Every parent that is familiar with an IEP is also familiar with this time of year.
ANNUAL REVIEW TIME!
Yeah, pretty much that.
Well it was last week and things have been a little hectic so…well…sorry. Anyway, Husband and I met with his teacher, the Occupational Therapist (OT), one of the Resource Teachers, and the Assistant Principal. Ok, so the Assistant Principal was just there as the school representative, but we were using his office…so that was nice of him.
And even though I had met with his teacher the week before to go over the IEP and discuss my thoughts and future goals…I was still a little wary of the meeting. Much like this:
I do enjoy working with B’s teacher, but I was squarely in “Guarded” mode when going into the meeting. Besides, it just never seems to be enough time to discuss things, right? I mean after you go through the “proper procedure” of just reviewing, initialing and signing the draft “administrative” pages of the IEP (because, you know, you have to walk out with the final approved “blessed” one by the end of the meeting) – it could take an hour. Nevermind actually looking at his goals.
And so after going through that song and dance, we got down to reviewing his progress. B did pretty well over the year. His Battelle assessment results were shared with us. Apparently he tested above average in Adaptive. This is HUGE, as the landmark milestone of being potty trained has been reached.
(I also want to a moment to toot my horn that he is now wearing underwear to bed. We’ve only had one accident in three weeks, and that was during nap. Not that I want to make this all about piss and poop but you all would understand.)
He tested average in all but one other area. The area that he struggles with is Personal-Social, which was listed as “Mild Development Delay”. It doesn’t shock us. He has issues playing with his friends, keeping his hands to himself, or taking turns. He still struggles with “space issues”.
Also we went into the meeting knowing that he didn’t meet the needs of ESY (Extended School Year). Which is fine, because I have him at his new aftercare summer “camps” which are full day. However, regression is on our minds for the summer. Hopefully it won’t be too bad – since he has been doing well at his aftercare. It might actually be better, since he’ll be there the entire day with his friends.
Next year is the “BIG” year, as it is the last year of ECSE before Kindergarten. In looking at our overall goal of mainstreaming, I’m definitely worried. Right now his ECSE class capacity is 10 kids. And even then, not all the kids go five days a week like B. So he enjoys the small ratio of teacher to student. Kindergarten, on the other hand, will be a BIG change in so many ways. There will be more kids and more distractions. I know he’ll continue to receive assistance but I want to work on minimizing what he’ll need.
With that, our new/revised Goals are centered around three major areas:
1. Self-Regulation. He still gets easily frustrated when things don’t fit “right”. Or if a shirt tag irritates him. Or if the bath water is just a tad too warm. Don’t forget tantruming when he doesn’t get his way. Really, I could go on and on, but I digress. We need to continue working on our breathing and redirecting. I think I might incorporate his own stress ball so that he can still engage his senses.
As a sensory seeker, B is a challenge to “wear out” . He constantly craves stimulation, even if it means hitting the wall. Literally. The OT spoke about strategies they’ve been working on with him. He loves jumping and running, so our summers will probably consist of calisthenics and boot camp.
(Seriously, the OT suggested sprints and pulling Mayita in a wagon around the ‘hood. He’ll be great at Track in high school, I bet.)
As an aside, this is for Husband who immediately thinks of this every time I say “Regulate”:
2. Taking Care of Himself. Mayor Bee, quite frankly, has become quite the little control freak. Now that he has progressed in his communication skills, he feels the need to insert himself into every situation. Sometimes it’s during his class when the teachers are trying to work with another student. Sometimes it’s at home when we are dealing with a wailing baby. Or even when I’m trying to have a “discussion” with Husband. So now our new phrase is, “Take care of yourself” which kind of means stay out of it and mind your own business. LOL
3. Socialization. Again, working on playing nicely with our friends, keep our hands to ourselves…not hitting/kicking/biting when trying to express that he wants a toy…the standard stuff.
Honestly, this was it. His teacher recommended that next year he continues to go to ECSE five days a week. Mainly, it’s to maintain his schedule of going to ECSE and his aftercare – it minimizes his struggles with “change”. His speech has improved so much (both receptive and expressive) that we have decided to reduce his therapy. The OT will continue, thank goodness.
So here’s to breathing a sigh of relief that another review has come and gone!