Hello folks! We've had a crazy week here at Ninja headquarters. We had no school on Tuesday, a half day on Thursday and trying to adjust to Daylight Savings. Okay, I had a hard time adjusting to the time change. However, it's that time of year for us. IEP time. For those not in the know IEP stands for Individual Education Plan. There is also another one used in schools called an ISP, which is an Individual Service Plan. Nathan has an IEP only and has had one since he was 4.
This year was his 3 year school eval along with the renewal and review of his IEP services. Observations and testing had begun weeks ago and this was the time we would go over all the results. I had opted out of the cognitive testing since Nathan had a full psych eval with diagnosis in November 2008. He was observed in class, in social situations, was tested for reading, OT, speech and language and social skills.
I met with his teacher briefly on Thursday to go over his progress and she had nothing but positive comments. She said that he has only left the classroom twice (and this was early in the year) in regards to any sort of meltdown situation, and even then it was less than 5 minutes. She was proud of how much he has accomplished and what a delight he was to have in class.
This, of course, is a miracle considering last year's parent teacher conference where my heart fell out of my chest and onto the sticky floor of the 1st grade classroom. That conference was where I heard that he was very far behind from his other peers, he was combative and uncooperative, spent alot of time out of the classroom and was the subject to many phone calls home. I would dread any calls from school because that meant he was having some sort of a meltdown and I would have to pick him up. Now, that was an improvement of Kindergarten where at least once a week I would pick him up from school after having some sort of an epic meltdown. He would be out of the classroom more often than in and he did not have a 1:1. But, I digress....
Getting back to the IEP, on Friday, I met with his OT provider, the OT observer, his Reading Teacher, the SPED director, the school psychologist, his 2nd grade teacher and the school principal. This is the heart of Team Ninja at school. We went over his overall progress and they and I are very pleased. He is working at grade level in all subjects and is especially awesome at math. He's doing so well, in fact, that they've phased out the OT, as he was using it primarily for fine motor enhancement. He's able to do small tasks like zipper his coat, button his pants, use a pencil, manipulate small objects now where as before, it would be a gem in the crown of Frustration where Nathan was most definately King. Lately, he's a visitor to that realm and that is quite a joy and relief. He will continue his reading skills, social skills and will have his 1:1 with him until October 2010.
It was strange and refreshing to see everyone happy to be at this meeting and how they commended me for being involved in my son's education and how proactive I was. I'm not trying to be a martyr or a hero, I'm trying to be an active, engaged and full parent. His teacher said, "It's so great to see you so involved in your son's education." I was very taken aback. I said, "Really? I figured I was in the majority." She smiled a Cheshire Cat type smile, small and knowing and said, "Well, most children do not have a parent who is so loving, encouraging and involved as you. You support him, but you also give him wings." I was truly touched by that. It made me think of my own childhood, where my parent's involvement in my education was zero. They were happy as long as I was never on fire or bleeding heavily. I don't want to slam my parents, as they have been gone for a long time and I do not like speaking ill of the dead. They were of a different generation and raised us how they were raised. I'll end this by saying that I desire and aspire to break that cycle.
Ninja Clan, you may be wondering how this happened, how this change took place. That, my friends, is for the next post.....:)