Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Preparing for Kindergarten Transition, Phase 4: The IEP

This morning, we attended our IEP (Individualized Education Plan) Meeting to determine Sean's academic placement for Kindergarten. We had planned for a long meeting, but it went surprisingly fast thanks to the fact we had already met once to go over the testing results. Sean's teacher invited Sean to the meeting so that he could meet his new team members and he ended up choosing to snuggle up on my lap, then Daddy's, for the whole meeting. He was so quiet and shy!

We were notified that Sean is to attend the school we chose, with the teacher we chose. He will be at the same school as Aidan and have Aidan's former teacher, who we really are happy with. We also met the resource room teacher and the speech pathologist for the school. Sean's new teacher encourages as much inclusion time as possible for Sean, so he will be in her room at least 50% of the day. His pull out sessions will be for speech and academic focuses. He will start and end each day in the mainstream classroom. He will be there for art, language group, music, PE, recesses, social studies and science. His resource teacher will focus on his writing skill development and early math skills. While he is in the mainstream class, he will have an aide to assist him as needed.

Some of our concerns we addressed: uniform requirements, assistance for lunch, and potty independence. We heard very reassuring feedback on all of these issues.

The school dress code is khaki pants with a belt and a polo shirt tucked in. With Aidan, we were able to find pants that fit him loose enough that he could pull them up & down without buckling & unbuckling, yet the tucked in shirt helped keep them up. I'm hoping they fit Sean the same way. The teachers said that the kids all wear their uniforms as specified throughout the school, but are given the freedom to take off the belts in the resource room if needed. They said ALL the kindergartners need help most of the first year with buckles, buttons, zips, and tucking.

We brainstormed some ideas for adjusting Sean to eating more at school. I suggested that I could purchase milk in cafeteria style cartons to practice with Sean over the summer. He gets a lot of his calories from milk but is very specific about the container he drinks from right now. *ducking head* He prefers sippy spout cups still for milk, but likes juice or water from straw cups. I'm hoping to boldly ban sippy cups this summer and focus solely on straw cups and open cups for Sean and Ella. I think it will just be easier if I get rid of all of them and neither uses them. Well, easier on Sean but not so much my floors.

My other plan is to transition Sean to non-purees for lunches this summer. I think I can get him to eat a lunch consisting of a banana or blueberries, yogurt or applesauce, and hopefully either a small salad or a bread & cheese sandwich cut into bites. The kindergarten room has a mini-fridge I can use for the yogurt. I am planning on ordering these lunchboxes to help him eat independently.

My concern on potty independence is that Sean often waits till the last second to go to the bathroom and I was worried his clothes would slow him down causing accidents. He also uses a potty ring at home because he is so small he needs the added support. The resource room bathroom has a potty ring available, so that will be helpful. Of course, I'm hoping he's like Aidan and just waits to take care of that at home.

The IEP goals for the next year seem very attainable in most areas and the team even suggested that he may meet many of them earlier than a year so we will add more as the year progresses. Reading them gave me some ideas on things to work on this summer.

Due to budget cuts, he does not qualify for summer school at the preschool. His kindergarten teacher suggested a program at their school called Summer Scholars with run for a month in July, 4 days a week, 1/2 day. We are going to look into that for Sean as I think it will be a helpful way to acclimate him to the school. It's possible that Aidan can attend the program also, but we need more information on it.

We wrapped things up in just an hour and took Sean back to his class. I'm feeling much more comforted in this step now and excited to see how he will adjust next year.


Sharon said...

That's really cool everything is going so smoothly and positively. Good luck with the cups, we did the same thing - getting rid of the sippy cups to ensure Maia drank out of a real cup or drink bottle (as was required at kindy and primary school).
I think you'll find lots of other little kids need reminding about the toilet too and Sean's teacher will suggest times to go. Maia's teacher does (for all her classmates, not just her).
Looking forward to hearing how it all goes next year too!

Jennifer said...

It sounds like you are very happy with everything and you got what you want!! Congrats! I can't wait to see how his school year goes next year.

Brandie said...

Sounds like everything went great! It seems as though they respect what you felt would be good for Sean, as his parents. I hope he has a fun year!