Friday, November 15, 2013

IEP meeting

I wanted to write an update about Elijah's IEP meeting before I headed to bed. After a few really tough months dealing with behavioral issues, I didn't know what to expect. Despite my worries, it went great. Elijah's amazing special ed case manager began the meeting by having everyone say what their favorite thing is about Elijah. Every person said pretty much the same thing: "I love his big smile and how happy and friendly he is." :) He makes people smile!

As far as his IEP plan goes, Elijah is doing great. And in the behavioral realm, he has improved a lot in the past 3-4 weeks. He is officially done with speech, which is great but also a bit sad. His speech therapist has been with us since he was a little guy. She is amazing and we all adore her. It was sad to say goodbye today.

The PE teachers are doing a great job of working with Elijah in the large group PE class and also in his pull-out small group. His sass pops up occasionally, but they seem to deal with it appropriately. He is obviously slower than the other kids, but seems to be doing the best he can during PE.

His OT has made some really great observations during Elijah's "tired time" in class, which typically occurs after 1:00. She noticed that a lot of his undesirable behaviors occur when he is overwhelmed, which is a common theme at home, as well. She is going to create a daily calendar for him so that he can cross off "little" tasks as the day plays out. We do this at home, too. One little thing at a time!

His case manager wants to continue working with him on being independent with daily tasks such as putting on his coat and zipping it up without complaining. These little tasks are a constant struggle at home, so we appreciate help in this area.

E's teacher has a new approach with getting him to accomplish tasks in the classroom. She made really fun little punch-cards for him. Any time he does something positive he gets a punch in his card. After 20 punches, he gets rewarded. Today he received 3 punches and he was so excited!

The next trick is figuring out a way to keep Elijah under the special education umbrella after he turns 7 years old in February. His current label is "developmental delay," but at age 7 that can apparently no longer apply. In my opinion, he still very much needs to have special ed services. Without them, his teacher would bear the weight of about 5 or 6 people while he is at school. We have a meeting scheduled for December 11th to discuss this further. Please pray that we can come up with a way for him to continue receiving the help he needs while he is away from us! He definitely needs it and we will rally for it.

Thanks for checking in and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!


christine said...

That sounds fabulous! And you were sooo nervous.

Anonymous said...

He may be able to continue to qualify for special education services through OHD due to his heart condition and/or sleep disorder. You can research OHD on the MN dept of Education website. As a special education teacher, I think you could make a good case and you could have the support from your medical team. I am a firm believer that implemented strategies during the young years helps to foster greater success they older students get. Stay strong, you are doing a great job with E!

jencooper said...

Call me and we can discuss ways to keep him qualified. I was going to suggest what anonymous suggested. There are ways to keep him under the umbrella.