Today was the day – school orientation for B’s new ECSE school.
So for those scratching their heads (all two of you) what it all means…
Part B of IDEA mandates that children and youth (ages 3-21) that qualify will receive “free appropriate public education”. That can involve any number of services, including Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE).
To break it down, B goes to an AM Pre-Kindergarten class through the school system. He goes to an elementary school, with all the “big” kids, eats lunch in the cafeteria, sees the school nurse and all that stuff. Except for the fact that he’s in a much smaller (10 student max) class, with a special needs teacher, an assistant, plus a SLP and OT as needed.
All his goals and progress are measured in our handy guide, the Individualized Education Plan (IEP). This is a document created through a team of folk: his special education teacher, his SLP (since he receives speech therapy), his OT (same thing), a member of the school Administration, and us. It’s a constantly
redone updated, revised report of his annual goals, broken down into objectives based on his needs.
He also is provided transportation to and from school. In his case, he is picked up in the AM at the house and dropped off at his aftercare. We get front door service, WITH a helper. Then we go pick him and M up at the end of the day. But you know what that means, right?
Thank goodness he loves the school bus. And he doesn’t get motion sickness like me. And thank goodness the people in our ‘hood are understanding to the early pickups.
So, back to today – and we go to the new school to meet everyone. And…it was AWESOME. Since this is his second year in ECSE, he’s like an old pro walking around, looking at things, etc. I’m also like the old pro, talking to the teachers, using the lingo…so not like last year when I was struggling to remember what goals were on his IEP.
Because, every once in a while, it’s nice to not have to explain everything. It’s nice just to be understood. It’s nice to know that he is going to get spectacular services in an inclusive setting, including speech and OT. It’s nice to know that the chances of getting a phone call to pick up my son for being uncontrollable/hyper/angry/impossible to comprehend will go down since they are more equipped to handle his “outbursts”.
I’m amazed at his classroom (much like last year). They have EVERYTHING a kid would want. Toys out the wazoo, books, all sorts of arts and crafts. Plus, a Promethean Board. This shit some sort of crazy technological whizness. It’s so awesome. I want one now in the house.