I am still far from an expert since it was our first one, but I was told to make it known what you want/your goals for your child and I knew many parents gave an organized list of their child’s strengths, challenges, and safety or medical issues. They did write some of our concerns such as Ethan having one on one speech therapy as much as possible and letting us know if it won’t work so we can do additional therapy after school. (He will already be doing some.) They also included our interest in Ethan spending some time in general education class and they said in addition to the activity classes (art, PE, lunch and recess) they could provably work out him going to some regular class circle times.
I don’t have a long list of tips other than know your rights, keep copies of everything, and know that if you anticipate problems you can get an advocate who is well versed in special ed law through DHS.
Below is what we took to the IEP meeting to help the teacher and admins see in an organized way what Ethan is like and what needs and concerns we have. We thought this would help them see what needs he would have to help with placement conversation as well as to give to who would ultimately end up being his teachers. (Some people include a picture but we did this the night before on Microsoft Word after a lot of illness and craziness. At open house we will probably print it again with a picture.
- Recalls music/songs/rhythms and is more likely to retain and verbalize knowledge this way
- Follows along well with routines/circle time/line up procedures.
- Does well with visuals (getting a device for communication soon)
Emerging skills/needs assistance
- Will go to bathroom (to urinate) when taken but does not cue (diapers)
- Help with learning how to get clothes on/off
- Traces some shapes or letters
- Passive with peers-may be easily pushed around
- Throwing is a stimming go-to. Throws anything especially during “down time” or center times, not to be “bad” -especially toward end of day. Giving beads seems to curb this if Frisbee and ball play not possible. (no complaints from schools this year.)
- Flight risk- has not been at school, just parking lots or unstructured (like busy foyer at church, wants to leave room)
- On thickened liquids only
- no water fountains
- no popscicles or ice cream
- No fruits such as oranges, apples, strawberries
- Can have bananas
- No trampolines/hard jolting/contact sports (c spine instability)
- Has a g button- feedings will need to be done at school
- Ashtma/lung disease/dysphagia
- Has inhaler at school
- Watch for tummy or neck sucking in-call parents.
- Averages 2x year hospitalizations for respiratory issues
- Might choke easily especially when has a cold, watchful at lunch time especially
In the Home
2 year old sister Katelynn “Sissy”