This blog is going to be a short one tonight because I need to review 29 pages of test results and IEP draft information for our youngest's Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting tomorrow afternoon.
Ryan is making the transition from 2 years in a special education preschool classroom to a Kindergarten class in the mainstream with pull-outs for speech, gross motor skills and social communication. Ryan has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder and although this diagnosis qualifies him for funding and special services, there was also a lot of testing he had to go through so that appropriate services would be tailored to his needs.
We've been to a bunch of IEP meetings before but never one transitioning from preschool to Kindergarten. Last year we made the jump from elementary school to middle school with our oldest son so we have a little experience in making school switches and program modifications but never anything at Ryan's age.
I remember when we were IEP newbies. The process was a bit intimidating and we weren't quite sure what to expect. Instead of being proactive, hopeful and empowered which is what we are when we attend these meetings nowadays, we were reactive, somewhat shy and felt out of our element. We have certainly come a long way and in doing so have become much better advocates for our children and their education. We've also done our best to become partners and develop friendly relationships with all the teachers, evaluators and administrators involved in the IEP process.
If you're at my blog wondering how to get more out your own children's IEP meetings or you're preparing for your very first one, one resource I found online that was extremely helpful and comprehensive was:
IEP HELP - http://www.rockfordautism.com/IEP%20Help.htm
I need to get back to reviewing paperwork but I will blog again tomorrow and let you know how the meeting went! Wish us luck!
Ryan with his amazing teacher and teacher's assistant!