Been in a bit of a blogging lull. It is certainly not for a lack of events in this household! I think it is a little bit the dreary weather, the fact that I haven't had time to take a walk in a couple weeks because of time crunch, not that I could as our stroller has a flat tire, and the whole time crunch doesn't help us having any time to fix it.
Well, on to the IEP! We had our second big IEP meeting a couple weeks ago. It was wonderful! So much better than the first one.
To begin, Charlie has proven to everyone what a smart little boy he is. Specifically, he has proven that he can thrive in an environment with typical peers. This helps everyone to feel like it is appropriate for him to have interaction with typical peers at the children's center. No one was pushing us to put him full time in the Special Ed school this time. In fact the consensus was that the split program (attending two different preschools) is working well and is a positive thing for Charlie. What a relief. (Also, the main person that was putting up a stink about it at the first IEP meeting no longer attends our IEP's).
Second, Charlie has proven that he is making great strides at the Special Ed school. He is really benefiting from all of the therapy, intensive instruction, and special needs know-how of the Special Ed staff.
So, the plan is to have him in both programs for the semester, then reevaluate at the end of the school year. We have made it known that we may choose one program over the other at that time for the sake of making our lives a little more simple. I wish there was a middle option, but there is not, so we shall see. Charlie seems to take his busy schedule in stride, but mommy suffers a bit from overwhelm.
Charlie's goals for the next year include potty training, pre-academics, self care, and we have added social/emotional components to encourage him to interact with adults and peers at school (he is terribly shy, which is another post I need to make).
His speech therapist reported that he has made great progress (but we knew that!). She is going to be doing some testing with him as she feels she does not quite know the full scope of his language capability as he is difficult to understand, but also very quiet. She will then form a better plan for his therapy for the next year based on her findings. He continues to receive speech therapy weekly at his Special Ed school.
The Occupational therapist also reported that Charlie is making great progress. She will continue to see him weekly as well for 15 minute intensive instruction. She also give the classroom staff a box of fine motor stuff to work on throughout the week.
By far Charlie's greatest challenge physically is his fine motor skills, which include hand movements and also speech. (Gross motor is lacking as well, but just is not as big of a deal in the long run. He seems to get around, even if he does have to crawl up and down stairs in his hands and knees.) While he struggles very much in these areas, he continues to gain new skills and strength. I am very proud of him!
Charlie will continue to see the Speech and Language Pathologist for feeding issues, although he is doing so well I think we will soon graduate from her care.
Finally, we were able to arrange for a shorter bus ride in the afternoons. We now pick Charlie up from the High School as the bus comes straight from his Special Ed school in another town to the High School in our town to take on more kids. So, Calvin and I take a quick ride to the High School and fetch Charlie from there every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 3pm. We get to visit with the kids from the special ed class at the high school. There are several who have Down Syndrome and who give me great hope for Charlie's future. They are very capable, comfortable, and though they seem to have varying degrees of function, they all seem very, how do I put this, socially savvy. As in, they all behave like regular teens despite there disabilities. Anyway, the new bus routine knocks over an hour off Charlie's bus ride, and we are very pleased to have him home with us for that hour! Yeah!
Well, I think that is it for the IEP. We have a follow-up IEP meeting scheduled for May just to check in and see if we want to change things at all. We shall see, but for now I am satisfied. That feels good.