8iRWeiXjcKj9kUz5Tebo4_k_FtY Life with Two Special Needs Children: What a Difference a Year Makes

Friday, February 4, 2011

What a Difference a Year Makes

We had Caleb's annual IEP review Wednesday night during conferences.  I feel so blessed that we have a great team in place for him.  While we were there and yesterday, I kept thinking how much things have changed with him in the last year.

It all started 13 months ago when we got the official Childhood Disintegrative Disorder and Mild Mental Retardation diagnosis.  It was time for Caleb's three year reevaluation for his IEP that is required, which the school psychologist would have needed to do a lot of the same tests that the Neuropsych had just performed.  Instead of having her repeat everything, we agreed that she could just take the results from the Neuropsych so as to avoid having to put Caleb through all the testing again.  The school psychologist did have to do a couple of tests, but shortly thereafter we had the longest IEP meeting for Caleb ever - two hours!  Now, I know that there are many people who have two hour plus long IEP meetings on a regular basis, we have never had a meeting that long.  Even his very first IEP was only about an hour and we were provided way more than we even thought Caleb would qualified for.  I can't say enough about how awesome our Special Education services are!

At that time it was decided Caleb needed a different placement than what the current school could provide.  I really struggled with whether or not that was what was needed to be done, but I trusted the professionals.  I knew that Caleb was really struggling in the environment that he was in, but he loved his teacher and had made some really good friends.  I really didn't want to pull him out of that.  But I also knew something needed to be done. 

We were having a lot of behaviors at home in the evening due to the stress that Caleb was under at school.  So we made the decision to move his school placement into the FAA class at a different building.  The school psychologist called a transition meeting about a week later. 

Everyone was on the same page about Caleb's transition.  The principal from the previous school was there, along with the principal and assistant principal from the new school.  It was such a team approach and it worked wonderfully. Caleb's social worker at school took him over to the new school multiple times so that he could see the building, meet his new teachers and his new friends in his class prior to his first day.  The first couple of days were still difficult for Caleb because he really wanted to stay with his teacher and his friends, but we worked through it.

We had seen a lot of behavior changes in Caleb shortly after he started the new school.  He wasn't having as many meltdowns as we was previously.  We felt that it was due to the lack of transitions that he was needing to make on a daily basis.  He just seemed like a much calmer child.

After talking with his teachers and the speech teacher on Wednesday night, it just confirmed that the right decision was made.  While Caleb is still working at a first grade level in reading, but a mid-second grade level in Math (he loves his math!), he is making progress - albeit slow progress, it is progress!

In speaking with Cassidy's teachers at conferences, she is also making progress, for which I am thrilled about.  We had her three year reevaluation IEP meeting a couple of weeks ago and there was no question that she continues to need help and will continue to receive the help.

I am so thankful for our school system and all that they have done to help both of our kids.

1 comment:

Dorene, Type-Align owner said...

That's awesome, Cassandra! Dorene