Oct 12, 2016

Preschool Year 2: The IEP

I know that it technically is her first year of classroom preschool but she was with the school district last year so I'm counting that as her first year and this year was her second.

So in case you didn't know, Addison is going to school with the school district with an IEP. For those of you who don't know what an IEP is, it is an Individual Education Program. It basically means that she has some delays from other kids her same age and therefore we form a plan with her teachers in order to help her get to where she needs to be.


Last year she was transferred from Infant Toddler Services (read about her time with them here and here) to the school district when she was old enough for the preschool. She went through an evaluation period with one of the preschools in the district so they could determine what services she qualified for. She ended up qualifying for speech, social and gross motor with her fine motor needing some additional indirect attention. It was definitely a surprise to us how much she needed and honestly we didn't agree with it all. The long and the short of it is that we decided not to keep her in the classroom last year and had her just be in speech for the year with her going back into the classroom the next year. (Read more about that here and here.)

We really felt like just speech was the best thing for her and it really was. Some people thought we were crazy for taking her out of a free program and what would be an additional year of preschool (she's a fall birthday) but it was the best choice for her.

But this year she went back into the classroom and that has been the right choice as well. It also meant that she needed to be re-evaluated so we could figure out she still needed services for and what her new goals would be. Over the first month or so of school she went through that evaluation period at her school. All the while she was loving school. She hopped out of bed every morning excited about school.

So during her recent IEP meeting we got to talk to her teacher and her therapist about what she needed and didn't need anymore.

Of course speech is still her biggest delay and the one with the most goals. Her speech therapist this year is the same from last year and noted how much she has progressed, but she definitely still needs the most help there. Her gross motor still needs some help but unlike at the last school it was better explained to us why she needed gross motor (in her first IEP we were told she qualified for gross motor yet we were also told that she was where she was supposed to be for gross motor so it was a bit confusing). In this case, it's a matter of a few things around the school and playground that she struggles with that they want to continue to work with in order to help her keep herself safe at school. I'm all for that.

She no longer needed any social goals because the social problems were because of speech problems which was what we thought previously but felt ignored in our feelings about that. And we were correct. She is engaging with other kids and that's due to her confidence in herself and her ability to communicate. So we were definitely thrilled about that.

She has a few academic goals that she didn't have before which we have no problem with getting her ready for some future things that she struggles with now.

The occupational therapist who worked with her with her fine motor was thrilled with how she was doing. She asked if we would be okay with some indirect help but mostly she didn't need her. She said that in most cases when a kid has an indirect help with fine motor they ended up actually needing direct help but she definitely doesn't.

Overall we were definitely pleased with this team and how they put together her IEP. Compared with last year, we are more comfortable with her goals and the focus for her. She loves her school and her friends and her teachers. She jumps out of bed every morning ready to go and asks me all weekend long about going to school. She chats all the way home about what she did. She is having a blast and I can already tell she has progressed so much. They love having her there and she loves it. And that makes us love the entire thing!

xo, B 

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