First school meeting = more questions — The Bump
Special Needs

First school meeting = more questions

we had our meeting with the school and I feel worst then I did before we went. The class room was old and boring, and the teacher wasn't anything like I expected. I could cry. We don't have any other choice since we are in the special ed program and they are the only ones in our district. I am afraid he is going to hate it.

I knew they were going to throw a lot at us, but I don't think anything prepares you for sitting in a room with 7 strangers talking about how behind your kid is and all sorts of new terms. I was really over whelmed today and I already have a list of questions for our next meeting. At least we have until August to get it all set up.

Here is what we DO know:

He is:
Sensory Sensitive
Has low registration
Sensation avoiding
shows some sensory seeking tendencies
Has a probable difference in Visual, tactile and vestibular processing

His Battelle II scores:
Adaptive: 27%
Personal Social: 7%
Communication: 0.5%
Motor: 45%
Cognitive: 1%
Total BDI-2 score: 4%

His over all language score was 5%.

So next school year he will receive 480 minutes of special education (Tue/Thurs 10-2)at the early ed preschool, with 15 minutes with the speech pathologist and 15 minutes of speech with a paraprofessional. Nothing with an OT yet, no separate time for sensory therapy. She kept saying they have sensory in her classroom but nothing specific. Again, she is more concerned with preparing him for school. I expected that. I knew we wouldn't get in home therapy. I didn't expect it to be pushed aside like that though.

I am going to run it all by our case worker to see if she thinks this is enough and if I should push more for OT ( my gut is telling me too.) Or am I making to big of deal about it all if her class room is set up for special need kids.

So here is where I am now. I don't know what is normal. If this isn't the norm, what do I do? How do I push? How do I do it in a way that I am advocating without being over bearing? Or is that what I am suppose to do? I am so confused and over whelmed.

I don't want special treatment, I just want what is best for Drew. Should I wait until our actual IEP in September? Talk to her in July? Email her now? I am such a noob at all of this! Someone please tell me it gets easier?!! Am I a special needs mom fail?!?!

Diabetic, 2IF, PCOS; blessed beyond words to be called "mommy" to Drew (6/30/09) and Alynn (5/16/11).
Parenting author for Women of Worth. Mom Blogger and photographer.

 Andrew David: mixed receptive/expressive language phonological disorder, sensory processing disorder, Disruptive Behavior disorder-nos and insomnia.


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Re: First school meeting = more questions

  • Best decision I ever made was hiring a professional educational advocate. I'm a teacher with a lot of different types of school personel close by to ask questions to, but my advocate knows the system well and knows the law. She also helps in those emotional times like this. She takes the notes, knows our concerns and also knows my son very well.

    Sorry you are so over whelmed. I know the feeling very well.  You can always leave things for now, talk to different professionals, and then ask to reconvene the team in September. It will get better.Auntie is a great resource as well, 

  • image -auntie-:
    image Heather & Nayt:

    we had our meeting with the school and I feel worst then I did before we went. The class room was old and boring, and the teacher wasn't anything like I expected. I could cry. We don't have any other choice since we are in the special ed program and they are the only ones in our district. I am afraid he is going to hate it.

    I'm sorry you're feeling anxious about the school. Your son may or may not "hate it". If he does, it certainly won't be because the building is old and the decor isn't exciting. I chose DS's kindie, in aprt, because the setting was so vibrant and colorful and fun looking to my eye. But it wasn't about me, the room was cluttered and distracting for DS and interfered with his ability to focus and attend.

    HIs next school was for kids with ADHD and LD issues; it was in an old mansion. HIs room was formerly Nanny's room-small, painted a blank white and void of any decor, artwork or distractions. It was totally sterile, but he learned there because the room suited his needs instead of his mother's. His current school was designed by someone who usually designs prisons and looks it, but the learning community is so vibrant and inclusive, he's never complained about the lack of windows or the narrow, endless halls.

    Schools are a bit like churches, it's the people that are the school not the building that holds them so much.

    I completely get where you are coming from, and after writing and talking to a friend I can understand it.

    I knew they were going to throw a lot at us, but I don't think anything prepares you for sitting in a room with 7 strangers talking about how behind your kid is and all sorts of new terms. I was really over whelmed today and I already have a list of questions for our next meeting. At least we have until August to get it all set up.

    It's never easy to listen to educators disect your child into a laundry list of delays and deficits that need fixing. But it's the nature of the process. It does get easier over time, especially once you see your child's progress.

