Thursday, May 05, 2011

Brianna's IEP

It's been a crazy 48 hours...

Brianna's IEP is written for next year.  In the end, it's the best compromise we could all come to, and I think it will work for Brianna.  We still don't have a school placement and it will take a while to figure that one out, but we're half way there!

Brianna's IEP is written to have her "homeroom" in the Kindergarten class- starting and probably ending her day there.  She will be pulled out for a 45 minute math block and a 90 minute reading block and go to a supported level classroom for resource time.  The rest of the day she'll be in a kindergarten class with push-in and pull-out therapies, to the discretion of the teacher and therapist.

I think there were 17 people at the IEP meeting today... lots of good input and lots of controversial input.  I think the general consensus of the group of school personnel was that they want to put her into a full time supported level classroom.  I'm not 100% opposed to that setting (after all, I do have a child in that class right now- Emma!), but I want for Brianna to have the greatest opportunity at inclusion that she can have, and the biggest chance of success in that classroom.

Based on Brianna's personality, she is VERY shy.  Most people were concerned that she wouldn't hold her own in the classroom and that she would withdraw.  Unfortunately, no matter what classroom she's in,  SHE WILL WITHDRAW!  She's just that kind of kid... She's going to be quiet whether she's in with typical peers or if she's in with disabled children.

We talked about her personality and how she would be better sitting back and observing in a room full of typical peers with appropriate behavior and language modeling that is learning advanced skills than in a classroom with lower level skills and mostly low-verbal skills.  We talked through a bunch of reasons why a regular classroom would benefit her, and different accommodations which could be used to help her fully participate in a kindergarten classroom.

Almost 5 hours later... we have an IEP!

Now, we have to figure out what school her IEP will be served at.  Not our zoned school because she can't get resource time there.  The "feeder" school may be where she's staffed, but they haven't made AYP (adequate yearly process) in five years... so likely she will have the opportunity to choose another school at that time.  Hopefully the school she's at this year.  It's also possible that we'll go about another wan of getting to that school.  There are a few ways- McKay scholarship,  out of area...  So, we'll see.

We're most of the way there!  Just need to figure out a school now.  I was REALLY hoping we'd know that today too!

May 20th are two more eligibility, IEP, and placement meetings... for Aleksa and Wesley!

Thank you for the prayers!  It was a long meeting, needed to speak up for Brianna quite a bit... but I'm happy with where we landed.

I'm not sure, but I think Brianna may be the first child in this area with Down syndrome to be an inclusion student, even tho she'll have resource time.   Either way, we'll keep close tabs on how it works... and be careful that she's not overwhelmed-- or the teacher!  But I'm glad that she can have this opportunity!


  1. What an exhausting day it had to be for you! Sounds productive, though. Here's hoping things keep moving ahead smoothly.

  2. My sister Holly was mainstreamed (I'm not sure it's called the same thing now) in Kindergarten through 2nd grade I think. I can't remember after that because I no longer lived with my Mother. I know in High School she was at Astronaut who had the best programs and did pretty well there. Good luck and I'm so glad things turned out well for all involved.

  3. Congratulations! Sounds like you did a great job :-)
    My daughter w/ ds is in 1st grade in Gainesville, going to a resource room for the 90 min reading block. This has worked really well for her.
    Cheers to having one IEP down!

  4. You are amazing! I only have one kid with an IEP and it has been a nightmare. I hope all your kids get the services they deserve! It's a shame what a fight it is sometimes!


  5. I thought you were homeschooling next year?

  6. Hello! I have been reading for a while but don't normally comment. I just wanted to say that I'm glad you were able to get Brianna's IEP figured out in a way that you and the school are both okay with. I am studying to be an elementary special education teacher right now so it's always interesting to me to hear about parent's experiences with IEPs. I hope/pray that this IEP works great for her and that she does wonderfully being in the 'regular' kindergarten classroom and then receiving extra support in the resource room.