This is My "Real" Blog: April 2010

Angie's Blog!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Another Step Forward

Today was Caroline's IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting at her school. In attendance:

Mrs. M (C's Kindergarten teacher)
Mrs. B (C's CDC/special ed teacher)
Mrs. D (Asst. Principal)
Mrs. B (Speech Therapist)
Mr. B (No relation to Mrs. B - School Psychologist)
Mr. H (School Board Rep - took notes of meeting)
Occupational Therapist - didn't get her name (she made me mad)

Mark & Me

We had hoped that my mom would be able to attend this meeting -- not for any other reason than for her to experience one with us. There's a guaranteed meeting roughly a year from now -- or sooner, if we need one. We can always take her then, if she still wants to go.

[Sorry, by the way, for the EXTREME lack of posts. The last couple of weeks have been mind-bogglingly busy] "bogglingly?" I may have created a new word. Hm.

Bottom line: Caroline's meeting today went well.

Well. . . . .I had a few issues. And, after talking to a friend who teaches special education (in our school system, no less) I think I'm going to have these issues for a couple more years. Here's what it boiled down to:

Mr. B? The one who was running the meeting? Has never met Caroline. To him, in my opinion, she is a name, number, classification, diagnosis. . . she's not CAROLINE!

And you remember her, right. . . .?






Now, I need to be fair to the man. She's not the only child he has to oversee. And, he did say he feels like her IEP is "aggressive." I agree -- it's gonna be a great year, next year. This year has been a great year. He described her - based on the scores - using terms like: very well; advanced; achieving high. . . but I'm still her Mom. And, from this mom's perspective- she wasn't real to him. . . . maybe I should send him a link here, eh?

Regardless, we are grateful that our short-term future looks so bright. We are hugely thankful for teachers, administrators, specialists, and friends who are working with us -- not against us -- to make the world a better place for her.

One thing we learned today (and we've heard it before) is that, although she talks NON-STOP at home, she is extremely quiet at school. When I asked her speech therapist to work with her on pronunciation, she smiled and said, "I'd LOVE to work on that -- if she'd just talk!"

So, we've got our work cut out for us. Mark and/or I are going to attend some upcoming speech sessions -- to see if we can coax some words out of her. Our hope is that the more comfortable she feels with the speech therapist, the more she'll participate and talk. . . .and make progress. They even said they'd be willing to listen to or watch video tape footage of her talking--just to hear her do it. (This is the first time a professional has said they'd watch a video from home -- big encouraging words!)

After you read the next paragraph, my blog title may seem ironic. Hear me out, please?

For those of you that we haven't told -- we want to be very clear about the plan for next year. Caroline is going to repeat Kindergarten. She's not failing Kindergarten. This is our agreed-upon plan with the school system. Remember:

  • She is a YOUNG Kindergartner - she's not even six yet.
  • She's EXTREMELY small for her age.

Her teachers (and us) agree that an additional year in Kindergarten -- much of which will NOT be spent getting used to chaos, noise, and a new building -- will be a very action-packed adventure for her. "Aggressive" is a great way to describe her goals for next year. . . and I am thrilled that potty-training doesn't appear ANYWHERE on the IEP. (They do, however, want her to be more verbal when she needs to go potty)

So, all in all, it was a good day. Nope - it was a GREAT day! I will learn to like this Mr. B. I promise. My teacher/friend told me that he will be one of Caroline's greatest sources of encouragement as she goes through the next 6-7 years. And I believe my friend. . . . I wish I believed he could pick her out in a group picture. But maybe I'm asking too much!

(She's the one in navy blue in the front row -- maybe enlarging the pic will help?)

So, for now -- we're rejoicing in another milestone meeting taking place. And with the weekend upon us, we're planning to kick back, relax, and enjoy some time together!


Sunday, April 04, 2010

Pics. . . too tired to write

Yep - I never thought we'd see that one. . .not that I'm opposed to the Easter Bunny per se -- she's just been terrified of pretty much all costumed things. Go figure. We've outgrown that fear.

Opening Easter Baskets on Sunday - Edison got a new t-shirt from Nana & Papa.

Caroline (obviously tickled pink) received new Dick & Jane books. Seriously - she wanted to sleep with one of the books tonight. I had to *promise* her that we'd read it tomorrow. She reluctantly let me put it on her bookshelf for safe keeping.

Her "debut" in Big Church this morning. The kids sang, "Mighty to Save," which is Caroline's personal favorite. She did an awesome job.

Here's a closeup - I told you she was amazing!

Happy Resurrection Day!!!