Thursday, May 12, 2011

Inclusion Manual or Plan....what is the difference?

Fellow Partner writes to her child's school requesting the ever confusing Inclusion Manual that is called the Inclusion Plan at the school level, but at the system wide level called the Inclusion Manual. Are you confused yet? Me too!

Here's the link to her Blog http://anyasjourneytoinclusion.blogspot.com/2011/05/my-letter-to-principal-and-assistant.html

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Special Ed preschool exit

Today at Sadie's IEP meeting, she will be exiting from the reverse mainstreaming class and entering Kindergarten in the fall.
She was found eligible to continue to receive special Ed services next year, but her label must be changed from "developmental delay" to another label before her 7th birthday. Label options are testing for the Intellectual Disability label OR Other Health impaired (OHI- meaning a medical explanation for her "issues."
Placement, self contained classroom with only children with disabilities OR an inclusion settig will be determined at another IEP meeting soon. Stay tuned...

Monday, May 2, 2011

today in the backyard

being kids, climbing trees, swinging on swings, laughing, watering the garden....all fun, all inclusive, all reflects being a child....

IEP Team meeting, Preschool exit

Sadie was evaluated for Special Education Services nearly 4 years ago.  She entered preschool at our home school and shortly there after we removed her from that self contained setting (I won't elaborate to avoid burning any bridges at this time).
We placed her in a church preschool inclusive setting, where we were thrilled to see her have the chance to be free and play with her peers....as a 2 1/2 year old should be able to do.
After spending about 6 months at that preschool, right up to the end of the school year, we were happy about her placement. The teachers were loving and willing to accept her and all the children.
The following school year in the next class (the 3 year old class), one teacher in particular, refused to be in the same room as Sadie and told the director that she wouldn't go back in that room until Sadie was removed.  She was against inclusion.
So now after Sadie's 2nd year in Reverse Mainstreaming (inclusion 6/6 students), which we believe was successful and beneficial to Sadie, she will be exiting the preschool special education program and entering Kindergarten, which she could have done last year.
I fear we may be facing the same reality as we did in 2007.  The school system must change her label from developmental delay to ____ by the time she turns 7.  Currently she is out of zone and we are hoping to have her back at her home school in the most inclusive environment best for her. We want to know she will be attending her home school (Least Restrictive Environment) with all the supports necessary to make her as successful as she can be (IDEA).
We hope her sister will join her there in the 2012-2013 school year and they build relationships with the neighborhood kids, just like any child should be given the right to do.
Her IEP eligibility meeting to exit preschool and enter Kindergarten is on Thursday and has been consuming my thoughts and emotions about Sadie's future and what's best for her.  Oh how I wish I had a crystal ball, to know what battles to fight and what realities to face.
What I do know...Sadie is a sweet loving little girl, who is growing into her own independence whether people like it or not.  She is wanting to have control over her movements and actions, just like the respect any of her age appropriate peers are given.  She urns for control and independence caught in a world of adults who love her but most of time misunderstand her. She wants to swing alone, walk alone, run alone, dress or undress, she is Self Determined, and she wants to be heard. She wants to be understood, She wants to have friendships with our neighbors with her classmates.  She wants to feed herself and put her straw in her juice box.  She wants to climb the stairs without support.  She wants so many things, and most of all I want her to have as much control and choice over her life too.  After all, she is 6, she is a girl, she is herself and she knows herself and she wants to be a part of  LIFE.