We had Simon's Individualized Education Plan (IEP) meeting with *8* reps from the school district and Simon's current Early Intervention Program last week to review what folks found in their assessments of him, what they thought he would need to address the findings and what the district would provide. It was a fantastic meeting- sort of the model for how an IEP should go- and it was hard. We (my Mom, Laura and I) sat for 2+ hours listening to these smart, observant, caring people articulate all the ways Simon is delayed and all the creative and brilliant ways he compensates. It's intense to have your child "scanned" as thoroughly as he was.
He had the following assessments:
- Status 2 (to check for mental retardation and autism)
- Occupational Therapy
- Physical Therapy
Here is what the district has offered:
- a special day class (yea!!!) with 6 children, a teacher and 2 aides (yes, that's a 2:1 adult to child ratio!) Monday - Friday for 2 1/2 hours
- extra Occupational Therapy once a week
- extra Speech Therapy twice a week (with a male speech therapist- yea testosterone!)
- Physical therapy consultations as needed
- a site visit from a district nurse every month to check in to make sure things are still set up for him medically (handwashing protocols being followed, etc).
- All the adults will get trained on how to do Simon's tube feedings.
- a bus to school once we think he's ready.
And a little bit terrified.
We are handling these upcoming changes...moderately well. I think we're both struggling with what it means to hand over our child to other people, even if is only for a few hours a day. It feels like this is the beginning of a much bigger process, of Simon becoming ever increasingly independent. This is, of course, hard for parents of typical children, but I think particularly hard for parents of kids that are considered medically fragile.
Suffice it to say we're having some big feelings at our house. We haven't quite figured out how to talk about it yet, so it may be a little bit until we can articulate them here. In the meantime, we wanted folks to have the nitty-gritty since we had the IEP.
We're going to visit the school on Wed to make sure we think it's appropriate for him and then, assuming we give the green light, he'll start April 11th!