Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Special education re-eval/IEP meeting, 2014 version

Dan and I survived Elijah's 1.5-hour-long special ed re-eval/IEP meeting today. We reviewed 22 pages of notes on our boy! Whew! We feel like most of his team (after much testing/observing in the past few weeks) has a really good handle on him. Dan and I were fully engaged and made sure every little thing was addressed. It was good. There are some really great new advocates on his team, which is reassuring. We both felt a good connection with his Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) and audiology advocates, which feels good considering his new "disability" label is DHH. Because of this, he is also eligible for Developmental Adapted Physical Education (DAPE). This is good news, too, since his DAPE teacher is WONDERFUL and we feel like she really gets him...and genuinely likes him.

If we felt like everyone really loved Elijah for the wonderful little person he is, we would feel much better about sending him to school every day. Currently we don't feel settled in general about sending him to school, which leaves a pit in the bottom of my stomach. He has had two good weeks of half-days, so we are praying for the absolute best for when he returns to school full-time (probably in two more weeks). We are super thankful for his advocates who love him! His DAPE teacher gushed about him today, telling us how much she loved him and enjoyed seeing his happy smile. Hearing things like this are good for my mama heart!

In a nutshell: academics are great, social skills are poor, responsibility/organization is poor and emotional/behavioral regulation is poor. None of these things are surprises to us. His near-deafness on his left side is thought to be a major contributor to frustration in class, leading to negative behaviors. We need to work on helping Elijah advocate for himself and also control his emotions. These are the main goals for the remainder of first grade.

Tomorrow Elijah turns SEVEN! Dan and I reminisced tonight about what we were doing exactly seven years ago tonight. Ugh, that was a tough one. We are so grateful for the past seven years and how far our oldest boy has come since then. It's incredible! Tomorrow Elijah has requested: lemon cupcakes and dinner at Applebee's! :) Despite the expected blizzard, we'll do it!

Thank you for checking in!

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