Wednesday, March 9, 2011

More Posts from IEP-Land (and IFSP-Land)

Things are not so bad now. And, considering our history, it means I am paranoid. Happy, but paranoid, as if good times are a place I can visit but can never gain citizenship to.

In the past month, both kidlets have had their annual updates, and the good news is we are now done with IFSP's. IFSP's are not bad little creatures, in fact they are happy, optimistic, gentle beasts in our household, full of tales about how fantastically WELL the kids are (were) doing. I even pulled out Isaac's last IFSP to confirm this impression. The shit didn't hit the fan until his IEP's started. Olivia's was dominated with how her last IFSP goals have been met, except a few that simply stated "progressing". Oh, such joy. Aren't you excited, O's Mom? Felt like a real heel to be the Debbie Downer of the group, but once you've been bitten on the ass a few times, you learn to put on the Teflon granny underpants.

She is progressing, I have seen changes that are undeniable. Her social anxiety is under control for the most part, she is able to verbally manage her anxiety by talking with an adult about what she is uncomfortable with. She sits in circle, plays with friends, approaches children and engages with others in imaginative play, even going as far as making friends with new kids without adult coaxing. Her cognitive skills are very good, and she follows multiple instructions without issue.

But these are new skills. How new? Last 6 weeks? Maybe a tad longer? I noticed them sometime in late January. And these things can go away again. There can be a crisis, and we are slipping back a few steps. Yep, Debbie Downer.

Isaac was also reading this well on his last IFSP. Four months into Kindergarten, and we were sitting in a crisis meeting wondering what the hell happened. I think what happened was that as lovely as Preschool is and as lucky as we are to have the EI staff, this does not prepare a child for the academic riggers of today's Kindie in a classroom of 25 typical peers. The days of cutting out hearts and watching THAT kid eat glue off their fingers are gone.

So the debate is still going on whether Little Miss O is heading to Kindie next year. In the meantime, we are enjoying the good times of two kids who are comfortable and happy in their world.

Isaac's IEP went well. He has started attending mainstream classes with great success. His typical teacher has had a good experience so far with Isaac in class. He has friends, and his teachers adore him. He is funny, creative, and focused.

And it's 2nd grade, and things are going to get complicated soon. 3rd grade is a very different beast, and we need to be ready for that.

Anyway, I know I am a brat. I will try harder.