Individual Educational Plans — 5 Minutes for Special Needs — Page 2

Individual Educational Plans

Connecting

DH and I met a lovely woman at the support group we attended last fall.  Her son is similar in age to Precious and has a similar diagnosis; mild developmental disability.  I emailed Steph a month or so ago and she, her husband and her son came over and hung out with our family for a few hours.

Cole and Precious played together somewhat, as did our older daughter.  All the kids ended up on the trampoline.  They really seemed to enjoy themselves and my older daughter loved to ‘mother’ Cole.

It was so nice to connect with Cole’s parents and ask them about their experiences with the school board as their son is in the same one as our daughter. 

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I’m Jealous

The recent post about the great school system from Tiffany , it made me jealous.  Really, really jealous.  This is not a feeling I often have, if ever, but I’ll say it out loud …I want what she has.

We are just about to embark on the transition from Early Childhood (self-contained) to General Education (least restrictive enviornment). Our district does not offer a blended program, or a transition program or really any in between.  You are either general education with resources, related services and so forth or you are in the self-contained classroom.

It’s a very frustrating process to try and figure out what the next move should be for our son, and I can’t get into all the details or this post would be hours long.  

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Seasonal Parenting

As I am typing this Winter Solstice is winding down and I am rejoicing, not in the pagan holiday sense, but in the “Hooray! Days will start getting longer again,” sense. I have been considering the “seasons” that our family goes through each year. Of course we tread through the normal calendar with everyone else, but there are some additional unique annual passages for us. I’m hoping that recognizing them will help me be more prepared with strategies to stay organized, happy, and healthy.

From mid-February through May we are in transition planning mode. We have our annual IEP meeting here.

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Life as we know it

(reposted from the HennHouse)

We’ve traded late night, happy hour dates for early morning mini conferences on raising spiritually healthy special needs kids.

And we wouldn’t change a thing…

train watching

We’ve traded Big Ten athletic events for seventh grade basketball tryouts.

And we wouldn’t change a thing…

kicking the soccer ball

We’ve traded philosophical discussions about politics and superpowers for tearful heart-to-heart talks about how best to love a child who is incapable of positive attachment.

And we wouldn’t change a thing…

walking with Nana

We’ve traded gym memberships for DVD workout programs done at four o’clock in the morning.

We’ve traded wine tastings for zoo visits.

Night clubs for dance parties in the living room.

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Advising New Parents

It’s that time of year again – time to buy school supplies, Fall clothes, and healthy snacks for the school lunch box. It’s time to pay the exorbitant school fees for our children’s FREE education. And it’s time for parents of children with disabilities to see if they will face more battles with their school districts while trying to ensure their children receive an appropriate education.

I remember when my first child with disabilities entered the public school system. I was naïve and assumed everyone would love my child as much as I did, and would want to do everything they could to make her school experience a positive one.

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Preschool Decision

My husband and I are pretty conservative–I’m not talking about politics (I almost never am)–but just our general life decisions. We prefer things cooked from scratch–we don’t even own a microwave. I stay at home and my husband goes out and earns the money.

Even before Charlie was born, we thought that I might end up homeschooling our children. Not because we don’t like public school–I am a huge fan of public school–but because we knew that our children would get individualized instruction that was made just for them. Once we had Charlie, it seemed even more likely that he would need me around to insure that he got everything that he needs and deserves as far as an education goes.

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Teachers

This is the time of year that many of us stress out about teachers gifts.

gift

Guess what?

What your child’s teacher would like the most (they might not even realize it until you give it to them) is a heart-felt thank you note, written the old fashioned way (on note paper-not in email form) along with a few roses from your garden.

This is something that I think is SO important, that I am creating a contest! In the comment section, write the note that you are sending to your child’s teacher. You will be entered into a drawing  for some cool prizes, including copies of my book and gift cards from amazon.

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Any words of wisdom for the IEP?

Recently I met with the local school district School Psychologist and our Early Intervention coordinator for the EI/preschool transition meeting. I cannot believe that Austin will be going to preschool in 5 months (at age 3).

I thought I had a fairly good grasp of what type of school program and support he needed.  Now I am not so sure. But where I find myself really lacking is what kind of support the school can and will offer for a medically fragile child.

I’m quickly finding out they don’t “offer” much. It seems I need to ask for every possible thing under the sun and then somehow prove why he needs what I am asking for.

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lists for everything

I am a list maker by nature. Lists of doctors, lists of what I need to make for Thanksgiving dinner, I don’t dare go into the grocery store unarmed or I’ll come home with $200 worth of nothing that makes 2 weeks of meals. Now I have to teach my daughter how to do that for herself.

We still don’t have a formal diagnosis. Partly because we decided to forgo the pediatrician for her sister’s developmental pediatrician. We turned in all the home and teacher evaluation paperwork. They should call to schedule any day now. I digress.

As part of her OT, we are making lists for daily tasks.

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I’ll teach my girl 100 words

Bear’s IEP went off without a hitch. I am very thankful for the wonderful team supporting my daughter. It was comical to see eight adults sitting in kiddie chairs around a tiny table flipping through 32 pages of goals. It was the shortest one so far. We were done in less than an hour!

We have a new Speech therapist at school. The kids love her, I love her. We worked with her in a Hanen method preschool speech group. She is very ambitious. One of her goals for Bear is “learn and use 100 new signs.” Holy cow!

We’ve been attempting PECs for almost 4 years.

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