Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Inconceivable Feast of Special ed Practicum

That was the definition of the acronym IFSP this evening as we had our 2 1/2 hour meeting that will be extended into next week. They all took copies of the 5 typed pages of requests, concerns, questions and goals we brought to the table. We definitely got their attention. They said the head honcho will have to be present at the next meeting. They couldn't even offer to give us the weekly class evals we requested and the teacher said that it was difficult to write in his communication notebook everyday.. Which is usually an offering of about 3 sentences that usually don't tell us anything helpful. The testing we requested they told us could not be done for another 2-4 years because of his age. They thought 30 mins of speech therapy a month was adequate. We made strong points and didn't give in. When they used the excuse our last team always used about speech therapy being integrated into the classroom by the teacher and aides, I told them about his speech therapy session today. I told them I videotaped 5 minutes of it.. And he showed progress and motivation in just those five minutes. I told them that speech therapy isn't taking place if there is no one there who is qualified to administer it. Then I looked the speech therapist in the eye and said, "He needs THERAPY."

I'm deeply saddened that it looks like we are heading into battle. Time doesn't need to be wasted, just help him. Do your job.

At one point the autism specialist brought up funding as a reason speech therapy would be so limited. We have learned that money can never be an excuse to not administer services. We recorded the entire meeting. All the way down to the therapist telling us how much info and support she gives out to the parents. When she finished I told her that I had received ONE note from her on Judah's progress (which was less than half a sheet of paper of some written notes) and that it was because I just happened to run into her that day. We were just honest. When you ask services of people that by law they should already be doing, that are part of their job, that are listed on the company's website as services offered.. Shouldn't they apologize and hope you don't take further action... Shouldn't they just get to work??!

We talked for a bit about services offered to families - we have never been offered any in the over a year he has been there - the autism specialist mentioned a workshop coming up at Swindells. I looked at the speech therapist and said, "Is that part of the 3 session workshop I ran into you at?" I searched to find that training online, by myself. And it was a very helpful workshop. They could have been giving us info on those workshops for over a year!!

A good rule of thumb.. NEVER have an IFSP meeting on your wedding anniversary. We went to dinner at Bentleys.. Mahi Mahi and steak. We haven't done that in so long. It was nice, very nice. Love you babe - 5 years going on 60 - diamond anniversary!!

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