Thursday, May 22, 2008

Updates and a bit of random stuff.

Last night I had my last test for my Anatomy class. My professor emailed me this morning telling me that I got a 94% on the exam which means that my A is secure and she will mail my reference (the one she wrote over the weekend because she is so on top of everything-I am amazed). This is great news and I am really relieved to have that finished and to have a little break from studying. For the record the I listed my last paid employment as my most recent job on my resume. When I have time I am going to put in a "volunteer" section to cover some of the stuff I have done while I have been "unemployed".

On Monday I had Collin’s IEP meeting. For those who are not familiar with the process it is the meeting that is used to draw up the legal document that outlines a child’s special education services. This meeting was the yearly review as well as the time to decide where he will go to kindergarten next year. I would prefer he went to his neighborhood school – right around the corner from our house. I have heard that our district is bad at integration so I suspected that they might suggest that he go to a special day class (segregated special ed kindergarten). The thing is, the closest non-severe (diploma bound) class is about a 45 minute bus ride away from us in a different zip code. This would mean that Collin would leave around 8am and get home around 4:30pm. Apart from my kindergartener being at school for a very long day we usually have therapy or doctor’s appointments about twice a week, not to mention when he has friends over after school. With that schedule when would we be able to do those? There is also the issue of exposure to the general ed curriculum and to his typical peers but I could go on all day. To make a long story shorter I did my best to educate myself and prepare for the meeting. When I arrived at the meeting I was handed a copy of the new IEP with “special day class for 100% of day” on the front page. We went over the goals that his teachers and therapists had decided on and then talked about his academic evaluation which was actually ten times better than I had expected (he is at or above grade level academically). Then we moved to discussing his placement, I said that I wanted him at his neighborhood school and asked what we could do to make it accessible to him, they said that he was more likely to be successful in a special day class and that we were out of time so I signed the part that said that I agreed to his current new goals and his current preschool placement but not to the kindergarten placement. We agreed to further testing (this is a more involved story) and to meet again to discuss placement. So there it is: another day, another crappy IEP meeting. I am not very happy.

I want to clear up something: it appears from the comments my recent posts that I might have given the impression that I am some sort of woodworking genius. This is not so. We painted the birdhouse that I bought from the pet shop. As for the t-stool and the scooter board I bought the top of the stool at Michael's and the leg at Home Depot along with the bracket to attach them. I bought a piece of wood for the scooter board and had the nice guys at Home Depot cut it down for me (they do one cut for free). I also bought the casters and some screws. I drilled some little holes and then used the nifty electric screwdriver I got for Christmas (thanks Dad!) to put on the screws. The t-stool took about five minutes and the scooter board a bit longer because there were a lot of screws. I then took some extra batting and a piece of fabric and attached them with a staple gun. See, very little woodworking required and even less genius.

Here is a picture of Peter waiting for his speech class to start. Isn’t he adorable?


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had a crappy IEP meeting! I do those as a huge part of my job - can I be helpful at all? What other testing is he going to do? I do loads of that, too - if I can be of any help with information, please let me know! Is Collin still identified as PDD?

At our district, we try EXTREMELY hard to get kindergarteners into gen ed classrooms. If we don't let a child try out kindergarten with like peers/gen ed curriculum, then do we really have hope of integrating as school material gets more difficult?? How much do you really need to be able to participate in kindergarten??

And another quick note, districts should give you at least 5 days to review proposed IEP's and evaluation reports. There's no reason in the world why you should be surprised and feel forced into decisions on the spur of the moment. That kind of IEP pressure makes me cranky!

Email me if I can be helpful :)Tanya J.