Starting Pre-school.. and the adults are feeling stupid!

So… this week I go with my daughter Jessica to Gavin’s new school to meet with the “team” and discuss his first IEP. Time to set goals. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?

So why do we feel so “shtoooopid”?  

It would appear to be a simple task. We know what Gavin can do, and what he cannot. And compared to his neurotypical peers, that’s still quite a bit. But then again, not so much. Only SOME things. What do “they” expect of him? We haven’t a clue. What do WE want for him? Again, we’re too darn new at this to know just what are considered “realistic” goals.

Sure, it would be awesome to get him potty trained, eat consistently with his utensils instead of those little fingers, and um… eye contact when you’re talking to or with him? Oh yeh ! That would be super cool !!! Some reciprocal interaction on his part would be nice, as would be not insisting on getting as far away from the other kiddos in his class as he possibly can. Oh.. and asking for what he wants or needs, that would totally rock !

Intellectually and cognitively he’s sharp as a tack. (sound familiar?) They won’t have to waste any time teaching him his ABC’s, numbers, shapes, and the usual list of etceteras. Heck, he’ll not only rattle off his ABCs, he’ll even use his arms and hands to form his letters, and yes, can also sign nearly all of them. Obsession with letters? You bet. At just having turned three, the lil’ guy can sit at a laptop and write more than a handful of words already. He has taught himself to spell, read, and write. Wanna see?

Check THIS out !

Atta boy ! Priorities first !

Does the “team” expect us to come up with the goals, or is this something they do on their own, using their expertise and asking our input? Would it not be wiser to observe him in class for several weeks to see how he adjusts, what his interests are, where he excels and in which areas he is lacking? That would make sense to ME, but then again, who am I? I’m not the expert here.

So we’ll toss around some ideas, jot them down, and show up… feeling much like the kids who didn’t do their homework.

Yeh.. it’s been awhile. We didn’t get an instruction manual. Heh.

Gavin will shine, while Mom and Omi will look like dunces. That’s ok. Maybe we’ll just pull up one of those tiny chairs and sit and learn something ourselves, yes?

It’s all a learning experience. As long as we’re learning something, Gavin will learn something. This is good. It’s all good.

We can deal.

But just how Mommy will deal after dropping her little boy off that first day is another story for another day.

Hoo boy.

 

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3 thoughts on “Starting Pre-school.. and the adults are feeling stupid!

  1. Hi.

    I think it’s great that you are going with your daughter to support her. It’s so much harder to deal with these things alone, and I think school staff listen better when it’s not just one concerned mom telling them things.

    My son is 15 now, so I’ve done this a few times. He was also a kid who progressed well academically before acquiring other skills, too. Your “team” probably has some things in mind. Just make sure they give attention to your family’s concerns. They may be experts in their field, but your family are the experts when it comes to this particular child.

    Something that’s been recommended to me in the past that I’ve found very useful is to ask to schedule another meeting two or three weeks in to the school year to check on how things are going. IEP’s can be updated and adjusted – you don’t just get one shot at things per year and you’re done. And people can agree to make adjustments without waiting for an official IEP meeting if they are agreeable. Keeping the lines of communication open is really important.

    If people are less cooperative than you’d like (I do hope that’s not the case), requests for this and other things can be made in writing. If it’s in writing, they’re required to respond within a certain length of time. Verbal requests can be ignored indefinitely. It hasn’t happened to me, but I’ve talked to others who have been less fortunate. We’ve been blessed enough to not have to push for much in recent years, but it’s good to know where you stand. There are also advocates out there who can advise you, and some help for free. I’ve found my local ARC representative very helpful with information, and she’s offered to come with me to a meeting if that’s ever needed.

    My husband and I have always done our best to keep things friendly, and it’s worked well for us. We aren’t pushovers, but we make sure to keep letting everyone know that we understand their point of view and to thank them for all the help they provide.

    Please know there is a wealth of information and support available from folks online, besides whatever you might have locally. If the first person you talk to isn’t helpful, try someone else. Everyone has their own experience and point of view. Are you listed with the Autism Blogs Directory (http://autismblogsdirectory.blogspot.com/)? I came across your blog a different way, so I wasn’t sure.

    I hope things go well with your meeting.

    1. Thank you so MUCH for your help and advice! Always good to hear back from someone who has been there already ! 🙂

      Will keep all this in mind as we go through the process.

      No, not with autismblogspot but am always happy to have new resources! Thanx again for your assistance!!!

  2. Well – how did it go? I hope it went well. I wish I’d seen this before it happened. The repeated advice that I received from everyone was not to sign anything until I took it home and reviewed it.

    I was lucky enough to find behavioral therapy for my son before the IEP and my ABA provider helped me assure that the appropriate funding was in place to provide all the therapies we needed.

    If you have questions or want to talk more send me a DM or FB message!! Hope you, Jess and Gavin are all well and safe! Adorable picture and brilliant boy!!

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