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Miracles (Chapter 9)

The very next morning, which happened to be a Wednesday, the principal of the day program called me.

This was the beginning of a week's worth of miracles.

He had openings.  Summer session started in less than a week.  They wanted her.


We had to go through the school district.

There was a process.

She needed an IEP.  Funding needed to be approved.  The school costs $80,000 a year.

All of this would take time.

We didn't have time.
Miracles-Crazy things that happened in order to help a special needs family receive the help they needed.

Miracle #1

I called the school district immediately sharing our circumstances with the principal.

I begged.

I pleaded.

The principal told me to come to the school to fill out enrollment forms. Once completed she could set up a Child Support Meeting, which was the first step in the process.

I was at the school within thirty minutes.

The Child Support Meeting was scheduled for the very next afternoon, which happened to be a Thursday.  In attendance was the principal of the day program, the principal of the elementary school where the process was initiated, the director of special education, and the school psychologist.

That's when it all happened.

They were under no obligation to do anything for our family.  The process that needed to occur usually takes 30 days.

I didn't have 30 days.

I had a week tops.

Either this worked, or Sunshine had to go to a residential facility.

I was desperate and willing to do whatever it took.

They decided they would try their best to complete the process in a week's time.

Miracle #2

The next step in the process was a full psychological evaluation.  This usually takes five hours and is split up between two different sessions.  We didn't have that time.

The psychologist agreed to come to our home the very next Monday to do everything.  I met with him after the Child Support Meeting to complete the background information interview so that would be out of the way.

Over the weekend he sent me two questionnaires for my husband and I to fill out online.

On Monday morning he arrived just as he said and completed all of the testing.

On top of his willingness to complete his part of the process so quickly, he truly was the best and most objective psychologist we have ever worked with.

Miracle #3

Previous to Sunshine returning home from the children's psych ward, we had been told that there was a meeting we needed to attend to request funding for any services, whether residential, a day program, therapy etc., This meeting was called a FAPT meeting.

To our knowledge, this would not take place for a month at the earliest.  There were eighteen families ahead of us.

The FAPT meeting needed to take place in order for Sunshine to attend the day program.

To my surprise, it was scheduled early, which happened to be the Tuesday after Sunshine's psychological evaluation.

The meeting itself was not pleasant. My wolverine claws most definitely came out, but in the end we did what needed to be done.  Funding was being approved.

Miracle #4

The principal of the day program asked if we would be willing to do a trial run with Sunshine for a day to see if the day program was a good fit.  He wanted to be sure that she didn't need to go straight to residential.

Wednesday was their first day of Summer session.  He asked that she attend, with me there with her the entire day.

So we went.

I can't begin to explain all that went on inside my head as I spent the day there with Sunshine.

This program is for kids like her.  Classmates were either prone to aggression and outbursts or they were nonverbal and severely impaired.

Six teachers are in the classroom with seven children.  That ratio is necessary to keep everyone safe.

This program is not Montessori or even Montessori-inspired.  It's pretty much the opposite.

But at the end of the day, the pros of sending her there outweighed the cons.

The staff that will work with her are amazing.  They go above and beyond to show love for the children they're working with.

And even more amazing, Sunshine had a great day there.

Miracle #5

Two more meetings needed to occur in order for Sunshine to officially start the day program.  The first meeting was to discuss the results of the psychological testing.  A second meeting needed to occur to develop an IEP.

Wednesday evening after spending time at the day program we received word that both of those meetings were scheduled back to back the very next day, Thursday.  If all went well Sunshine would officially start the day program the following Monday.

Reflecting back on that day, I still can't believe everyone involved sacrificed over four hours of their time that afternoon to make this happen for our family.

The meeting to discuss the results of the psychological testing was the best meeting I've ever had with a school district. And again, we've had a ton.

The dreaded IEP meeting was AMAZING.  Never have I felt so supported as a parent of a special needs child who is struggling.

By 5 PM Thursday afternoon, all of the paperwork was faxed to the day program and Sunshine was officially enrolled.

Miracle #6

Many are not aware that my husband and I actually met in the location we are living now.  He had finished his master's degree and accepted a job in the area.  His first position, before we were married, was through the local community services board, working in the school district as a behavioral specialist.

He spent his time in many classrooms, but a significant amount of time was spent in one first grade classroom.  The teacher in this classroom just happened to be the principal of the elementary school we were working with.

She remembered him.  She loved him.  She wanted to help our family.

Miracle #7

The head of the special needs department that we worked with trying to enroll Sunshine into this day program also knew my husband as she had worked with him directly as a behavioral specialist.  Once again she had nothing but fabulous things to say about him.

What made this situation so unique, was that she's set to retire at the end of the month.  She did not have to take on our case, but she did.  In the meeting for funding she was our biggest advocate.  This woman was the one in charge of setting everything in motion.

Miracle #8

We are a one vehicle family.  Where we lived in NY everything was within walking distance.  Here that is not the case.

My husband works full time outside of the home.  I remain at home with the kiddos.  This must be the case until we purchase the home we're living in.

There is no way we could have pulled off all of these meetings, phone calls ,appointments, and so forth on our own.

Our church family stepped in.

They arranged child care.  Meals were brought in.  Transportation was provided for my husband so I could have the vehicle. When he was at work and I was at home with the kiddos, people came in to help so everyone could stay safe as Sunshine was still not okay.

They did this for two weeks along with so much more.  This was after they had helped us while Sunshine was in two different ERs and in the children's psych ward.

To witness so many miracles in such a short amount of time, some being truly unbelievable has been such a comfort to our family.  This experience has been absolutely devastating for all of us.  These miracles made it bearable.  I truly believe these miracles are the reason we are still sane when all is said and done.

These miracles were what allowed us to get Sunshine the help she needs and keep her in the home with her family.

If you enjoyed this post and want to follow our story from the beginning, read the posts below.
Call the Police! What You Don't Want to Have Happen When Your Child is in the ER for Mental Health Reasons What Should Happen When Your Child is in the ER for Mental Health Reasons Check-in-at an inpatient children's psychiatric hospital My Daughter is inpatient at a Children's Psych Ward Our First Family Session in a Psych Ward Nine Days This Was Not Okay What Family Life Looks Like After a Mental Health Crisis is Over
MIracles-The true story of a family with special needs seeking help.

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