Monday, March 28, 2011

Big Changes at Chez Fitch-Jenett

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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
  •  Speech
  •  Psychological
The findings varied, but the bottom line is that in some areas Simon is only about a year delayed and in other areas, he's at the level of a *15* month old. Uniformly, every assessment commented on what a sweet, happy child he is. It was almost comical to see almost the same words over and over in each assessment. And quite lovely.

 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.
Laura and I are thrilled.
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!


Nate's Mom @ Nate is Great said...

That is awesome!!! He's gaining wings and getting ready to fly. You watch - he'll wow them all at school. Team Simon hollerin for your boy over here in CT! xxoo

Krista said...

Wow! April 11th???? Big, big steps! Keeping my fingers crossed for you! hugs to all three of you!
--Krista, Molly, and Penny

poopymachine said...

You don't know me and I only found your journal this evening through...well, heck, I'm not sure what crazy click-the-link got me here, but I'm so, so, so happy for the three of you. So happy because you got a right proper IEP meeting with people who understood your son and helped him and not themselves! It gives me hope that round two with my son's IEP meeting people will go better than the first. (Your son is a few days younger than mine and we had our IEP meeting the day after you did...with terrible results.) Good luck!