• Understanding Autism from the Inside

    “Academics came easily to me. The rest of life—not so much.”

IEP Meeting—The Little Man is Changing Schools!

Many of you know that I have been having trouble deciding whether or not to change the little man’s (9) school. Well the decision has been made, and I am feeling really good about it!

On Monday Hubby and I took Little Man to tour his new school (although we hadn’t made a definitive decision, we wanted him to have the chance to view the place and have some School-Bus-Cartoon-7-286x300input).

Little Man started by shooting some hoops in the gym; gym received a thumbs up! Then we moved on to the library (his favorite place in the world), and he exclaimed that they had, “the best library ever,” and told them that their library/medial room teacher that their library was “approved, but they got a negative on school uniforms.” I guess he was weighting his pros and cons—he’s a funny kid.

 

We made a visit to the resource (special education) room, which promptly met his approval after trying out their trampoline. He inspected the playground for recess, watched the kids in the halls, peeked into the cafeteria, and stopped by where his brother (Tantrum Tot (3) will be going to class.  We also touring the fourth grade classrooms, meeting the teachers.  It was a great visit and little man proclaimed that the whole school gets a “thumbs up” and he wanted to start immediately. 

I was still uncertain about the move because the school is clear across town (about 20 minutes in the car), and I was worried about logistics. Now that the Tot will be going to that school (because that is where the autism program is located), Little Man will be able to ride the bus with his brother everyday, and they are BOTH very excited about that!

TODAY’S IEP MEETING

Directly following the Tot’s IEP meeting today we had another IEP meeting (in the new school) for Little Man. They addressed ALL of my concerns. We either received or had addressed to our satisfaction, everything I asked for in the long list I posted here. These changes/additions and transportation were added to his IEP.

I happy to report the GOOD NEWS today, as I feel like many times when things go well I don’t say much, but can really get to writing when things go askew.

We went shopping for school uniforms with a very excited Little Man this afternoon after telling him he was starting his new school with his brother on Monday. (I am very happy about the two of them in uniform—nothing fancy just khakis and polos.)

Quick Recap: Tot and Little Man start Monday and will ride the bus together. (The bus comes to pick them up at 7 in the morning, which is a half hour LATER than the regular bus would have picked them up for their zoned school meaning no extra hours added to the school day due to transportation). New school does NOT have silent lunch! The children can talk at lunch, AND in the hallways.  Recess everyday, which CANNOT (in the IEP) be taken away.

Oh, I almost forgot—in his current school he has to change classrooms for different classes, this new one does not start changing classes until the sixth grade.  That alone makes many issues, now non-issues.

After our meeting today, and the changes that were made, and most importantly the helpful attitude of the staff, I am feel really great about our decision.  And—Little Man is really looking forward to Monday!

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, three of which are on the autism spectrum.

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