When the Monster had his IEP meeting a few months ago, one of his providers had recommended an end to his physical therapy.
Now, he’s hardly uncoordinated or a threat to himself when navigating around. The boy does like to run, and he’s got decent motion even on uneven ground. Our major protest was the fact that he’s still not doing some of the age-appropriate behaviors, like switching feet while ascending/descending stairs.
Obviously, as I referenced in my tweet feed (@dadenoughblog), that fell on deaf ears – while at the IEP meeting, the city’s representative for physical therapy asked if she could see him climbing the stairs and running in the halls. In her estimation, he’s within tolerances for making his way around a school building and moving in public, so she wasn’t going to override the physical therapist’s recommendation that he could be moved out of PT. We did push back – hard – but in the end, the city wouldn’t budge, on the grounds that he was less than 25% delayed.
Fine. So no physical therapy as part of his IEP.
My wife found out a few weeks ago that there was extra Low Impact Supplemental Support (LISS) funding for FY2012 in Maryland. Now, LISS can go for a lot of things – it’s separate from the Autism Waiver – but one has to apply for it and they have to pay directly for whatever it is. One of the qualifications for this is that it can’t be for ‘normal’ therapeutic services (ie, we can’t apply for LISS to pay for physical therapy). And therein was the birth of an idea.
So this week, we got confirmation that he did, indeed, get LISS funding from FY2012 for… gymnastics.
Forty-five minutes a week, every Friday, he gets to go to Rebounders and have a session with their trainers to play and work on skills that he’s not having worked on via his IEP. It’s not a heck of a lot… but let’s be honest, it’s more than he was getting under his IFSP (I think he was getting an hour of PT once a month), and it’s nice and recreational. For the moment, he’s one-on-one, though there may be other kids added in or he may be in a small-group when he moves times in the fall due to school which would be good for his social skills. (He’s one-on-one because the other child he was going with, on Wednesdays, apparently pitched a massive fit at having someone new included.)
While I would love if Maryland would actually *gasp* require that ABA be covered by insurance, or make other changes to how they handle things for special-needs children, this is one spot where I’m genuinely grateful for the system working properly and offering opportunities to these kids.