Saturday, October 20, 2007

Private & public schools

A decision we we have looming will be about whether to keep T is his current school situation. We are not displeased by any means - he receives 3 hours of Verbal Behavior every morning and then goes to the public school special ed Kindergarten in the afternoon. We thought that this would be a good mix of highly specialized, intense therapy which is highly effective for these kiddos and a more natural, real-life setting of a public school classroom - good for socialization and generalization of skills.

We love this elementary school and the classroom. This is the classroom that we toured back in April and literally CRIED tears of joy over when we saw everything this room had to offer. I wished that the schools in our previous town could have seen this classroom. We also love the mix of kids at this school: 30% caucasian, 30% black/African-American, 30% hispanic, and the rest other international. AWESOME. This is the atmosphere we want for him.

We also know that this verbal behavior program is working for him. We are also in the unbelievable situation of having this therapy COVERED BY INSURANCE. We pay $20 copay each day, but that yearly total, after meeting the out-of-network provider limit with our health insurance, is nowhere near the $60,000/year it would cost. Yes, $60,000/year. Twice that of the most expensive yearly private colleges' tuition in this country, mind you.

So we are thinking of moving him to full time VB. It would be awesome for him. The center through which he receives treatment is moving to a big, new building in a few weeks, and part of his day would include opportunities to interact with other kids at the center. So he'd get the socialization bit. And he missed so much speech last year, and really got the short end of the stick with the whole school situation in our previous town that we're thinking that this would help make up for that.

But I walk through the hallways of the elementary school and my heart breaks thinking about taking him away from that.

But this isn't about me. And I can't exactly ask what T wants. So we need to do what's best for him. Ultimately, what is that?

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