I wouldn't know if God was telling me something or not.
We talked at length about Reece's wandering/running away, and how that is a big thing for us. How frightening it is, and how it really impacts the way we can do things that are not in contained places. She asked if we had considered using a leash for Reece. Gracious... she's a 5 year old child! We used one for Austin when he was 18 months old and you wouldn't believe the comments we got on that. I can't imagine putting one on a 5 year old. I mentioned that we had a GPS system we used at Disney, and she recommended that we use it again. Yeah, I'm embarrassed to do that. I might need to overcome that. I'm not sure. We don't go around telling folks that Reece has autism, so it would be strange to have her hooked up at her age. But then again, she is wandering away alot even when I'm watching her all of the time. I look away for a moment and she's gone.
She also talked with me about Austin's test results from last year... mainly the IQ testing. She said when she watched his baseline video, she didn't feel like he presented as a child with an IQ in the low 80s. She told me his processing speed is so low that it has affected all areas of his testing ability. Not his intelligence, but his processing. So I've just got to keep this in mind. She said it lined up very well with how I report his learning at home: slow, much repetition necessary for success. Now how do I apply that? She mentioned the use of unit studies, but I just cringe inside when I hear those words or a description of that process. In my experience, unit studies are a watered-down education. Maybe I can utilize what I've learned in the way of classical education and loosely follow a history/science-led method and incorporate other areas into those topics. I don't know. I am a homeschooling snob I suppose. :(
Tomorrow is the homeschool convention... I will be leaving after lunch tomorrow. Am I ready? Not a chance. Usually I linger over my decisions, bordering on obsessing over them. I post like crazy on my blog about my goals, options, and choices. This year, I've been way too busy to do that. But I'll go anyway and have a great time! I'll be staying overnight and will be home Saturday evening. I am still looking forward to the convention, but I just don't feel as prepared as I would like to be.
I'll post when I get home! :)