I told you about IEP's.
Today, I am going to tell you about Jack's IEP.
A little background:
Many micro preemies like Jack (especially those that suffer severe brain bleeds) have delays and special circumstances that require extra help when it comes time to go to school. For some, this means a few years in the special needs program until they "catch up" and are streamlined into the typical classroom. For others, special education will be their track throughout their school years.
Two things we know about Jack since starting preschool at age 3:
1) He loves school 2) It has been the best thing for him.
We went into our BIG meeting excited to talk about how far our boy has come. Those in attendance were Jon and I, all of Jack's school therapists (OT, PT, ST), his main teacher, the special needs coordinator, and the principal.
We started off by discussing Jack's strengths and improvements over the past year. It was mentioned that
- Jack is really sweet (didn't need to tell his mama that!)
- He has improved attention and over-all functioning
- He is tolerating his peers and loves his classmates
- He is paying more attention to his left side
- He is tolerating staff and hand on hand activities
- He is navigating the classroom (and outside) much better
- His play is increasing with toys
- He is making more varieties of sound
Yay Jackpants!!!! What a good report, friends!
The rest of the meeting was spent discussing the BIG stuff. The goals for next year. Jack's goals are broken down into these categories:
Under each of those categories are very specific goals. For example, under the Sensory-Motor section, one of Jack's goals is stated:
"Jack will sit with equal weight through both hips/pelvis in a chair or on the floor using adapted techniques or adapted equipment for one activity per day with 10 minute duration."
During our hour and a half meeting, we went through each goal discussing it, amending it if needed, and finally, agreeing upon it before going to the next. It is quite the process. It is a lot of paperwork, but this is a federal program, receiving federal dollars, so they have to be very specific. I appreciate the care to detail because it's good to know that our tax dollars, at least in this circumstance, are being used in an above the board, ethical, and worthy way. At the end of our time, Jon and I signed the paperwork, ready for next year.
I was chatting with a friend last night about Jack and his school experience so far. We may be spoiled in this regard, but I told her that we've had no issues. We have been blessed. Once I got over my initial anxiety of sending my little one off to school, it has been for the best.