This is My "Real" Blog: Another Step Forward


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. . . .?


Caroline


Caroline


Caroline


Caroline


CAROLINE!!

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!


Photobucket

4 Comments:

Blogger Kathy said...

I'm so glad it went well. She has learned so much. Maybe they need to come to church and watch her sing with the kids in Kandoo.

7:26 PM  
OpenID awedmanor said...

Thanks for being her champions. Looking forward to seeing y'all (and all y'all).

Steve

9:22 AM  
Blogger 20Birds said...

is there an iep for Mr E and Miss C?
sorry could not resist!
back to the post's star... Hooray! I think you should send him a link, he probably will end becoming a friend. I picked her out without the prompt, but we will cut him some slack right now.

7:54 PM  
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