After spending plenty of hours writing, copying, distributing, and filing IEP progress updates over the last few weeks, I had forgotten that I would receive a copy of an IEP update as a parent today.
When I opened Ellie's communication notebook, I saw the reports. I had no need to wonder what the paper was, because I of course recognize the district IEP format very, very well. I read the paper.
And I felt…. bored.
I know what Ellie can do well. I know what Ellie does not do well. Here are some highlights:
Ellie does not mouth non-food items anymore. I guess she tried both paint and play dough once this year, and that's it.
She eats with a fork or spoon.
She can attend to an activity for six minutes in class.
She's not yet sorting by most attributes, but can sort by color.
She's learning her colors and shapes and knows lots of appropriate preschool words.
Ellie can follow directions with prompting if she is not distracted.
She's too short to hang up her backpack and is okay with the rest of the morning routine.
She is tolerating additional textures on her hands.
She is working on appropriate grasp on bigger utensils/classroom tools. And pincer grasp.
Ellie is beginning to negotiate the playground.
She is working on stairs and walks around school.
And so on.
None of this is surprising. She wouldn't sort her animals by animal today, and instead had them give each other kisses.
Ellie gets distracted easily. Ellie is really short. She talks a lot.
None of this captures Ellie. Ellie prays for people by name, and thanks God for things like "Elmo pants" (her jammies).
When Matt was sick the other day, Ellie greeted him with "Wake up Daddy! I help you!" and a pat on the back.
Ellie's progress on her IEP goals is coming along, but it doesn't define her. And in the areas where Ellie still has lots of work to do (ahem, attention), she'll keep working, but won't be defined by her weaknesses.
Oh, and to work on some independence, we bought Ellie a stool.