Monday, March 30, 2009

The third part of the day- Emma's IEP

So yes, I dropped the kids off to my mom :) She was still there! And I took Emma and met Mike at a school 30 min away for Emma's IEP meeting. Not so short but it did all work out. Emma will get one month of therapy services beginning April 22nd at the school she'll be attending next year. 30 min each of PT/OT/and "language" (not to be confused with speech because she doesn't qualify for speech... whatever :) ). It will be a combination of time with me there and independent time with the therapists because it will make our Wednesdays a bit more confusing! It ends up that I'll drive to the school, she'll have one therapy, then she and I will leave, go to get Brianna, come back, and she'll have 2 more therapies back to back. Except between them I will probably need to go get Kristopher unless Mike can hold on to him (the perk of working where K goes to school) for that extra 30 minutes (which Mike can take as lunch) and then I'll get K when all is done... But it should be interesting. Only 4 weeks tho, then we're off for the summer...

Next year Emma will be in a class with 5-8 students. It's called a "Supported Level Classroom." There's a 1:3 maximum ratio, so though she won't have a 1:1 aide, she will have a classroom aide that works with her and 1 or 2 other children. Since she's not walking and needs help with eating and "personal care" (diaper changes), she will have another person with her a majority of the time and likely with only 1 other child since she requires a lot of supports right now.

I was VERY encouraged to hear the PT talk about getting her ambulatory!! I have been told over and over again that the school system will not work on walking with her because of where she's at... but here it is! They plan to use a gait trainer or walker with her (likely starting with the gait trainer since it provides more support) and they were very encouraged to see her progress since they met her in September at her initial IEP :) :)

The OT also surprised me because my understanding was that it will be very hard to find an OT that will work on feeding in school... we got one! She will be working with Emma on self-feeding beginning next year. Though Emma self-feeds now, it is still very much assisted. She only can handle very small bites of food, has a tendancy to choke, cannot work utensils, and drinks from a bottle. Those are some of the things that they will be working on and she will even work with Emma in the cafeteria at lunch time if that is necessary. :)

And ST, they have good communication goals for her which line up with her classroom goals of identifying objects and also will work on beginning sounds/speech because they listened to her vocalize and tell everyone about what the world was doing during the IEP meeting. I can't say it enough-- if you think someone might underestimate your child based on what is on paper-- BRING THEM!! It has made a big impact at both of Emma's IEP meetings to have her there sitting in the room and allow the teachers and therapists to meet her and know her in a more real way than her test scores and paperwork can show!

Ok, so once school starts in August all those therapies will be 30 min or more, 1:1 with Emma and she will be in 5 FULL day "kindergarten" (in the supportive level classroom). THAT will be a BIG change for her... and ME. YIKES.


  1. That's weird about the feeding therapies. I'm an OT and although I don't work in schools, when I was a student I did and had quite a few feeding therapy patients. I did lunch in one room 4 days a week with various kids and one day a week with another, if I remember right. But that was another state and several years ago.

  2. That sounds great for Emma! I am hoping to have something similar for Mattea next year. I may be in touch for more details!