Prior to the meeting, I had received Dylan's evaluations and had time to review them. There was an eval for Physical Therapy, one for Speech Therapy and one for Occupational Therapy. I was not actually present for these assessments, as they were completed while Dylan was at daycare but reading through them I felt they were fair.
I was not surprised to read that his biggest challenges fell under Physical Therapy. This has been the case ever since he was an itty bitty floppy little one. It is no secret that he has low tone and has to work extra hard for things that may come more easily to others. The key is getting him to want to work harder; getting him to want to walk. We'll get there... We're looking into possibly getting him a walker so that while at school, he can be upright with his friends. (Does anyone have any thoughts/ideas on walkers?)
His greatest strengths are definitely speech related. Lately he has been blowing me away with his speech! At this point, I would guess that he has at least 50 words and over 100 signs. He is at the stage now where he can (and will!) repeat every single thing that is said. It's the best! And signing? Forget it. He has surpassed me at this point.
Dylan will begin Integrated Preschool in the fall. His teacher will be Cassidy's current teacher who is absolutely wonderful. She, along with her team, actually requested that Dylan be in their class, so I have all of the confidence in the world that he will be well taken care of. Dylan will receive some pull out services, however will remain largely integrated in the classroom for the majority of the school day (2 1/2 hours). He will also receive services within the classroom setting as well.
It's funny. I thought that I would be nervous about beginning this process, but found the opposite to be true. Prior to the meeting I had a totally calm and peaceful feeling. It continued throughout the meeting as well. I fully believed that everyone was there (12 people total) with Dylan's best interests at heart. I believe that we are in an excellent school system that has a great special education program and am honestly thrilled to see how wonderful Dylan does in the fall.
This entire IEP process has been especially interesting for me. Not only because I am going through it with my son, but also because I have recently committed to obtaining my Master's Degree in Special Education. I am currently taking my second grad course and to say that I am finding it interesting would be a major understatement. I feel that this is what I am meant to be doing. And how amazing to be able to arm myself with such valuable knowledge in order to best advocate for my son?
I am blessed. We are blessed...