We’ve somehow managed to navigate the transition from Early Intervention to the public school system with John’s therapies. Trust me, this has not been an easy process. In fact, to be completely honest, we’re not 100% there.
We started with a transition meeting back in June this summer. Then in early August I started calling the school district. At that time I was told they didn’t have any openings for screening him in the month of September. *geesh* But after ‘explaining’ that was not going to be an option they magically found a spot open in their September 2nd screening. Surprise, surprise!
During his screening, he passed his fine and gross motor tests and rocked his concepts and receptive language tests. Then comes his expressive speech test – which after three words (his name, “cup” and “ring”) the speech therapist discontinued the test, sent him out of the room and looked at me saying “there’s no reason to keep testing him, he’s in desperate need of speech therapy”. Gee thanks! That’s why I’m here lady! I already know that!
Once we got to the consultation part of the screening, it became clear that they were going to admit John to the special education preschool program. The program allows John to continue receiving therapies.
The last week of September proved to be a little more of a struggle than I anticipated. We went into John’s IEP meeting hopeful that we could get physical therapy once a month, occupational therapy once a month and 1-1 speech therapy 4 times a week for 25 minutes. At our IEP meeting we were informed that they would only offer him OT once a week, PT on a consultation basis, and speech 15 minutes a day in a small group. We can handle the OT and PT….but he needs more than group speech therapy!
We’re in the process of appealing the offerings and trying to get him more speech therapy. It’s a slow process – starting with another IEP meeting which isn’t scheduled until November 14. After that we move to mediators and eventually, if we can’t see eye-to-eye, we’ll go to court. Let’s hope it doesn’t get that far!
We had a few options but went with a classroom that has only 2 other boys in it and is 2.5 hours 4 days a week. It was the best option for John at the time. His teacher is awesome and does a great job working with John. He rides the bus to school – it picks him up at our house and has a car seat on it for him – and I pick him up after school so I can get a daily report from his teacher (because his speech is unintelligible and we’d never know what he did if the teacher didn’t tell us).
John is loving school. He happily gets ready after lunch and runs to the bus when it pulls up to our driveway. Every day when I pick him up he bounds out of the school and greets me. We talk about what he did each day and he shows me the content of his backpack. He has homework every weekend (a single worksheet with about 5 activities on it).
I’ll try to keep the blog posted on the progress of our appeals with the school district. In the mean time – here’s my little man on his first day of school (October 12, 2011)