    Write down the terms and google them. Or ask here. Many of us have BTDT. Has your child been evaluated by the district yet?

    No, they are going by what infant toddler gave them. She wants to observe him for 30 days once school starts to do anything.

    Here is what we DO know:

    He is:
    Sensory Sensitive
    Has low registration
    Sensation avoiding
    shows some sensory seeking tendencies
    Has a probable difference in Visual, tactile and vestibular processing

    His Battelle II scores:
    Adaptive: 27%
    Personal Social: 7%
    Communication: 0.5%
    Motor: 45%
    Cognitive: 1%
    Total BDI-2 score: 4%

    His over all language score was 5%.

    You seem awfully focused on the sensory piece. From what you write, the social/communication/cognition piece is more worrisome. If he is on spectrum, and his Battelle II scores would be about what I would expect in a child with autism or PDD-Nos, this would be the primary dx and the most important need addressed educationally.

    I have seen vast improvements since starting OT for his sensory issues and it is the only solid dx we have right now so I think that is why I feel like I am clingy to it. We will be testing for PDD-NOS this summer because it is suspected. I fully understand that is he does get the dx that will be primarily the focus.

    So next school year he will receive 480 minutes of special education (Tue/Thurs 10-2)at the early ed preschool, with 15 minutes with the speech pathologist and 15 minutes of speech with a paraprofessional. Nothing with an OT yet, no separate time for sensory therapy. She kept saying they have sensory in her classroom but nothing specific. Again, she is more concerned with preparing him for school. I expected that. I knew we wouldn't get in home therapy. I didn't expect it to be pushed aside like that though.

    Do you feel a connection to your current OT? I often find people transitioning to public school struggle with the ways an IEP differs from an IFSP and that leaving OTs and SLPs behind is hard. Often parents come to trust these people who've been with their families and will weigh their opinions over those of people who are more familiar with preschool education.

    I love our OT. She has been great and I think you hit the nail on the head for us there. 

    Will this be a developmental or speech special ed classroom? These typically have a lot of sensory stuff built into the daily curriculum. If you feel he needs more OT, you may need to supplement privately or have the school OT evaluate for the educational impact of his SPD. I would hesitate though, if the service is pulled out of the 480 minutes he gets each week, he may miss out on other, more critical instruction. IME, sensory issues do improve with age and maturity but things like speech and behaviors need rote instruction.



    I am going to run it all by our case worker to see if she thinks this is enough and if I should push more for OT ( my gut is telling me too.) Or am I making to big of deal about it all if her class room is set up for special need kids.

    In an IEP, services are the result of measurable goals. If you can translate a sensory issue into impacted him educationally, you should be able to get OT. At 3, so little is expected, he may not meet the criteria for school OT at this time.

    Good to know.

    So here is where I am now. I don't know what is normal. If this isn't the norm, what do I do? How do I push? How do I do it in a way that I am advocating without being over bearing? Or is that what I am suppose to do? I am so confused and over whelmed.

    There is no normal. Meeting other parents in your district who've recently had IEPs written for their children with similar needs is useful. But every district delivers preschool special education a little differently. Hiring an advocate is always a good idea if you can afford one. Look for someone familiar with your district and school.

    I don't want special treatment, I just want what is best for Drew.

    Banish the word best from your school vocabulary. Your child is entitled to free and appropriate under IDEA- not best. You might want the shiny new BMW, but your district can give you a used Buick if it is deemed appropriate to getting from point A to point B. 

    I understand that. I really do. I just want to see him get all the possible help he can. 

     Should I wait until our actual IEP in September? Talk to her in July? Email her now? I am such a noob at all of this! Someone please tell me it gets easier?!! Am I a special needs mom fail?!?!

    It probably doesn't matter. Started learning what you can about the local 411 and about IDEA/IEPs in general. You can always reopen or ammend an IEP if it isn't working for you son. You get another chance to make it right.

    It does get easier and you will become an expert over time.

    Thank you. I am glad to know it get's easier since right now I feel like I am pretty dang lost. 

    Diabetic, 2IF, PCOS; blessed beyond words to be called "mommy" to Drew (6/30/09) and Alynn (5/16/11).
    Parenting author for Women of Worth. Mom Blogger and photographer.

     Andrew David: mixed receptive/expressive language phonological disorder, sensory processing disorder, Disruptive Behavior disorder-nos and insomnia.


    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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