Monday, October 10, 2016

The Big Day

So today was the big day of the big meeting in which we get an IEP or 504 plan for HB. 

It was a long meeting that lasted 2 hours. 

The basics are this:
Occupational Therapy (OT): for mid-line issues.  Basically he has trouble crossing the mid-line. Work on catching a ball, jumping jacks, dance moves. 

Speech Therapy (ST): for pragmatics and social interactions

Resource Room: So that he can work in a quiet environment (he gets over stimulated) and to be able to take breaks.  The main goal is to work on self-regulation so that in his classroom he can be able to say I need a break and giving him the option to take one or to push through to a goal if he's simply bored not over stimulated.

Reading Resource Room: It's a different room normally used for students who are behind in reading skills.  HB is actually ahead so he's going to get help with reading at his level, learning social skills/emotions through reading, and to read to the kindergarten classroom where he enjoys working on leadership/social skills.  Apparently the kindergarteners really enjoy having him read to them. In the last week this small tweek in his life has lead to him being a much happier kid.

Classroom: Break cards, possibly a timer to help with time concepts and transitions, continued use of therapy equipment, and continued use of computer time as an incentive to completing classroom work. 

Lunch: Since lunch is way too loud for him and causing him to have sensory regulation issues in the classroom, they suggested sending him with his noise canceling head phones.  This was something that I wasn't aware of.

The meeting consisted in part about the findings of his evaluations.  And this is what they discovered:  Bottom line he's very visual.  He's got very good visual spacial concepts.  It's in the very high range (I think the IQ assessment plugged it at 127).  Very poor on reasoning skills (IQ is 81-84 which is low end).  Once a though enters his head, he can't seem to let it go even if it's wrong.  He also can't do too much multi level reasoning skills.  At this point, it doesn't matter because in first grade a teacher gives you all the rules and you simply work on the problems.  But this area of development will be problematic in the future when they give you only a basic instruction and you have to figure out what your supposed to do on your own.  He may need to have someone map out exactly what he's supposed to do.  In other words, he's a super bright autistic.  He has the great capacity to learn, but it's going to take time.

Right now the goal is to work on self-regulation and sensory regulation.  Basically getting him to the point where he can say "I feel overwhelmed.  I need to go some place quiet to work."  or "I'm bored.  And I'd like some computer time."  Once that piece and routine is in place then they want shift to focusing his social related issues.  They are certainly going to work on his social stuff particularly letting others know when they are over-whelming or to recognize others' feelings.  But the foundation is having learning and being aware of how he feels and knowing what options he has available to exert self-control. 

Right now all I have is the assessments because they wanted our input on what they are going to do.  As they put it, it's a very individualized IEP (individualized education plan) because he is so bright and yet all over the map in other areas involving how he learns.  In a couple days, they should have something more finalized. 

It's wonderful that they are making his life so much easier.  Just simply allowing him to do his reading outside the classroom where he's so bored is excellent.  They can tailor make things for him so he's better able to express his needs through reading.  I can't wait to see how far he'll come. 

Plus I need to send this off to his state advocate so that she can put into place additional therapies within the house. 

HB has a such a bright future.  As one intern described HB after giving him an assessment.  "I would just love to take him home with me.  He's such a joy."  And I get to have him home all the time. I am blessed.

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