Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Special Ed, Here We Come!

Thank you, Montana Friend, for your kind words after yesterday's post. The emotional roller coaster continues, but I'm headed up a hill right now and am actually feeling pretty good, and I have today's IEP meeting to thank. Which surprises me a little because I was sure I was going to burst into tears at least once. And, yay me, I didn't!

It looks like Jack will get to stay in his regular preschool for morning classes, and then head over to PEP preschool for special ed in the afternoon. I'm still not quite sure how it's going to work out logistically, and I think I'm going to be doing a lot of driving, but it sounds like it will be the best thing for Jack. I asked if they thought a whole day of school may be too much for Jack and they pointed out that kindergarten is, in fact, all day and that this might help prepare him. And if it doesn't work out, we can always ask for a new program. At least this is what they promise. (Fingers crossed.)

Turns out that based on the evaluation they did, Jack would not have qualified. Remember how they said he was absolutely not autistic? In fact, when she arrived to observe Jack in class, the psychologist even went so far as to tell the teacher she didn't know why we'd brought Jack in to have him evaluated. Apparently watching Jack in a classroom for a couple of hours was enough to change her mind. She stopped short of coding him as autistic, preferring to call him developmentally delayed, but left the door open for a future autism code.

In fact, the psychologist said Jack is definitely a puzzle and she is having a hard time figuring him out. Now I feel a little less bad that I can't figure him out. True, I'm his mother, but if a special-ed psychologist calls him an enigma, I feel better referring to him as such. Oh, Jack, you are truly a special little guy.

But really, thank God for the school observation, because they almost didn't do it seeing as how it was the end of the year and it was hard to find a day they could get in there.

The IEP meeting was really amicable and, happily, I found myself agreeing with almost everything they said about Jack. Alex flipped into lawyer-mode almost immediately, but he relaxed as well, and ended the meeting in dad-mode.

I took Joeymom's advice and didn't sign the IEP, especially since they hadn't entirely finished the report yet. But I think we'll be able to safely do so without reservations once it is mailed to us.

Mostly I feel great that Jack and I are getting the help, services, and resources we need. He'll have a smaller class at PEP, his teacher will be specifically trained to deal with his issues, and he might actually get some enjoyment out of being a more advanced kid in the class&#8212which will likely be the case, according to the IEP team. And I still get to keep him at his current preschool, which we love.

Hoo. Ray!

2 comments:

  1. Glad things went well for you. I have had 3 IEP's so far and I've cried at every one of them! The last one I only cried once so that was a big deal.

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  2. Yeah, I think I cried at his evaluation when he drew a picture of a person (first time!) so at least I've made a teary showing in front of my team.

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