If you have not had an IEP meeting yet, get ready. Your average IFSP meeting is a gathering of pertinent staff, usually the teacher, the OT, the speech path, and then the parents. It is usually a nice enough meeting, generally on little chairs at little tables in the classroom.
In comparison, the IEP meeting can be a complete cluster f*ck.
Sorry. A bit coarse.
So for example, we have from Pioneer one of the teachers, the counselor, the speech path. From Alameda, we have the teacher, one of the para-aides, the head of the special ed at Alameda, the speech path, and the OT. From Columbia regional, we have one ASD specialist, and possibly one more person from MESD. Then the family. And since I am on crack, I am inviting the PPS parent advocate who helped us when we moved Isaac to Pioneer.
I should take a pic. Will have to be a panoramic.
Still, I am feeling good. We visited Mr P's class on Friday, and spent the last half hour of the classes free time in the room. It is a CB academic class, so the students need a lot of support, need social skills work, but are academically at grade level. I don't know what exactly I was expecting, but I felt a little apprehensive sitting there in the back of the classroom, watching the kids finish their play and get ready for the end of the school day. Isaac already had his desk marked, so he sat down by Noah and waited for the bell to ring.
Now, I know it was only 30 minutes of observation, at the end of the day on the first week. So all of the impressions are a bit raw. But I noted a few things.
1. Some of the kids seemed to have more severe symptoms, and none were talking and interacting like kids do when in free time. Most were on computers or being redirected by the aides. This in itself is not alarming, but is worth noting.
2. The schedule for the day is pretty clear, and written on the board. It was carefully observed. There was one teacher and 4 aides, and it was obvious that the aides had their focus-child to work on. Some kids seemed more independent.
3. Isaac was seated next to a child described as the "most popular" in the class. In the short time I was there, most kids did not interact, but the class seemed calm and controlled for the most part.
There was only 30 minutes, and I spent a good amount of that time chasing O around. But there was one immediate question that came to mind. Will Isaac be the most socially adept kid in the class? And do I really want that?
Now I need to prep for the meeting, and calm myself a bit. Busy busy busy.