Tuesday, October 20, 2015

{31 for 21} School.

IEP.  FBA.  BIP.  PWN.  DD.  ID.  ESY.  PT.  OHI.*

If you recognize these acronyms, you probably have a child in special education or you are a special education teacher.  Or if you're me, both.

Ellie spends her days in a mix of special education and general education class.  She receives physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy at school during the school day.  During general education, she works alongside typical peers and also works on play skills.  Her teachers have been fantastic and Ellie is super-confident at school.

Her teachers use visuals, multi sensory approaches, music, movement and bribes to make sure Ellie learns.  They don't just teach letters and numbers, but how to be in school and circle time and recess and lunch - important skills that aren't part of the curriculum but which are needed to succeed.

The mix of settings has been ideal for Ellie, who needs small groups to learn but also thrives with typical peers.  She qualified for special education services at age two.  Every three years, the team meets to determine if the child needs more testing or remains eligible, or to see if we should test and change the label.

Ellie currently is classified as a child with a developmental delay, a designation that expires when she is seven.  After that point, she'll need a new label.  Although I anticipate Ellie qualifying as a child with an intellectual disability, today we decided to test when the current label expires.  With so many transitions lately (new house/new sister), waiting seems wise.  The team has data that Ellie is still delayed, so we avoid testing.

Im 30 days, we meet again for an IEP.  We'll meet again in the spring for a transition meeting for kindergarten.

Ellie is succeeding at school.  Her success might not look like what I pictured for my child before I learned about her disability, but she is learning.  She loves school.  She is happy there.

This morning, my four year old walked into her school and didn't even look back at me.  Her school is a large public preK-5th grade elementary school.

Ellie, we are so proud of how hard you are working at school and of all that you are learning!

*Individual education plan, functional behavior assessment, behavior intervention plan, prior written notice, developmental delay, intellectual disability, extended school year, physical therapy and other health impairment, just so you know.

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