Thursday, May 31, 2007

The year end IEP . . .

Individualized Educational Plans, for those of you with "gen-ed" kids, are the plans that the school must follow for children with disabilities. The IEP tells what the disabilities are, strengths and weaknesses, goals and treatment interventions, speech and occupational therapy goals, graduation track etc. Dustin's includes a BIP, behavioral intervention plan, and a FBA, functional behavioral analysis. Each of those need to be reviewed every 20 school days. IEP's need only reviewed every year or when changes need to made to add or remove programs, goals or interventions either at the request of the school or parent. In that case you must call a CCC, case conference committee, and call everyone needed together to make changes. They must prvide you with PS, procedural safegaurds, prior to the meeting. Today we rejected ESY, extended school year, to give Dustin a much needed break for the summer. I met today with Dustin TOR, teacher of record, his PP, paraprofessional, and the area SERT, special education resource teacher. In our case FAS, fetal alcohol syndrome, has become alphabet soup.

As I sat in the CCC today, I realized that I had no idea 6 years ago what I was in for I have learned so much about mental health issues, school policies and regulations and all the crazy abbreviations for everything. I have come along way and so has Dustin.

Today was Dustin's yearly review and for the first time in a long time I wasn't sick to my stomach with the prospect of a new IEP. The modified schedule that we have been on since April 9th has been a tremendous success! He is a totally different child at school. He is the child I told them that he could be. It was wonderful to hear all the positive comments and hear how he has progressed nicely since the schedule change. I thought however, it would only take about an hour and I was there nearly 3 hours. . . in a non-airconditioned, windowless room. Ugh! But everything is set for next year, and things are looking up. His two hours daily will be increased to 3 hours. The state rarely goes for modified schedules at the beginning of the school year, but the CCC thought that we had enough documentation to provide reasons why it should be allowed. He has, after all, been deemed a "danger" to others and the modified day has been so definitely positive I don't think they could deny it. He also has medical reasons as his chlozapine makes him sleep so well and so long that school prior to 10 am would be totally ineffective and difficult anyway.

I also found out today that his fabulous PP, paraprofessional, postponed a trip to Japan to take the job to work with Dustin. She enjoys him and keeps him well in line. I am so thankful for professionals that love what they do and have my child's best interest at heart. I had a tiny bit of an anxiety attack when I learned that another teacher in his 3 teacher group will be his TOR, teacher of record, next year. The teacher of record is responsible for all contact to the family and all paperwork needed for the Special Education Department and the homeroom teacher for the child. She is the primary person I deal with . . . sometimes daily. I panicked because we have been through so much this year, and formed a great relationship. I don't have anything against this other teacher, but I know Dustin would have a difficult time transitioning to her for his homeroom as well. At the end of the meeting the SERT, special education resource teacher, from the main department asked if his current teacher would consider keeping him and being his TOR next year. I followed that with, "Maybe you should've asked her when I left, maybe she is happy to be rid of Dustin and us as well." She said the nicest things, basically saying that we were the kind of parents she loved to work with and that she hoped she had never given us that feeling, and that she knows Dustin has potential. I can rest easily, she will be his TOR next year.

All in all a very positive day! Miracles never cease.

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