I hate it when I don’t keep this bitch up to date. THen I have to remember everything happened. I can try….
IEP went great. There were 8 people there from the school – everyone that had a part of his education. They went around the room asking each member what they have noticed about Ian’s decline and what they have been doing to help him. Then they would ask our opinion and see if we had any ideas or objections. Then they asked us what was going on from the doctor’s viewpoint and was there anything he needed that wasn’t covered. Then they started brainstorming a few of the issues we had talked about. So long story short – I am over the moon. They are going to increase his private study time, so he can do his homework without the other kids listening. He is going to get an assistive technology program that dictates his words and they are going to find out from the district how many aides they can have. The other two powerchair dwellers share one. They also asked if they could answer the questions one way and then simply modify the IEP to make accommodations as needed without having to get all 10 people together for another meeting. We agreed. She said they will call us first, but if they start noticing things, they are just going to step in and fix it instead of waiting for bullshit red tape. I heart them.
THe principal is one awesome lady. THey asked which approach to take, as in , what’s more important – scholastics or peer interaction. They want to know because they are going to make his assignments not quite as important – in a sense. For example, if there are 50 math problems, and he only gets 30 of them finished – she’ll grade the 30 on a curve instead of wasting more time outside the classroom, away from his friends. HOWEVER – if he misses the majority of the 30, then he’ll use his private study time to get tutored for that chapter. I thought it was brilliant. As it is, he attends OT, PT, adaptive PE, study time, and extra reading help. THat’s a lot of missed classroom time and he hates it. He hated the questions his friends ask about why he gets to leave every day. Their proposed way, he would still be getting the education, but he wouldn’t be penalized for not having the hand strength to write as fast as the other kids. Now, when his software arrives, then he’ll be expected to finish on time. BUT – he’ll still have to leave the classroom so the other kids don’t hear his responses.
Then they talked about getting him a scribe for certain subjects that he HAS to finish – like MAP testing. THe principal said – got that covered, and the teacher said that’s great – who? Principal – me. She said Ian was a special little man and she wants to do this for him. I almost cried.
Then some lady I didn’t recognize asked which PE he had. Cause the district only had to give one. Teachers were looking at each other, and the principal said – both? Lady I Have Never Seen Before But Later Found Out Was the “DISTRICT” Lady – Well, which one to keep? Principal said – can he keep both? Lady – why would he need to? And little ole Ang piped in [totally shocking me and MD] – I figured regular PE keeps him with his peers having fun – but he can’t really DO anything but help ‘coach’. Adaptive PE is for HIM so that he can exercise at his own pace and skill level. Lady – point taken. He gets both. I felt like I was floating.
They asked questions that shocked me – they gave a lot of thought to how to help him. Talking about getting him a chair with arm rests so he can have a special seat during floor time that is easier to get up from as opposed to the floor. They are going to play it by ear – HIS ear- when he needs the wheelchair. She said some days it seems to bother him that his friends notice and other days she said he’s so tired he doesn’t care who’s watching. We said – basically, go with your gut and always keep in mind that we want his last few walking years to be the best years of his life – because they will be. I think they get it this time.
I honestly thought they were going to fight us. Instead they floored us.