Hopefully we are now in the final draft of Elizabeth's IEP. In December we had Elizabeth's IPRC (Identification Placement and Review Committee) meeting and she was identified due to her physical disability and her hearing loss. An initial IEP was created by her SERT (Special Education Resource Teacher) and with Elizabeth's Hard of Hearing Itinerant Teacher. After consultation with some of my work colleagues it was felt to be a little 'slim'. Slim being only 2 goals; to interact with her peers appropriately (being aware of eye contact, cues etc) and saying 'please, thank you, would you' during social interactions.
Trying not to to react with my heart wanting to yell and scream 'after 6 years of intensive work learning to talk, walk, play, hear and learn and after sacrificing ourselves financially and emotionally you want her to say PLEASE and THANK YOU'? But I tactfully and with much research and returned the revised document which addressed areas that we work on at home and in her PT/OT therapy. As this is her SERT's first IEP regarding physical impairments she also sought expertise from the Principle and the Spec. Ed. Itinerant and we sat down to review the revised edition. I commend her SERT for being honest in stating that this was an area she was not used to and for seeking guidance but after frequent comments I still don't think she understands why we push Elizabeth so hard and we try to stay on top of things. Comments like 'having her under a microscope' and that she is following the SK gym curriculum without assistance drive me crazy. Is Elizabeth doing well at school 'yes' she is doing amazing and she is always improving but will she ever catch up physically 'no' and that's okay. We stopped a long time waiting for her to catch up but others still want us to go back to that painful time of trying to 'catch up'. With appropriate modifications to her environment she can try to keep up where her peers are but there also needs to be physical assistance and close supervision and that needs to be on her IEP (or in writing as her SERT says I like to have).
I left her school defeated I hate being talked to as 'the parent' when I am professionally one of them on my working days. I hate that the school staff think I am such a mean pushy mom who places her child under a microscope and makes them write everything down.
What I am thankful is for support in creating her new IEP and a much needed Safety Plan (thanks Krys) that the school now has in place. What I hope over time is the school understands why we work Elizabeth so hard and why we want the school to do the same and that I am an okay mom.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
We had our first trip to the Orthodontist to discuss Elizabeth's jaw. Since she was a baby people would often comment on her uncanny mouth and how she resembled Winston Churchill. Her under bite is so severe that when she bites down her bottom teeth completely cover her top teeth. Her Speech Pathologist wonders if some of her articulation difficulties are due to her under bite and Elizabeth's watchful dentist thought it was time we should meet Dr. F.
Of course Elizabeth was the youngest client in the office and was her usual chatty self asking the Dr. what his intentions were with her. He took one look in her mouth and pronounced her as his new friend. This new friendship (very expensive friendship) won't start until she is older and will include braces and surgery to align her jaw.
Dr. F mentioned to look out for her 6 year molars as they should come in soon which I think might be awhile as all her teeth come in very late. On the way home Elizabeth declared she had mouth pain and should stay home from school as her 6 year molars were coming in.
Once again the effects of her prematurity continue to pop up and reminds us this will be lifelong.
Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Since Elizabeth started school she has been the party girl. She has been invited to an endless string of parties which we are so happy about. She has been bowling, to a makeover party, to indoor playgrounds, a gymnastics party, Princess party and a jungle party. I have been with her for each party and it has been nice to see how she is interacting with other children and how they are interacting with her. Of course I still see a difference between her and her peers socially and she has yet to have a true friend at school but the children and their families are including her. At one party there was music playing Elizabeth and a little boy danced and he dipped her as they twirled around which was the sweetest thing to see.
We are looking forward to more parties, I just have to start saying no to the cake as I am not burning it off like the party girl.