Wednesday, May 05, 2010

I always like it when the outcome of the meeting is another meeting.

Today was D's placement ARD meeting. Or, rather, I thought it was D's placement ARD meeting, because that's what I had been told. But it turns out that today was the re-evaluation ARD meeting, because they re-evaluated him in anticipation of his new placement for next year.


We'd been gearing up for this meeting for a few weeks. I called the special ed coordinator when she didn't reply to my email, and she told me that I couldn't just go and view classrooms and choose the one I liked best. Fine. But I kept pressing my case for having D. repeat kindergarten, and I kept getting frustrated by hearing that that wasn't possible.

At the meeting today, I was very courteous, as was Mr. WG. As assessments were presented, we pointed out, several times, that Sotos primarily alters developmental timing. There is a decent chance D. will catch up, given a chance.

When all the evaluations were presented, it came time to talk about D. moving to a new school next year. I gathered my courage and said, "Here's the thing. I went to see the Lifeskills classrooms yesterday. Unfortunately, I saw one empty classroom and one classroom with one student, but I spoke to the teachers, and we feel very strongly that this is not an appropriate placement for D. We feel very strongly that he would do much better if he could repeat kindergarten, not in the self-contained class, but in the co-teach class, so that he would be in the general education room, but with the appropriate supports. We feel that this extra year would give him the time he needs to master the kindergarten skills. We feel so strongly about this that we cannot sign off on a Lifeskills placement, and I don't say that to threaten anyone, just to make it clear that I will do whatever I need to do to make sure that D. gets the chance he deserves to be in general education. I know everyone in this room cares about D., but my husband and I are the people who are the most invested in his success, and this is how we feel. And we need to stop saying that it isn't possible for him to repeat kindergarten and start figuring out how to make it happen."

I was shaking by the time I finished, but heads were nodding around the table. Discussion continued, and the special ed coordinator allowed as there was another option she hadn't brought up before. D. could enter the general ed first grade classroom and be pulled out to resource room for reading, language arts, and math. For science and social studies, he would be in the regular classroom, perhaps with a peer buddy assigned to help him stay on task.

So that's the recommendation that's going in to be discussed at the PLACEMENT ARD, which will be before the end of the school year, which means in the next two weeks or so, and we are extremely hopeful that this will work. And it will be work, hard work.

I am not delusional. I know full well that my kid is delayed. Significantly delayed. But I am not allowing anyone to write him off without giving him a chance. He deserves that chance. And I'm going to make sure he gets it.


Janis said...

I don't understand the reasoning behind he can go into 1st grade, but not repeat Kinder? I mean, great that they are willing to consider that...but why can't he repeat it?

moplans said...

wow WG well done.

Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

The Empress said...

That's how you have to be. I hate that it comes to that, but it's the only way our school listens to me.

The only way.

Go fight win...