I figure since I hardly have time to sit and blog these days, maybe I should just update on one kid at a time. You'll understand after you read how long Ian's update is.
We're having our go around with ARD's and IEP's now. I've been gleaning off all your stories and trying to learn as much as I can about what I can expect. With him being in PPCD for 3 years, everything was pretty basic. Now we're talking kindergarten for next year. I have to say, we are extremely blessed that he is going to the same school where Daddy teaches. And we're doubly blessed that he has had the teacher he has had for the past 3 years. She REALLY cares about him and our family and wants so much to see him go as far as he can. And he has a principal who adores him and is pushing for a lot more than most would.
The last ARD we had was originally supposed to be his placement ARD. Because Jim teaches in the system, we knew that Skills would be one of the possibilities. Shortly before the ARD date I was out jogging and was going past what would actually be his 'home' school in our neighborhood. All of a sudden I felt this HUGE weight hit me and my mind went crazy. By the time I got home to try to share it all with Jim, I was in tears and could hardly spit it all out. You know the stuff I'm talking about....it all starts with "Oh my, what's the best thing for him for school next year." Then it quickly flips to "I'm so sad at the thought that he may never get married and have kids." I know, I know....SLOW DOWN SISTER! Oh, I forgot to mention that previous to my jogging experience, we had a meeting to discuss the results of all his evaluations. That was the first time the school system had actually given him the label of MR to receive services. It didn't come as a shock, but to a mommy's heart, it hit hard. Luckily, I'm able to realize that it's based on a bunch of really idiotic testings that only allow for one correct answer to get the point. It doesn't leave any room for those who can think outside the box and still have the answer be in context. And it's the label that will get him the services he needs. It's not his life label.
I've never sat in on a Skills class before and so had visions in my head of no academic learning being done. I know Ian will be capable of learning to read, do some math, etc. So the thought of me sending him to school, paying for school taxes, etc. to have him not even be taught those things just infuriated me. So, Jim suggested I go observe a Skills class. The school he goes to now doesn't have the program, so I called his 'home' school which does have the program. Boy, did that open a can of worms! The next thing I knew, the 'home' school was calling his current school and one person in the district wants to know who said what to make me think he would be in Skills....yada, yada, yada. So then I was so worried that I had gotten his teacher in trouble, then the whole system thing got me mad again.....not a good week. I finally talked to the Skills teacher at the 'home' school and explained to her that nobody at his current school led me to want to observe. It was mine and my husband's decision. She was very nice and just explained that the head of the Skills program for the district couldn't imagine why I would want to observe at that particular school because Ian is higher functioning than what is offered at that school.....they have the low end of the skills program. Long story short, I decided not to observe at that school, or any other for the time being. I was already drained by the drama.
The next thing I knew, his placement ARD turned into an Amendment ARD because someone else from the district came to observe/evaluate him. I've decided that they just don't have a good program for kiddos with FX but not autism. Under their testings, he did not qualify as autistic or ASD. He's way too purposefully social. So, we're pushing for a full-time shadow for him for next year. I know there are a lot of you who want your child in a regular ed classroom and for them to receive all the same things as a typical child. I don't have a problem with that. But that's not where Jim and I are. Because we don't have him on any noticeable dosages of medications, he is sooooo hyper that it wouldn't be fair to him (or the ONE teacher) to be in a classroom with 20+ typical kids. He's just way too impulsive, loud, just wants to have fun, etc. Not to mention how over-aroused he would get with that many kids. Okay, enough about all that. I'm anxious about his next ARD and curious to see what they will have for us. Oh, he did qualify for music therapy and started it this week. I wish I would have known about it earlier in the school year so I could have pushed for it then. I never even knew they had it.
And thanks to fellow blogger Umma, we will be starting Ian on folic acid therapy. I'm going to call his neurologist today to talk to him about it. Will let you know how it all goes.
Potty training is still going.....very well as far as tee-tee goes. His sticker calendar is FULL everyday. He still won't always go completely on his own, but he generally responds well and quickly to the timer being set. Most of the time he'll tell me to set the timer! Poop is still a no-go. He'll get there. We're just thrilled with any progress that gets made. He loves to see Mommy so proud of him after he tee-tees. Oh, if anyone has any grand ideas how to get him to go on the 'big' potty, please let me know. He only wants to go on the 'little' potty. Well, he's really too big for it. He's tried to stand up at the 'big' potty, but he won't stand close enough to pee in the toilet. And because of his balance issues, he won't use a step stool to try to sit on a potty seat on the toilet. So, needless to say, when we go anywhere, pottying doesn't really happen. UGH!
To sum it up (I know, finally), Ian is really doing great. He still has impulsivity issues and some agression issue with brother and sister (he makes them cry a lot), but he has come so far. His vocabulary and enunciations are great. Even strangers can understand a lot of what he says these days. Even though he makes his brother and sister cry a lot, he is also very loving toward them and likes to get involved with playing with them. Even with other kids, he really tries to learn how to play with purpose. He's still a wonderfully happy kid!
And most importantly.....SPRING BREAK IS NEXT WEEK!