I found this great idea while Twitter and Facebook surfing waiting for the kids to get home from school. An IEP Meme. A way for those of us who have been through the process to share. I also plan on reading posts written by others to gain ideas as both of my boys trasition into uncharted territory for us next school year (so make sure you post to, hint, hint). We were late to the IEP game since our oldest fell through a TON of cracks and wasn’t dx’d until age 8 1/2. I’m convinced the only reason our youngest was diagnosed is because we persevered with our oldest for 7 years. Yes, it was that long between when WE knew there was something wrong and when we got a doctor to admit it too.
I’ll start with Zach, my Aspie. He’s currently a 5th grader.
A. Tools/Assistive Devices: Zach has fidgets and a chewy of his choice written into his IEP (I will be pushing harder for more socially acceptable gum as he transitions to middle school next year). This is the first year he hasn’t really utilized either, but he has expressed that he’d prefer to chew gum like he was allowed in a previous school in 2nd grade. It was a class wide thing his teacher did when the class did writing prompts that he found helped him. This school wouldn’t allow it though despite the research proven it helps kids concentrate.
He has a notebook to write down thoughts instead of blurting them out in class. Also to draw and doodle because it helps him listen when the teacher is talking, and it gives him something constructive to do when he’s done with his work.
A checklist of what needs to come home every day on his desk.
This year’s teacher puts homework online, and she has gone the extra mile to put the spelling words for the week online with the homework since we have an issue with “forgetting” the list. I think it’s more because spelling is really easy for Zach and he finds the homework part tedious.
When there is a substitute, someone from the office checks in periodically. We’ve had issues with subs not having control of the class, and Zach will try to resolve an issue on his own when adults won’t intervene, and not always in an appropriate manner.
He is not to miss more than 5 minutes of recess for any reason. If it’s absolutely necessary that he miss recess, he may walk or jog around the perimeter of the playground, but there MUST be physical activity or he can’t settle to concentrate.
B. Services: We’re fortunate enough to get ABA therapy both through the school and our insurance. He gets about an hour a week through the school and about 2-4 hours a week depending on what we feel is necessary privately either in school and/or at home.
Aaron is 5 and currently in preschool. He is dx’d as “low functioning autism, but verbal.”
A. Tools/Assistive Devices: Aaron currently doesn’t really have a lot in this area currently, but we will be asking for A LOT for Kindergarten. His current class is about 15 kids to 4 adults. The environment will drastically change with 30 kids to 2 adults next year. Aaron does have an iPad that we use at home, and his speech therapist has used as a positive reinforcer and as a therapy tool.
B. Services: I’m going to group these by at school and outside of school. At school Aaron gets OT and speech therapies. His IEP says 1 hour per month of each. Yes, per MONTH. Ridiculous, I know, and I’ve been told, that’s about what I can expect anywhere. However, I think he currently gets a bit more since his classroom is set up in a way that both are integrated into his time in class. So, if the SLP is working with one child, and that child is conversing with Aaron, she’s also going to prompt him to interact appropriately. Both of the school therapists have been eager to continue what we’re doing privately.
Private OT – Aaron has made HUGE strides. His focus and our ability to help him calm using the sensory techniques the OT has taught us have been awesome. A 170 improvement from where we were. My complaint is that she was temporary and the facility won’t have another pediatric OT for months. Activities we have done in OT are practicing buttons, tying shoes, playdoh, putty, picking up beans and beads with tweezers, writing, flicking paper footballs, cutting with scissors, rice container, bean container, bead container, swing, brushing, joint compressions, tunnel play, drawing, coloring, mazes, dot to dots, lots and lots of writing and hand work. Aaron went into therapy using both hands. We had to choose a hand for him to write with based on which one was stronger. We went for 1 1/2 to 2 hours a week depending on what was open as far as sessions from August until January while they had a therapist for Aaron.
Private Speech Therapy – 30min-1hr a week. It depends on the schedule and how well Aaron is in a groove. Our therapist lets him set the pace which I like. She still pushes, but knows when enough is enough. She also works with the school district, so I’m hoping for continuity of care when he starts Kindergarten next year. Aaron has worked on time of day- day vs. night, describing objects beyond shape, color and number, answering WH- questions, following multi-step instructions, describing a scene, and conversing for more than just a few turns, and ending the interaction appropriately instead of just stopping or walking away. The WH- questions has been huge.
ABA therapy – All privately provided by our insurance currently. Aaron gets roughly 4-5 hours per week at school and home. One day a week is at school, and one is at home since he currently only attends preschool 2 days per week.