Thursday, May 22, 2008

PB IEP update

Ok...I must apologize for the lack of writing. I'm a pretty late night person and was doing most of my blogging then when Princess Bear (PB) was asleep. It worked out well all the way around. Now my mom is on a kick that I have to be in my room at X time so that has effectively ended my nighttime blogging for the most part. I'll try to do it during the day or if I can miraculously get PB down for a nap then naptime! Anyhoo~ on for the updates.

I know I mentioned PB upcoming IEP meeting. (For those of you who don't know an IEP is Individualized Education Plan). Basically we have an IEP meeting at the end of the school year to review PB's performance and come up with a game plan for the upcoming school year. PB is finishing her last of two years in a special education preschool room. To say that we have been incredibly blessed to have an incredible teacher and wonderful aides working with PB is truly an understatement! She has grown and blossomed so much in two years it is truly mind blowing. When she started school she was basically non-verbal and today has a vocabulary pushing 300 words! Not to say that we're at home plate yet but I've seen what my child is capable of and I'm so hopeful for the future! My dream for PB was to have her in an integrated classroom as soon as possible. When PB returned to school this fall she had made so much progress over the summer that her teacher and Speech and Occupational therapist were already talking about an integrated kindergarten situation! I was so excited! Then as we drew closer and closer to the IEP meeting I began getting more and more nervous. PB is almost like a third aid in her classroom. She really loves and thrives being a helper for the class (many of the children have physical disabilities and are in different adaptive equipment so she loves to help her peers). The class room she is in has a max of 10 students. The small environment was incredible for her! PB needs help keeping on task and concentrating and that is so much easier in a small group. She also doesn't feel like she is "in trouble" when redirected. The teachers can work at a slower pace which is nice. Well, in an integrated room there would be 18 students and 3 adults. I started worrying about PB not being able to be the big helper...something she really loves and is a great incentive for her. Also that she tends to be a bit of a clown and I thought if she felt lost in the crowd that she might act out more to get some attention. I talked to her teacher and occupation therapist about this in March and they both felt very strongly that PB be given the opportunity to be in an integrated room. I know that I'm a nervous Nelly but this is my only kiddo and as time goes on it becomes apparent that the situation won't change anytime soon if at all. So on Monday my mom and I are at the IEP and I'm still beyond nervous. Then we're all gathered and the kindergarten teacher hadn't even been told about the meeting....oops! She gets in there and PB's current teacher and therapist start reviewing this year. All in all pretty darn good. The main thing is to work on getting PB to concentrate! She's made huge progress in all areas so I'm the proud mommy. Then everyone starts setting goals for the next year. First one out of the be able to count from 1-20. Ok...that would be great except for the fact that one of the goals for this year was to have PB count from 1-10 and that goal still hasn't been accomplished. For some odd reason PB wants to leave out 4, 5,6 every time! In my mind we should get that done before adding more numbers to the mix! I just don't want to think we're setting her up to fail. The teachers explain that if she only gets to 12 that's great and if she gets to 20 is even better so I agree (reluctantly) to the goal. I don't get too involved with the OT & PT goals. I completely and totally trust her OT and consider her the one of the biggest blessings and cheerleaders we've had since PB started school. PT I don't like much but think she knows her stuff so I'm not worried there. Then we get to the Speech Therapist. PB is also still receiving speech at Easter Seals once a week because her delay is so prevalent. Miss Deb (from Easter Seals) who adores PB more than life itself is very adamant that PB must get oral stimulation at school. The school Speech therapist sees no reason for it and won't include it in the IEP. NOT HAPPY! Thankfully she is pregnant and not going to be back in the fall! Yes, doing the happy dance! Then we get to PE. PB loves going to PE. She is a very active kiddo and desperately needs that time to burn off extra energy. Now one of PB's biggest issues is that she cannot regulate her body temperature at all. When it is hot out or she exerts herself too much she can overheat very easily. That can lead to seizures. She's been in adaptive PE for the past 2 years and that is held in the Air conditioned part of the building and she is very closely monitored. For next year she can't receive Adaptive PE (I was told that would be no problem) so I'm really ready to launch at this point. (We'd already been promised AC in her room). Everyone in the room is trying to come up with some workable solution. I refuse to let them cancel PE altogether....she needs to move! The "regular" PE teacher is also evidently a really hard a-s and wouldn't let PB out of PE even if she was overheating unless it is a) written in the IEP and b) has a detailed note from her Dr. (no problem there!) The solution we finally come up with is that for PE there must be a one on one assistant working with PB. I'm not totally comfortable with this but it seems to be the only option for right now. Keep your fingers crossed!

PB has met her teacher for next year a few times and was allowed to visit for an hour today. I'm going to observe a bit next week. My baby is growing up too fast!!!!

Well its getting to be time to get PB ready for bed so I'm off for now!!!

Oh! I'm seeking some good, easy and economical dinner solutions so if you have any please feel free to drop a line!!! Thanks!

HM Sarah Siggy

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