The dreaded 3 letters in a special needs school year, IEP (individualized education plan), took place for Liam last week. They are typically awful for parents because the school tries to put in perspective the child's disabilities, abilities, how they can best work with your child, and what they think our child needs. Usually it falls short of the parent's expectations and can be heart wrenching seeing on paper what they think your child is or is not capable of doing..
Liam's went pretty well, considering. We get the descriptive moniker of multiply disabled
which helps encompass the fact that Liam is blind, has cp, and can't communicate well because of his motor limits and vision issues. We luck out that Liam's birthday falls in Nov. He will only be 4 in two weeks. It means he gets an extra year of preschool at home before starting kindergarten so we didn't have to work in to this years IEP preparation for kindergarten. He'll be going on 6 before he actually gets there.
This year we had some changes at the beginning of the year; a new preschool teacher and a new occupational therapist. I'm not one for change when it comes to Liam because it takes such a long time to get to know him. But we lucked out with our preschool teacher this year. She's amazing. She is energetic, not afraid of trying to get 'inside' Liam and she is always figuring out what to do to best achieve goals for Liam.
At the IEP you have to have everyone involved with Liam's services there. So we had:
- occupational therapist
- physical therapist
- speech language pathologist
- preschool teacher
- vision teacher
The parent has to agree with the IEP. If you don't you can voice your concerns, what you would like to see, or what you think needs to be done different.
They decided that Liam should have extra services this year which is a great thing because it means he is 'doing things'*. They have upped his preschool time and upped his speech by an additional hour each week. I love it because whatever it takes to get to Liam I'm willing to do. And because it means he's doing things worthy of more education.
*Liam nailed his colors two weeks in a row. I told them a while back that he knows them but he has to prove it to them in order for it to be documented on his goals.