Monday, October 22, 2012

IEP: Kindergarten Edition


Listen to the MUSTN'TS, child,
      Listen to the DON'TS
      Listen to the SHOULDN'TS
      Listen to the NEVER HAVES
Then listen close to me-
      Anything can happen, child,
ANYTHING can be.

Isaac and I read this poem before bed last night, and I took it as a good omen for today's IEP and re-evaluation meeting.  I'm glad I did.  I have never, NEVER walked away from an IEP feeling good before, but today it actually happened.  The school psychologist started things off on a good note by telling me that Isaac cooperated for her portion of the evaluation and that his IQ is in the "high to superior range for his age."  Well, I don't know what parent wouldn't love to hear that about their child.  She went on to say that while he does struggle with getting distracted, it is not in a range of abnormal concern or enough to be able to classify him as having ADD or ADHD.  One less label and one less concern.  They will continue to support him in this area, however, by having him sit close to his teacher during work assignments and augmenting tasks for him to help him focus better.

Also, according to the re-evaluation results, Isaac no longer needs to be pulled out of class for speech and occupational therapy!  He has caught up enough in those areas and tested well in them.  He is even correcting his own mistakes with holding scissors properly, etc.  The special ed service woman will still check on him 5 times per marking period to make sure things are in place to help him function in the classroom, and help with transitions- such as the transition to first grade next year.  There wasn't even talk of that being a "maybe".  It was apparent to everyone there that he will be headed to first grade on time.  The whole meeting was a big I TOLD YOU SO to the principal, who was there taking notes, and to her credit looked pleasantly surprised and happy about his progress this year.  I know she meant well at the beginning of the year when she tried to convince us he didn't seem ready for kindergarten, but I will say to other parents out there what I always say- go with your gut and push back where necessary.  If I had listened to her at the beginning of the year, Isaac would be home coloring in the next room with his above average IQ and being taught by a less than great homeschooling mom (me) rather than by a great kindergarten teacher like Mrs Glenn.  By the way, he had a near perfect report home last week, and a decent one this past week.  Very different from the beginning of school in which all the bullet points on the report sheet were highlighted as areas that needed work.  Isaac is, in all the ways that matter, a pretty typical kindergartner.  I really couldn't ask for more.

So how did I celebrate such a good meeting?  With a trip to the grocery store, a dark chocolate Milky Way bar, and telling off the rude, rich woman who was snotty to my poor cashier for accidentally charging her twice for something.  Life is all about the quiet riots, and occasionally about the louder ones.  Stick up for someone in your life today- be it your kid, or that sweet cashier at Target who often works 12 hour days.  It's always worth it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Growin' up

Oh, life.  You know, we're all getting older and all that.  Some of us are getting older faster than others.  I had an appointment this week with a vein specialist.  Yes, you read that right.  This twenty-seven year old is getting surgery in December and January on her VARICOSE VEINS that are not working properly.  I am still planning to run my 5k next weekend, but not holding myself to any speed goals this time.  Good thing I ran out on Tuesday and got a new tattoo, or the surgery news would have had me spiraling into a deeper circle of early-life-crisis.  I recommend impulsiveness to all mothers as a legitimate form of therapy, by the way.  I don't care what this rather large tattoo on the inside of my left forearm is going to look like at 80.  Right now it makes me smile, run a little faster, and feel a little younger.  Worth every penny.

Isaac, too, is growing up.  Just tonight he chose one of the Shel Silverstein books on his shelf for bedtime for the first time.  He didn't care that they weren't filled with colorful pictures, the poems cracked him up.  He also informed me that he is officially done playing with his toy kitchen.  This is not news to me, since it's been months since he's touched it, but it just drove home his new level of boyhood.

Likewise, I had a phone interview with the school psychologist yesterday for the autism part of Isaac's re-evaluation.  It felt good to be able to say, "Oh, that used to be a problem, but not so much anymore" so many times.  It also made me laugh when she told me that Isaac said he didn't have any friends and didn't want any.  I know what that was about.  She pulled him out of class, out of his routine, and he was searching for the quickest answer to get him back to where he was "supposed" to be.  I'm sure he was grumpy about it, too.  The truth is, Isaac has friends.  In fact, he even made a valentine for a girl in his class on the first day of track out break.  He wrote, "I love you, Joy" on it all by himself and cut it out into a rough heart-shape.  He brought it to her on Tuesday, along with some Space Angry Bird drawings for his teacher.  He learned how to spell and call me a b-o-o-b from a boy in his class.  Although I wasn't impressed at the time, I realize that all this is NORMAL and I'm grateful for that.  Now I just have to find the motivation to sit down and fill out the SAT sized packet for the rest of his evaluation.  You would think I was applying for citizenship by the size of this color in the dot test.  Ah, more wine, please.

Part of me doesn't care if his diagnosis changes from PDD-NOS to Aspergers.  Or if he gets labeled as having ADD while trying to function in a busy classroom of 20 kids.  We will keep doing what we're doing either way.  Trucking on, being surprised, being proud, and most of all, being absolutely in love with this little boy.