Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Best. IEP. Ever.

So remember that whole IEP drama thing where we decided to uproot and move to an entirely new town in the hopes of finding a school district that would give Connor what he needed?

Yeah. Totally worth it.

We had Connor's IEP meeting today with the Puyallup school district, and not only were they friendly, courteous and completely unhostile (unlike our previous district) but they went above and beyond to make sure that all of his needs are being met. Connor will have a paraeducator who knows sign language assigned to him during classroom hours. He'll have a PT, OT, ST, and an audiologist working with him as well. They'll provide adaptive furniture and an FM system. They identified him as qualifying for services and wrote goals for social/emotional/adaptive, cognitive, communication, fine motor, gross motor, and sensory issues. He'll be in a special needs classroom that will have an awesome adult-to-student ratio-- this past year there were eight students in one class and nine in the other with the teacher and three paraeducators. The teacher seemed fantastic, the administrators were great, and everyone seemed excited about working with Connor in the upcoming school year. Nobody acted like we were asking for something completely irrational or inappropriate-- we didn't even have to bring it up, as they already had the aide written in on the IEP! The document ended up being over thirty pages long, and we're confident they covered all the bases. Not only that, but they're okay with adding other services as needed.

We'll continue to stay in contact with the teacher and the therapists over the break, and Connor will start school up in the fall. This meeting has taken a huge weight off my shoulders and made Jer and I confident that we made the right decision. We're going to meet again in the fall and make adjustments to Connor's IEP as need be, and it sounds like they're willing to meet whenever we feel like it needs revision. What a huge difference from our last IEP meeting! This is a good thing, too, because now I won't have to homeschool. I love Connor dearly and I'd do it if I needed to (I even set his room up with that in mind), but homeschooling wouldn't exactly help Connor's trust issues with other adults, now would it? Also that two hour stretch of alone time four days a week is starting to look really good.

I think if we had to do it over again, we'd make the same decision in a heartbeat. Now Jeremy doesn't have to worry about the education that Connor's getting while he's gone. I'm so glad we chose to be proactive and make a decision that may have been difficult for us in the short term, but so much better for Connor in the long term.

Now we just have to wait for school to start!



Julia O'C said...

That is SO GREAT!! Kudos to you and your husband for uprooting yourselves for the sake of your little boy. I'm so happy to hear that it was for the best.

Lucas'Mommy said...

That's so great, and nice to hear that there are some friendly districts out there! I've been hearing too many horror IEP stories lately (your previous experience included).

gloria said...

So by the other school district, would that be Clover Park? (Just had to put it out there!) I think that's so awesome. I'm kind of curious about enrolling Elayna in Head Start when we move to KY. Know anything about that program?

Lin said...

Hey, great news!!! And it isn't just that he'll be with other adults, but with other kids too, which will help him a ton. I'll bet he makes dramatic changes once he starts school--I'll bet he LOVES it!! I'm glad this worked out for you. You all deserve a break. :)

Julia said...

I'm so glad and relieved! Excellent news!

Sweet Lorraine said...

Oh, Jessie. This news makes me so happy every time I think about it. I've asked everyone I've encountered who knows you, "Have you read Jessie's blog in the last few days?" and then delighted in sharing the good news if they have not yet done so. Sorry to steal your thunder like that, but I'm just so excited for you and for Connor. You and Jeremy clearly made such a wise choice in moving for Connor's sake. If we have children somewhere (far) down the road, I really hope we're at least half as wonderful parents as you and Jer have proven to be.

Bird said...

Wow. What a great choice you made for your child. I admire you so much for that.

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