I have no idea what the 8.3 is, other than it's a guess at how far she is into her 7th year.
Kris and I have suffered a bit of analysis paralysis lately. Fortunately, a friend of mine whose sister works for another Autism school (not in Florida), agreed to talk with me. That helped to shake the cobwebs off and get moving forward again.
After describing Kate's circumstances, she was shocked to hear that she was receiving 1 hour a week of group therapy by her school. Her kids received 25 hours, per week, 12 months a year, of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. As LC would say, "shocked and stunned." The people at school love Kate, we have no doubt about that...but to think that she can thrive on 1 hour per week of group therapy? WTF?
Our friend also did some research and told us we did well in picking Dr. Sutton and that everything she did was spot on. That was great to hear from an objective observer, especially since we both believe we got bamboozled by The Tridas Center early last year.
So we found 2 schools that cater specifically to Kate, one is the Florida Autism Center of Excellence (FACE) and the other is Sydney's School. Last week Kris and I took a tour of Sydney's School and we both liked it. Small, 30 or so kids with onsite ABA therapy. It's not quite 25 hours per week, but we at least have the option to get more once we see how it's going.
That of course brings us to insurance...the school is checking to make sure that our insurance does cover Kate's school/therapy. It's required by law...if you're in a group plan with 50 or more people. Ugh. We're on a private plan. But we're hopeful still. We may also have access to the McKay Scholarships for Students with Disabilities Program. That would be awesome, of course.
As for Kate...we're starting to worry about her future and what that will entail. I believe that we have accepted that, at a minimum, she will be in some sort of group home, or with us. As she gets older, we worry more and more about that. What's cute now...she still looks like a toddler...won't necessarily be cute when she's physically mature. We'll deal with that as it comes though and try to prepare her for as much independence as possible.
She continues to light up the room though (and she knows this...the little shit). I'm sure the cute factor with Kate affects how other people treat her, in that she might not receive the discipline she deserves for some given infraction. Words, talking, is still a ways away. We see glimpses of progress every now and again, but nothing sticks yet. She is able to go up and down the stairs, walking. Just not unaided yet. What more can I say? She's just awesome.