Wednesday, April 15, 2009

People First

I've taken some nighttime cold medicine and was just on my way to bed (you know, when you realize that you haven't closed your mouth in the last 10 minutes, your ears begin to ring, and you cease to feel any pain whatsoever) when my computer began calling me in that way that computers here I am. Please do not hold me responsible for run-on sentences, typos, or just plain boring content.

This morning, Steve and I had a very long (2 hrs. 15 min.) but successful IEP meeting at Samantha's school with her teachers, therapists and Vice Principal. We received her preliminary IEP with the goals they all set yesterday, and so had little time to review it before the meeting (reading it after taking lastnight's dose of nighttime cold medicine was not such a good idea), but it looked like it was covering all of the bases. We had a few of our own to add to it, but the additions were met by all involved with enthusiasm. It has been decided that Samantha can go to school for 5 days a week, receiving 1 hour each of PT, OT and ST each week, which is exactly what we wanted. The specific goals and their timelines look appropriate, attainable, and measurable. We had a rather lengthy discussion about Extended School Year (ESY) services, and the fact that Samantha is not eligible solely because she has only been at the school for a month and they are unable to prove that she would either regress without services over the summer (they've never experienced her after a break, but heck, who has? She's 2, and just started school in September, after having had Early Intervention right up until school started!) or that she's on the edge of a breakthrough. Personally, we do really think that she's at a point, especially with speech, that could be a breakthrough. She's begun to use 2-word sentences more frequently, and has made more of an effort to try to mimic the correct pronunciation of words (we understand what she's saying with her word approximations, but it's crucial that everyone understand her!). We agreed on the IEP and signed, but with the provision that we would need to reconvene to discuss ESY again in a few weeks, after we can consult with Samantha's old school in Arlington for any kind of corroborating documentation to support a need for ESY. We'll see...

But back to the post title...the Vice Principal was talking about children with Down syndrome as "Down syndrome children", and Steve was VERY quick to jump in and correct him, saying "Children with Down syndrome". It was a very proud moment for me...when I first introduced the concept of People First to Steve, he didn't get what the big deal was. Which is fair enough. I understand where he was coming from, and am certainly not a person who would jump on someone for saying it, but as Steve said later, the VP is in a position that should really know better, especially as the person in a school who heads the Special Ed program. He did it a couple of times, and each time Steve corrected him. Finally, the third time, he got it right, second guessed himself and began to correct himself the wrong way, but we laughed and said he got it right the first time. I think he may think more carefully about his words in the future.

I'll end this (my brain is getting foggier and foggier with each passing minute) by saying a HUGE "Congratulations and Good Luck" to Michelle at Our Roads Traveled who has checked into the hospital this evening and will have a brand new baby girl (name yet-to-be-announced) tomorrow! I hope all goes well, and can't wait to meet her!


Renee said...

I am glad everything went well with the IFSP. It sounds like she is in a great school.

Way to go Steve!

Ruby's Mom said...

Great job Steve!!!!!