Andi isn't yet fully aware, but there will soon be a changing of the guard In CHARGE. Her life is about to change very drastically, as is mine. After being at home for 5 years, and working only part-time these past 4.5 years, I am prepping to go back to work full-time in one week. Andi will be going from school to after-school care with a bunch of strangers. The good thing is that this after-school care will give her an opportunity to immerse herself in a group of peers who aren't hard-of-hearing. I think it will encourage further growth and development. In fact, I'm banking on it. In Andi's current classroom, she honestly is the only kid who is totally verbal. She gets a lot of attention from the teachers/aides/office staff and she soaks up all the conversation. However, her interactions with peers is sorely lacking, and I'm confident immersion will help her learn quickly the social rules that all the other kids already know.
Another aspect of shock will be Mom not being there. I've been there almost every single day, day and night... and that is going to change completely. I will not be the point person to all-things-Andi. I will not be the main contact for issues, the person to call for pick-up, questions about medical history, levels of care, seriously, ...all things Andi. I will not be there to protect her from everything, or swoop in and make things better when they go bad. This is going to be tough on all of us, as most drastic change is... but I'm so eager for it, I can taste it. But the change will be an adjustment for all.
This afternoon, we are starting at after-school care. I have to pick up Andi for her first ENT appointment here in Georgia. Her tubes are out of place and we're hoping they will remove them. We are going to get an opinion on if a new set is needed. Her right ear (the aided one) is draining, and we haven't had any ear infections, so I'm guessing she does not need a new set at this time. Which is great, as we're still paying off the set from August 2013. *thumbs up!*
So, after her appointment this afternoon, I will take her to "go play with the kids." Thus, starting an introductory week of transition to a new routine. Andi really likes kids, almost too much. She touches kids a lot and hasn't really learned all the social rules, so, this should be a great learning adventure for her. However, because she isn't yet potty trained, she will be in a room with younger kids. They said they would work with her on that... I hope so, because I definitely need help with this obstacle.
So here we are in our last week of the first chapter. Man, it has been such a wild ride. We are uber grateful for the ability to have worked from home, even part-time, so we could get Andi through so many horrible storms. Eight surgeries and nearly five months in the hospital. More appointments with a variety of specialists than I can count. Feeding clinics, PT, OT, speech, ENT, audiology, cardiology, urology, ...wow, it's been a lot of hands helping us get her to her current superstar level.
Which reminds me, last week, Andi had a two-hour speech evaluation at a therapy service clinic down the street. We are doing all her evaluations so we can start weekly therapy (PT, OT, Speech) outside of school. She was given a standard test on vocabulary comprehension. They stop the test when the child gets a certain number of answers wrong. Well, Andi kept going, and going, and going. The therapist was rather surprised. Her words were, 'blown away', actually. Andi was scoring in the 6-7 year old range at 4.5. Pretty impressive. Sadly, I could've told her that prior to administering that test. What we need to work on is enunciation and breaking through to better speech sounds/clarity. In any case, it was really cool to have an official test confirm what we already knew to be true. Wednesday, she will have her third evaluation, a two-hour appointment with OT. I don't know how we'll work out the logistics of all these therapies, but that will no longer be my responsibility! Again, the changing of the guard in CHARGE is about to commence. It's going to get very interesting around here really quick. Hopefully, I won't miss this chapter too much. I'm looking forward to writing a new one, a well-overdue new chapter.