Saturday, April 24, 2010

Wow- a good IEP meeting.

We had the IEP meeting yesterday, and I do believe we broke the current time record- 5 hours. Ouch. We also probably broke the number of people in the meeting record with 15 people. Crazy. Anyway, it went pretty well. Not tense and nasty like usual, which I think was partially because someone had forgotten to let the "higher-up" school district-whatever-lady that the time had been changed from 1pm to 10am because of my school schedule. This was a fantastic stroke of luck, in my opinion, because (while I'm sure she doesn't do it on purpose) she gets so stuck on technicalities and wording and everything else that she derails and slows down the meeting's progress entirely.

Jaymes will be getting summer school (ESY). Nobody felt the need to really argue against it other than Jaymes' teacher, but I think that after the reasoning was explained (and the school OT spoke up as to how much it helped Jaymes last summer) she sort of got it I think. And if not, it's not the end of the world because the rest of the IEP team agreed that Jaymes needed ESY because of the incredible number of emerging skills he's popping out with right now. So good news. Thank god.

One thing I was extremely impressed with was the Audiologist/HI teachers. They are incredibly good at what they do, and unlike many of the school evaluation stuff, this was done relatively quickly, and with Jaymes in mind- not the school's budget. They did decide to add on Hearing Impaired as a secondary area of eligibility (I think that's the correct term, might not be though.) which means he gets HI services. Good news. The biggest thing they decided on doing was to set him up with an FM system that hooks to his hearing aids. I had planned to argue for that, and here it was already suggested and written into the draft IEP! For those of you who don't know what that means, it's sort of like a little attachment that hooks to the hearing aids. The teacher has a mic of some kind and can talk directly into the hearing aids- so Jaymes may find it a lot easier to focus on what the teacher is asking of him, and probably will be able to be redirected a lot more easily. I think this is fantastic, and if he does well with that at school we might look into getting the same set up for at home in certain situations.

According to the reg. ed teacher, Jaymes is doing very well in her class, and enjoys his time in circle, centers, and music. He is participating some now, rather than just sitting there, and he is bringing home things he learns. He comes home every day and tells me about the calendar and weather. "March all done, April. It's cloudy. It's sunny. I like McGee (Mrs. McGee)." This is such a HUGE improvement, I am so proud of Jaymes.

Jaymes EC teacher and I were not exactly in agreement on the subject of Jaymes writing. She told me he can only trace or do hand-over-hand, but if you look around my back yard, you'll find evidence to the contrary- on every surface. On the side of the house, written in pink chalk "jaymes." On the trampoline, letters a-z, minus a couple that he just couldn't make. On the picnic table, a line of M's and N's. On the driveway, "mommy" and "daddy" which I helped him spell. Not to say everything is perfect- not by a longshot. His S's are all over the place. His Y's are upside down. Some of his letters are quite messy. BUT, they are, for the most part, easily recognizable as the letters they're intended to be. If he doesn't do that in school, there's something going wrong. I think he probably is, but it's not noticed. Who knows. In general I'm very happy with both of Jaymes' teachers, so it's not a huge deal. We're not going to agree on everything all the time. My only real complaint as far as teachers go, is the fact that outside an IEP meeting, anytime I ask how Jaymes is doing, I get a whole bunch of positive, happy, encouraging info on how well he's doing. Then we get to these meetings and it's a complete 180, mostly negative. That has never made sense to me, but oh well.

So anyway, all in all the meeting went very well. It helped that I had both Jaymes case manager, Julie and Doreen from the ECAC with me. I love those two ladies, they are wonderful.

It's still undecided as to what will happen next year for Jaymes. I did speak to the principal, but I think she misunderstood why I wanted him retained. I think she thought I meant I wanted him to repeat Kindergarten so he could start as a regular ed student next year, which is NOT what I was trying to explain. I meant that I wanted him to repeat so he could gain more kindergarten skills, and maybe eventually be in a resource setting rather than mostly EC. She asked me to email her what my thoughts were, so I'll be doing that when my brain has a chance to slow down and think for a few minutes.


kristi said...

Good for you. My son does ESY every summer.

leah said...

Wow, what a great IEP meeting!

That is amazing with the FM system. We're going to ask for one, and we know it will be a battle (sigh).. our school district told us we couldn't have a TOD and also told us that a classroom soundfield system was the same as a personal FM system- obviously, they are not the same! I have to call our audiologist (the school doesn't have one) to get a letter of recommendation for an FM system for Nolan.

Good luck on getting the kindergarten situation sorted out!