November 18, 2014

IEP Meeting 2014

Last week we had our second annual IEP meeting. I can't imagine how difficult that process might be for families when their school isn't a 'safe' place for their family. For us, however, Abi's school is like going to your favorite great-aunt's house. It's warm and inviting and exciting and you get the feeling that everybody is working behind the scenes to make sure Abi's time with them is the very best it can be. They are enthusiastic and positive and acknowledge Abi's many gifts. Our hour-long meeting was spent discussing Abi's strengths and the ways we can use those strengths to help her grow. 

Some highlights from the meeting:

- Assistive Technology team is providing a head-switch for Abi! I CAN'T WAIT!!!!
- Abi met her goal of being able to look at an object for 10 seconds. So, the team is also giving her an eye-gaze board!
- They are also supplying her teachers with a sensory pillow, and some other really exciting cause and effect pieces they think Abi will love. We will be able to check out any tools that are working and bring them home! 

Each member of the team: Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Classroom Teacher and Speech Therapist shared with me the things they were doing in class and the ways Abi was responding. I love that they are allowing Abi to pick books and songs for the class using the eye-gaze method. She is included in every aspect of the class except snack time. We did however, reach a major milestone, when at her classroom's Fall Party last month I was able to attend and assist Abi in eating some of a sugar cookie, orange icing and a little bit of grape juice! It was very exciting for me. While Abiella can safely eat by mouth it's still a delicate process with some anxiety attached if not done in ways her feeding therapist has shown me. I'm sure we will be joining snack time in the future, but for now, I have a peace with pulling her out. As a major benefit, while her classmates eat a snack, she gets to go to the floor and receive some extra one-on-one time with her physical therapists. They use both school PT's at the same time and she seems to love being with them. It's a wonderful way to give Abi something special during that time that she really enjoys.

I left the IEP meeting with half-a-dozen leftover muffins and the excitement that my girl is getting  an incredible education! So thankful.
mama mae mae

PS- This school is a public elementary school that has a free early childhood program for eligible students. Half of the students in the early childhood program have varying special needs and the other half is considered typical. It's an inclusive, half-day program, 4 days a week.