Sunday, April 8, 2012

class seven: special ed

After a week with no computer charger (which included a husband out of town for the weekend), I am surprised I didn't jump at the chance to verbally vomit on you all.  Is it still considered verbal if you are reading my typed words?  In any case I haven't felt inspired about anything in particular.  There has been a lot on my mind and the daily life sure keeps me from sitting still for too long.  

At first I was regretting the Easter candy we gave to the kids to eat at lunch time because they BOTH refused to nap.  That didn't prevent me from writing two long emails while I pretended they were still sleeping in their rooms.  But since they were over tired after dinner, they both willingly went to bed minutes before 7pm.  No comment on whether that choice is going to come back to bite me.  Like at 6am tomorrow.  But now I have a little bit more of the night.  My Love is reading a book on the couch adjacent to me and I am nestled in my green chair with feet propped on the ottoman and a fully charged computer battery.  Get comfy, people.  This is going to be a whole lot of something.   

Where was I?  Oh yes, class seven for our foster parent training.  I get confused sometimes because they want us to be called resource parents now but have never called the children in our care resource child.  That just sounds silly anyway.  They want to be rid of the word foster because its negative connotation.  Not sure changing the label is going to make the situation any more pleasant for the child but I digress.

So class seven was about special needs children.  I never figured out if foster kids are more prone to be in special education or if the training was just to prepare us if we needed to seek out services for the child placed with us but that isn't the point.  We learned a lot about all the special education services out there for every kind of need you could imagine.  There is quite a broad scope and I am thankful we got a glimpse into how the state works to help even foster children get the services they need for a better education.  The presenter covered issues like autism, developmental delays, emotional disability, intellectual disability, learning disability, physical disability, and speech/language impairment among others.  They should probably give this training to all parents with young children.  The sooner they can identify a need that requires services the quicker they can work on meeting that need.  We did some fun activities to help us understand what a person with a special need might be thinking too.  I can honestly say I walked away with a good understanding of how to be the voice for a foster child in our care who might show signs of having a special need.

On another note, during the class the trainer announced that we and one other couple were now approved to be resource parents to six children from 0-18 years old.  Wait...what?  That is right people.  The state says we can have eight children as foster parents.  And since we already have two (they didn't count our furry firstborn apparently) we can take as many as six more.  God must have a sense of humor if he thinks we are setting up dorms of bunkbeds in the basement.  I guess anything is possible.  We were thrilled to learn that our home study was a success and all our other paperwork and references came through.  The trainer even went out of her way to speak to me before the class started to say how much she enjoyed her visit at our home.  God is going to do big things people and it might blow our socks off.

We did a little something special for my friend and babysitter on her last night watching the kids this past Tuesday.  She is off RVing (apparently not a word?) with her family up to New York City for Spring Break.  Lucky.  I remember the first time we went out to lunch together and I asked her if she would join us on this journey.  That meal was covered in prayer by a few good friends.  Eight weeks seemed like a big commitment to ask of a married mother of two (in middle school and high school).  There were some snags along the way.  Allergies, colds, and vomit (which I canceled so she wouldn't get our germs).  And then there was the time her son sliced his hand with an exact-o knife and she was at the ER pretty much up until she came to tuck my kiddos into bed.  The enemy has tried hard to prevent her from being here but we have been praying through this whole process for her.  She was faithful to show up with her daughter every time and were so blessed by that.  She jokes that she will just have to come over and put them to bed every once in awhile so she can get her little kid fix.  By all means come on down.  It is amazing how quickly eight weeks just flew by.  This is not the end of our interactions with my friend.  I am excited to see what God does in our relationship. 

We have one more week of training left.  Thanks for your continued prayers as we come to the end of the chapter of foster parent classes.

That is it for now.


1 comment:

Chelsea said...

As I have found in this last year, parents have to fight for their child in the special education program. You have a voice, know the child better than the teacher, and should understand the states requirements so that you can demand that they be met.

I also love the Americans with Disabilities Act. Education fits under this banner and most special needs have to be accommodated with this law! It's wonderful when your child gets the help he/she is privileged to and you get to watch them thrive in school.

Love you and can't wait to see your face!