How long should it take?

We had our IEP meeting last Thursday, we still don’t have a copy of the IEP to sign.  I asked Monkey’s teacher this morning and she said she gave the team a Wednesday deadline to enter changes.  A week?  I wonder what they’re changing, we didn’t have many comments to their draft.  I like these people, they’re a great group of providers and I’d love to keep them for another year…but this makes me suspicious, I hate that.

Potentially adding to my paranoia, I bought “Wrightslaw:  All About IEPs” and it arrived last night.  I like the way it’s set up, it’s very accessible.  After a quick browsing I’ve already picked up on a number of things our district does that they should not…maybe I shouldn’t read it after all, lol.

I smell like maple syrup.

I had so much maple syrup yesterday that I think I will be sweating maple syrup for the rest of the week!  We had…vanilla ice cream with maple syrup, maple whoopie pies, maple butter, more vanilla ice cream with maple syrup, maple peanuts…I passed on maple baked beans, maple cotton candy, maple doughnuts and pancakes with maple syrup.  And this was all before lunch.  I think I’ve had my fill of maple syrup for a while!

Maine Maple Syrup Sunday is one of my favorite days.  We visited 5 sugar shacks, 3 of which were on working farms.  We rode on a wagon pulled by a team of draft horses (“Cows!” according to Monkey, to the amusement of the gentleman driving the team.)  We smelled manure and old silage…I prefer the smell of manure.  We saw calves, pigs, cows, more horses and farm dogs.  We froze our noses and toeses and enjoyed time with family and friends.  See why I love it?

Monkey did not love it so much.  We had to get up early.  Everytime we stopped at a sugar shack he had to shut off his movie (either “A Bugs Life” or “Monsters, Inc.”) and walk around in a crowd.  He was so completely unimpressed until he had a bite of maple whoopie pie.  After that first taste, though, he followed Duhdee around with his mouth open like a baby bird.  “Pie?  I want?  Monkey1 turn?”  He ate 1/2 of one…it’s a good thing he’s cute when he’s on a sugar high, lol.  The bunny hopping and galloping were especially amusing.

And, to make yesterday even more exciting, I think I found a therapeutic riding location!  It’s a long drive but they have Saturday hours and it’s not that far from my parent’s house so we could visit family while were up there too.  Here’s hoping their wait list for Saturday hours isn’t terribly long (the locations close to us have 2 YEAR waiting lists!)

  1. He doesn’t call himself Monkey.  If we’re friends on Facebook, he says his name and replaces the middle letter with a “y” and it’s so frickin’ cute. []

IEP update? Eh, ok.

Yeah, so we had Monkey’s annual IEP update meeting yesterday and the most exciting part of the whole meeting was…Monkey lost his 4th tooth mid-meeting! 

The rest of the topics were pretty unexciting.  We talked about what sort of evaluations the school would be requesting for the 3 year re-eval and we were fine with all they suggested.  We were happy to learn that his current providers will be doing the evaluations.  It will make everything much easier on Monkey and I know they’ll get the best possible results out of him.  I did suggest that if they do cognitive testing that they use the K-ABC test which I’ve seen recommended for kids with FX in the past but the psychologist expressed a preference for using just the Vineland.  That is fine with us because parent and teacher report IS going to show his skill level much more accurately than any standardized testing will.

The team set goals for the rest of this year, everyone is excited about his progress.  We’re pushing forward on new goals with only one exception…alphabet and number recognition.  He is about 80% on identifying the letters at school (he’s probably 99% at home, just Q and Z sometimes give him a hard time) but the teacher wants this to be a solid 100% skill before moving on.  Works for me.  He is much less interested in numbers and he is basically guessing.  If the card has a two digit number on it he will start at 10 and work his way up until he gets it right, lol.  Definitely an area he needs to work on.

We had 4 things on the agenda we put together with our advocate and 3 of them were already addressed in the new goals.  1 was something the OT wanted to discuss with us.  She wanted to change one of her OT sessions to a push-in delivery.  Currently, he has 2 sessions a week and both are pull-outs.  We wanted to request that they try to do more push-in services for him to keep him with his peers as much as possible.  The OT was relieved, apparently a lot of parents prefer pull-out services and fight her on the issue.  Not these parents, I keep telling them that this is the sort of thing that will play to his strengths!

