In chapter 12, the family is now living in Austin. Robert describes the kids in Austin as “different” and accepting of Schuyler and her monster.
Robert and Julie began preparing for the start of school, which means an upcoming IEP. Two things Robert pointed out were that the teachers and support staff cared greatly for Schuyler. Second, that he and Julie felt that they needed to take the lead and guide the staff on Schuyler’s particular needs. The two main focuses for the upcoming school year were communication and toileting. The SLP servicing Schuyler had concerns recommending more sign language, particularly the Sign Exact English that Schuyler uses. The SLP is unfamiliar with sign language but the district offered to provide her training in the method that Schuyler was successful in. I had many questions while Robert was discussing the IEP: “Has Schuyler been introduced to pictures?” “Have they presented any form of an AAC device?” While signing is a great way for an individual to have his or her needs met, not everyone understands sign, especially if a student uses sign approximations. I have had success with many students who are nonverbal that use sign along with pictures or even a low or high tech device to communicate.
At the end of the chapter, Robert stated that despite all the challenges, the good days and the bad days, that “hope” might be enough for Schuyler to speak. Robert emailed Dr. Williams Dobyns regarding Schuyler’s condition and in hopes for any direction in her care. Dr. Dobyns responded, stating that he would need to see Schuyler in his office… in Chicago. This would be nearly impossible for the family due to the high cost. Robert blogged about his exchanges with Dr. Dobyns. The next day Robert checked his email and found nearly 900 hundred dollars had been donated on Schuyler’s behalf. He then realized how important Schuyler is, not only to himself and Julie but to many people around the world. They called the next morning and planned to travel to Chicago in January.
–Kim Campbell, SLP at Stonestreet,