Monday, May 25, 2009

Summer is here & IEP updates

Well, it's official. School is out for the summer. (If you're interested in a little mood music, click here). The boys will get a couple of weeks off and after Cuddlebug and Bearhug's birthday it will be time to start up summer homeschool.

I can't believe my two big guys are going to be third-graders next year. As Cuddlebug would say, "Can you beweive it?!" No, I can't!

They will be turning 8 less than two weeks from now. We have a lot to do between now and then, that's another post entirely.

IEP Update

We had some late-breaking changes to Little Bitty's IEP this month. When we originally met earlier in the spring, Bitty wasn't quite ready to make the move from a self-contained class (which he is in now) to more of an inclusion setting with "typical" peers. As the school year came to a close though, his teacher called to discuss again. She still doesn't feel he is quite ready for inclusion in a regular Pre-K classroom, but rather than keeping him in a self-contained class, she suggested that we put him into a head start class with NT 3-yr-olds.

The curriculum is not that different from the 4-yr-old pre-K class, so it should not be detrimental from an academic-challenge perspective but it will help with his social / communication development since he is closer to the 3-yr-olds in that area. Well, ok, realistically he is probably not yet where most 3-yr-olds are in terms of social / communication skills. But academically on nonverbal stuff he could hold his own with the 4-yr-olds and then some :).

The head start class will be taught by a special ed teacher, with a special ed parapro and either a regular ed teacher or parapro. So, he will still benefit from having teachers who understand his strengths and his needs and can help him have a successful school year. It is also a smaller class than the Pre-K classes, with 14 students (up to 8 NT and 6 with special needs) as opposed to 20 students in Pre-K classes.

Bitty continues to do well academically, with his strength being in nonverbal learning as you might expect. In fact, his teacher used the phrase, "like a genius" (her words, not mine!) to describe how quickly he learns when the subject matter doesn't require very much verbal ability. On the other hand, he continues to struggle quite a bit with subjects that are more reliant on verbal skills.

We'll see how it goes next year in the 3-yr-old class. This is going to take the place of his Pre-K year, as he'll still need to go to Kindergarten the following year. Whether he ends up going into a resource setting like his brothers or to a self-contained Kindergarten class is TBD, we'll have to see how he's doing at the end of next year. I'm ok either way. It's pretty clear that his delays are more significant than his brothers at the same age, so he may not necessarily follow the same path that they have, and that's ok. We just want what's best for him, and to find the setting that will give him the best opportunity for success.

No change to Bearhug and Cuddlebug's placement for next year (if it's working, don't mess with it!) although we did update their goals for 3rd grade.

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I'm a mom of three boys on the autism spectrum, 11-yr-old identical twins and a 7-yr-old. My husband is a SAHD.


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