December 14, 2010

Anna's IEP Meeting

So here's another big update that everyone has been waiting for :)

I am going to go step by step through this to make sure I don't miss anything.

Special Education:
     Anna will continue to work regularly with the special education teacher as long as she is working on an IEP. Which could be forever based on something else that came up in the meeting.

Speech Therapy:
    Anna will continue to receive speech therapy but since she has been making great progress with her speech she is going to go from getting speech once a week to getting it 3 times a month. Not a huge change, just one session less per month basically.

Occupational Therapy:
     Anna will not be receiving OT directly. The occupational therapist will work with Anna's teacher to see how Anna is doing and special arrangements will be made. Anna seems to have a hard time with writing on the regular handwriting paper that Kindergarten kids use where it has the dotted line in the middle. She tries to write either in between the dotted line and top line or in between the dotted line and bottom line. She doesn't understand that she is supposed to use the whole space and uppercase letters take up the entire space and the lowercase letters are only supposed to take up the bottom half of the space... So, what we are starting to try is when she is writing on the paper, we are going to highlight the lines on the space where she is supposed to write. So if she is writing a line of capital letters (like when they are practicing a particular letter) we highlight the top solid line and the bottom solid line. If she is writing a line of lowercase letters, we highlight the middle line and the bottom solid line.  If that doesn't work, Anna will get special paper that doesn't have the line in the middle and only has the top and bottom solid lines. Although we aren't sure if that will work either because we think if we go that route then she will want to use the whole space for all the letters. That was the biggest part that we looked at as far as the OT went. Everything else there was pretty average.

School Psychologist Evaluation:
     This is the one that really hit me hard. Anna is a very touchy, feely kind of girl and always has to be touching someone. It's just how she is. Unforunately, it's not acceptable for school. She also constantly has things in her mouth that are not food. She is 5 years old and is way too old to still be putting toys and stuff in her mouth. She also has been chewing on her clothes since she started school which I was not aware of. She does not do it at home and I was really shocked to learn that it has been going on all year long. So, the school psychologist and Anna's teacher both feel like she is having a very difficult time adjusting to the school setting, and they feel like there may be some sensory issues. So our next step with the psychologist for now is to look into Asperger Syndrome.

So that is where we are with everything regarding Anna and school. It's really rough right now. I didn't realize she was having such a hard time. She comes home and is excited to do homework and she has never really had anything bad to say about school. So there wasn't a whole whole lot of good in this IEP meeting, but I was happy to hear that she doesn't need direct OT and to hear that her speech was improving... While I sound like I'm "down" about all of this, I'm not really that upset. I feel like we are finally  moving forward and figuring Anna out. There are still other things to "figure out" with her and things that need to be handled between school and home. I am kind of at a point where I am so overwhelmed with all the information that has been thrown at me in the last few weeks that I just don't know what to do at this point. So I am just going day by day, waking up with every day being a new day.

Anywho, there's the update on my Anna Banana :) There may or may not be more updates on things between now and Christmas, so just in case, I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas :)

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