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Thursday, April 7, 2011

THE Big Meeting!

Today we had Bruiser's IEP meeting.  I have been dreading it and looking forward to it at the same time.  I haven't been sure that school was meeting his needs and I haven't been sure that he has been happy there.  I knew I had to present his OT/SPD evaluation and I wasn't sure how it was going to be received.  I went as far as insisting that Daddy leave work and go with me.  Now, keep in mind, I do this for a living!  I am a teacher and I know what it is like to be on that side.  I also have an idea how it is to be on the parent side...and it's not always pleasant.  I was glad Daddy gave me the moral support, if nothing else!

So we met in a very warm room with lots of very official looking people.  I now realize how intimating it is for the parents...and I knew all these people!  The teacher very nicely walked us through the IEP document and shared little antidotes as we went along.  I handed off the evaluation I had and was told we would have to wait for the building's OT to arrive and discuss it further.  So we continued through the pages and pages of observations and goals while we waited.

His teacher was very thorough and understanding.  I felt like she had a fairly good understanding of my little boy.  I was happy hear that he likes school when he is there and that he plays with his friends (that he never tells me about!).  The speech teacher stepped in and shared excellent observations and even made a change on the spot to meet his oral motor issues.  She increased her services to him from once a week to twice a week.  Excellent!

By this time the OT had arrived and reviewed my evaluation I had brought along.  She proceeded to share that nothing in report matched what he displays with her during his weekly session.  She said he loves to swing, spin, dive, get messy, etc.  She said she saw no evidence of sensory issues.  Really?!?!?!  Am I just imagining it at home and at his weekly out-patient therapy services?  I've since come to think that maybe she didn't know who I was and that I am an early childhood-trained teacher...within the same school district as her.  I'll giver her that benefit of the doubt.  It was at this point that the LEA stepped in and explained that it was perhaps the structure of the school setting, which is impossible to repeat at home, that allowed Bruiser to perform so well at school.  That made sense...and at least at this point the OT said that she planned to continue to service him for another year, once a week.  But that also means that I will have to continue to get him out-patient therapy on my own.  Not the outcome I was hoping for.

We also discussed his anxiety issues and the need to address that piece.  We are in the works with a fabulous social worker and will continue to move forward.  Meanwhile, I will also meet with the LEA and give a social history of Bruiser to add to his records.  After all, it's all about the paperwork!

Overall, it was an OK appointment.  I am pleased with the plan for next year.  I am please that he will not go to summer school and we have our summer open.

Now I need to think about how to proceed.  There will be a few decisions to figure out but there is time.  For now I'll go cuddle my little ones!

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