The only semi-annoying thing at the meeting was the discussion of how many IEPs we need to write in the next 3 months!  We did a re-write yesterday for his annual, we will do a re-write in June for his kindergarten placement beginning in September 2010 AND we need to do a re-write wrap-around IEP to bridge the annual IEP and the kindergarten one.  Gah.  So annoying.  No one understands why but the order is coming from the SPED director and she is SO not a person you want to p*ss off, as many in our district have learned.  Soooo, 3 IEPs in 3 months it is!

Oh, oh, oh!

and…we discovered this all on our own…he can count to 30.  He could probably go higher but he starts objecting around twelve  and by the time he gets to 30 he’s not a happy camper. 

*Covers ears* ALLLLLLLLLL DOOOOOOOOOOOONNNNNNNEE!

We stop the torture about that point although I will admit that I am laughing my @ss off at him the whole time1

The best part is, really, you can’t force anyone to count, right?  They just stop talking and *poof* they’re done! Monkey has a weakness that we exploit mercilessly though.  If we repeat the last number he said, he feels compelled to say the next in the sequence.  It’s quite hilarious.  Poor kid.

  1. Don’t call CPS, he’s grinning too! []

Yet another update on Monkey’s progress.

Monkey had 4 days of school last week.  The comments we received from the teacher were consistent throughout the week.  She said:

  • his speech is increased
  • he is more attentive
  • he is still as distractible
  • he is still impulsive

So…we achieved the two main goals we had in starting the stimulant but didn’t address the two main issues we thought were holding him back.  Weird, eh?  I’m not sure what to do with this info.

Other things that were in the note or were mentioned at pick up were that:

  • he sat at a table and did FIVE puzzles one after the other.  One, he hates puzzles and two, he hates sitting…so this is no small feat.  She commented that once he was done, he was done.  But, c’mon…FIVE puzzles?  I suspect that he did all the puzzles on the table (they usually have 4 or 5 out depending on the size of the table they’re using) and objected when they added new ones and who can blame him?  They were changing the rules mid-game!
  • he has started SINGING along with the other kids rather than just doing the hand gestures.  I should ask them to record this because, frankly, I am having trouble believing this one.
  • he hates going to the school nurse, even when he takes a friend.  Just wait until she starts trying to take his blood pressure and isn’t just giving him a spoonful of his very favorite yogurt.  We’ve warned them…it won’t be pretty.  I’m afraid we may see a repeat of the effects of the “Ill Advised Halloween Costume of Aught-Seven.”

And, from today, his OT noted SIGNIFICANTLY IMPROVED attention during his OT session!  Nice.

Show me?

So, the little darling has perfected “show me.”  It is very clear now, there is no doubt as to what he’s saying.  Just to be sure I’m  understanding him though, he’s started holding his hands out in front of himself, palms up, shoulders lifted as he says “Show me?”  Just like I do, lol.  It would have been nice if he’d added that little gesture back when I couldn’t understand what he was saying!!

He’s using it rather creatively too.  If I’m doing something he doesn’t like and he wants to distract me he’ll say “Show me?” and he’ll try to get me to follow him away from whatever I’m doing.  If he wants something he can’t reach, like the chips, he’ll say “Show me?” and lead me to the kitchen.  I’m like a trained seal…he speaks I follow along, lol.

It’s springtime!

Oh, how my heart just *sings* when we hit this time of year!  The robins are everywhere, my spring flowers are coming up, I start my garden preparation and we get to have IEP meetings!  I just love spring.

Next week we have Monkey’s annual review on Thursday.  We’ll only be discussing summer services and summer goals this time because we’ve been in the system now for 3 years.  You all know what that means!  It’s our turn for the re-evaluations!  @#$&%!  Oops, I mean, Yayyy!

We have a meeting with our advocate on Monday.  She’ll be coming to the annual review not because we expect anything contentious but because we want her up to speed for the 3 year re-evaluation process.  Not that we expect anything contentious to come up there either but, well, we’ve been down this road before. 

I really hate to say anything that will jinx the whole process but there has been a really big push from the new superintendent to get the SPED program to where it should be.  He’s heard about the issues parents across the district have been having with certain members of the SPED staff1and he is committed to changing the tone of parent/administration interaction.  So, we at least know who to call if the meeting goes to hell!

Not that it will go to hell…

  1. Ya’ll didn’t think it was just one crazy/high maintenance Umma having these issues, did you?? []