“I don’t think we can answer the question of how we will administer tests to Declan,” the principal of the school stated to the special education teacher, “we haven’t met Declan yet.”
Two days ago I got the notice in the mail that Declan’s IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting was to be held in two days. THIS is the meeting I have been waiting for, scared of and possibly dreading. It was the meeting to discuss what services Declan would be receiving when he transitioned from his Special Education Preschool to Elementary School.
The notice came in the mail – and didn’t give me a lot of notice at all.
Of course I was nervous. What if they didn’t give Declan adequate support and he was unable to succeed? What if he was unhappy?
I was pleased to see on the invite that a Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Special Education teacher, Regular Education teacher, the principal and myself were all to be in attendance.
“Okay,” I thought, “That’s a good team and a good sign.”
And it was.
So for all the times I have expressed concern about this meeting, I wanted to say – it looks like, at least for the transition, Declan will be covered!
The consensus of the room was that they didn’t know him. They saw a child on paper and could deem the following:
“At this time, Declan is demonstrating needs within the areas of cognitive, social and emotional, fine and visual motor, attention/behavior, self-help and speech and language skills. In order to maximize his participation in age appropriate school activities and routines, he needs support in the areas noted.”
So they wrote the IEP, or created his education plan based on his current IEP.
In short, Declan’s learning will be tailored to his abilities in a 1/1 setting, He will continue to work on his same speech, occupational and behavior goals he is working on now. He will be in a regular classroom for their activities. He will have the ability to leave the classroom at any time he needs a break. And he will be accompanied by an aid for the time he is there.
An excellent start if you ask me!
The individuals in the room were focused on Declan. They wanted to know all about him. They wanted to know what would help him succeed. They listened to me. Did I add anything to change the written IEP? I don’t think so – it was already pretty polished and written in a way that supported Declan.
Leaving his current special education preschool is very hard – FOR ME. Declan is doing SO WELL there.
But, the day after Kindergarten orientation, Declan went to his preschool classmates and told them all, “I am going to go to a new school now. It was nice knowing you. Goodbye!”
HE is ready for a new school and a new experience. And now, knowing that he will be completely supported on all angles – so am I.
Kindergarten, here comes Declan!