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An Awesome IEP Meeting for the Tot

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For past few weeks the Tot has been evaluated by the school district for eligibility for special education services. If eligible he would be entitled to services starting on his third birthday, which was this past Monday.

His evaluation was completed on Monday (it was a little behind because of the inclement weather and snow days). Hubby received a phone call yesterday informing us that he was eligible for services. Today, we had our IEP meeting. (They wasted no time!)

First I want to say that I sat through his cognitive abilities evaluation a few weeks ago and he left me speechless. I had no idea he was so smart! He had a score of 98 when the average is around 50 or so…so the Tot score off the charts in the intelligence department, and when he was done navigating that test like a little genius, he bit me because I didn’t have a boat!  So I was going to affectionately re-nickname him my “crazy genius.” Lesson learned: you never know how much these little ones know, or how smart they really are when they have trouble communicating with you.

In the communication department, the Tot did great also—if he was calm. The problem is the minute his stress level is elevated (and that can go from zero to sixty in two seconds flat) he loses all rationality, and all his words.

Anyway, back to the IEP meeting today.  The Tot has been placed in the Autism Self-contained 3K class (including extending school year—attending in the summer), speech therapy 1 hour per week, and Applied Behavior Therapy for 10 hours per week (all during school time), and he starts school on Monday!  Yay! And—he will be getting 32.5 hours of in-home compensatory services because he missed out on this week of school.

I’m so happy, and impressed with the team at his school. The meeting went smoothly, no issues, all my concerns were addressed. We all worked together, and I can honestly say that I feel great about his placement and confident in the staff.  This is the way an IEP meeting should go!

Thanks to the awesome staff at Lester Elementary School, in Florence SC!

This is an incredible blessing to us because we already know that the Tot needs full-time structure; he flounders on the weekends and has grown in leaps and bounds since we enrolled him in daycare/preschool.  School starting means a huge expense (paying for full time daycare, and therapy co-pays) has just magically disappeared—well not magically but I am feeling so good about this today that it feels magical, and he will be getting the support that he needs.

A very happy day 🙂

Jeannie Davide-Rivera

Jeannie is an award-winning author, the Answers.com Autism Category Expert, contributes to Autism Parenting Magazine, and the Thinking Person's Guide to Autism. She lives in New York with her husband and four sons, on the autism spectrum.