Just got back from the IEP meeting and it went pretty well. Maybe I am comparing it to last years but this one was a piece of cake in comparison.
The teacher and speech pathologist spent a good chunk of time talking about how far Shea has come this year. How he is participating in class, is enthusiastic, confident, is having fun. It is always nice to hear that sort of thing.
We didn't spend too much time on the decision to keep him back for another year and not do Kindergarten yet. This was a decision that we made a while back, got input way before the meeting and genuinely think it is the best decision for Shea.
What they would like to work on this year is his sequencing. Telling a story. Working on conversational interaction. Basically, what that means is he still seems to "not get it" when a certain cause and effect relationship take place. I am sure this is the motor planning and motor sequencing issues that we have been working on.
But, the teacher gave us a good example: When all the kids are sitting around in a circle and teacher will say, "Ok, everybody with a red shirt can go to the table and work on puzzles now." All the kids will look at their cloths and jump up if they have red on but Shea will just sort of sit there kind of confused. He will look at teacher quizzically and say, "I have red shirt." Teacher will say, "Yes, you do. That means you can jump on up and go play puzzles." "Oh." he says. He finally gets it then.
I have to think that this may just have a lot to do with learning the rules of school. When teacher says this, I do this. When a student does this, I do this. When someone says this, I say this. This is how I visualize the sequenceing issue. It does take Shea a few times to get it but he does eventually get it.
The only really awful news we got today was the beloved teacher won't be around next year. She is quitting after 16 years and going back to school. This is the teacher who was our first point of contact in Early Intervention when Shea was 18 months old. I teared up on the spot. I am glad she is going to challenge herself and grow professionally but I am, selfishly, very sad to loose her next year.
But, the change means there will be an option for mornings or afternoon pre-school next year. This tosses up our plans a bit because we only had the afternoon pre-school option this year.
I may just go with mornings and do something else for the afternoon like circus arts class and swim lessons.
Or maybe he can do both morning and afternoon? If sequencing and practice and repetition is his thing, maybe back to back pre-school would be a good thing?
So, all and all, a good meeting. A little bit of bad news with loosing the teacher. But, basically a pretty postive IEP meeting.