Friday, July 30, 2010


First off, Drake's botox injections got delayed because he got a chest cold days before the procedure and we had to reschedule. He is now slated to get them on 8/17. Hope he stays healthy!

We had Drake's IEP meeting today. He qualified for an an IEP for Orthopedic Impairment. It went as well as can be expected, I guess. I mean, we got what we were pushing for, which is placement in an integrated preschool classroom. The class is a CDC, Children's Development Center, and will have 20 3-4 year olds, 14 of whom are typically developing, mostly low income kids, and 6 of whom have special needs. There is a general education teacher in the class as well as a special needs teacher for the 6 special needs kids. We don't know what types of needs the other kids have, except that this type of classroom is the highest functioning group cognitively. There is also supposed to be have a great special needs teacher in that class and a great speech therapist (he qualified for once a week group speech therapy at school).

I am happy they thought he could do well here.I am a little worried about the idea of 20 3-4 year olds running around if he is the only one crawling and also that the large size of the class could be tough on his easily distracted mind.

Hubby and I have yet to see the school or classroom since it's summer, so we didn't sign the IEP. We want to meet the teacher, get a feel for the place first. So we are going to check it out in early Sept once school starts. If we think that class will be too much for him we can look at an all special needs classroom that only has 8 kids max. He would get more 1:1 attention in that class, but there will be kids with more severe cognitive issues. It is still an option in my mind.

The last option is trying to find a private preschool that will take him or keeping him home with a nanny. We feel a nanny is the worst option as he is so ready for school socially. He talks about school constantly and wants his lunch in a lunch box since his sister has been going to preschool camp this month. We also feel a private preschool isn't ideal as he would be the only kiddo with special needs most likely and we don't want him to feel like he is the only one in the class who has a hard time doing things, needs more help, etc.

Ah, it's been a long day. Lots to process, but overall, I was pleasantly surprised... so far!


Katy said...

Sounds Great! We don't have mixed classes until kids are four here, so Charlie will be in all special needs this year and hopefully in mixed classes next year. Hopefully. He's so dang pig headed it might be an uphill battle this year.

GingerB said...

We are behind you guys age wise, so I don't have experience in this area of decision making (and am glad to be able to watch my internet freinds' progress to help me out!!), but, I think Hannah has benefitted enormously from being in a day care setting where she sees kids ahead of her and strives to catch up. Now that she walks she is not much behind her peers, just more easily tipped over, and her next challenge will be to transition to the post nursery class, which means a playground setting of wood chips. I find wood chips hard to walk in myself, but I think in the end the challenge will be good. But I am spending a lot of time thinking right now about what I will want to look at next year when she ages out of early intervention and will be offered somethng in the school system. I don't want to be a special needs snob, but I want mainstream or integrated, since I think we don't really have cognitive issues although she is slow to talk, so I don't want her not to see kids she needs to strive to meet cognitively. I hope I don't offend by saying so, but I want Hannah to be in the middle of the range of ability, or even at the bottom working up. God I hope I don't guess this wrong, but as a typically developing "smart" kid, when I was the smartest or the best at reading, or whatever it gave me an easy out, and I took it right out to the pot smoking 8th graders and then dropped out of high school. ELP didn't really exist then, we were just beginning gifted programs and the ones I went to were lame. I needed to be challenged and when I wasn't I bailed out. I don't know if this translates to a girl with motor skills deficits but I don't want her to not be really challenged, as it went so badly for myself and my sibs. Does this translate to my kid with CP? I wish I knew . . .

Hopeful Mother said...

We are a few months behind you guys. They are just starting the evaluation process for Alex's IEP. His meeting will be at the end of next month. We already know that Alex will qualify on physical and developmental/speech levels.

We were originally leaning toward an inclusion classroom, much like you describe (8 SN kids and 25-30 typical preschool Head Start kids) but are hesitant that Alex will get lost in the shuffle and that he still needs more personal attention. And he is not walking yet either.

So for now we are leaning towards the self-contained classroom and just trying to find the right one. The goal is that perhaps next year Alex might be ready for a full-inclusion setup. It sounds to me like Drake is more advanced verbally and socially than Alex so that will be great for him!

Our preschool classes started last week so we are asking to observe two of the stand-alone SDC classrooms to get a feel for how Alex would fit there and what types of other kids are placed there. We observed the full-inclusion classroom in the spring so we had an idea what that was like already.

Definitely a great idea to wait on signing the IEP until you've observed the actual placement.

Sounds like you are off to a great start! We can compare notes along the way since we are in CA too (although different county/districts.)