Tuesday, March 6, 2012

First Day of (Pre)School (how we got his IEP)

It has been a long time coming. That sounds like an exaggeration considering we are talking about a 4 yr old boy. But really a year in the life of a young child is a long time.

We got our IEP. It felt like it was by the skin of our teeth. Lucas "presents" as a normal (albeit wild and over dramatic) 4 year old boy. You have to see past all that to understand what is going on with him. Anyways. It was a challenge to try to explain WHY he needed help in school. His diagnosis by an experienced psychologist was our salvation in this matter.  I trust the one who has actually worked with kids like him to tell me if we're crazy or there really is something going on.

However, the timing was awfully close. The full report from the psychologist arrived at the school the morning of the IEP meeting. It basically changed what they were thinking. After 4 hours of reviewing his evaluations and what he didn't qualify under, he ended up qualifying under "AU" for Autism Spectrum, but it doesn't matter, as long as he qualifies. It is "individualized" after all.

His plan for now includes attending the special needs preschool at an elementary school in our county. He is starting with 3 days a week and half days at that. The bus picks him up at 6am and drops him off around 11:30. The teacher is working on the goal "he will pick up his toys after play". It's a place to start.

We were freaking out about kindergarten and how we were going to decide if he was ready. The director of the EC Department (exceptional children) assured us that he was getting his IEP at the best time (preschool) and that going into kindergarten we would be able to make it fit his needs.

Basically, they said, not to worry.

Well, thanks and that is wonderful, but my JOB is to worry. That's how we got here, getting services now, me being a worried mom TWO YEARS AGO. Worry works when it leads to questions and answers and ACTION.

So, for now. Our little man is in school. Today he got on the bus for the first time, with his tiny little book bag and huge grin on his face. I couldn't be prouder of him and us.

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