Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall progress meeting update

This morning we had our first progress meeting with little one's current teacher, all of her therapists, social worker, the assisted technology professional and the special ed directors. This meeting was something we had asked for back at her initial evaluation since she is nonverbal and we really can't get an idea of how she is progressing at school.

To sum it all up she basically is a little rock star for everyone at school. Like she amazes them every day with what she does. We even asked at one time if we were all still talking about the same kid because the stuff she does is stuff she doesn't do at home. She also has been accepting of a new schedule they implemented at school in the past week. She went from periods of instruction that were 15 mins long to new periods of 4 min tasks and then 4 min breaks. She seemed to have accepted the "first, then" routine very well. They also said she has made leaps and bounds improvement from how she was in the summer school program, then to the beginning of the regular school year until now. Lot's of eye contact from her. Lot's more easier transitioning. She does still have her not so great days but they've said it's a big difference from the before. 

So all pretty amazing right? It was sounding pretty good. We got to a main sticking point that has been irritating us and that was the issue of having a communication device for her. We even brought paperwork for simpler. For the last few months it's been sounding like they didn't want to give her one until she was able to show them that she could point at things for choosing. While we understood that we also knew that what ever you gave her she could learn very fast. She has an IPad that she has picked up very quickly. What happened when we got to this meeting today? The assisted technology personnel said "research indicates that there should be no qualifications required for the use of assisted technology." Ok. So now it was basically well what do you (her parents) want to do? Um get her something to start trying. I almost felt like they wasted her time for the last couple of months and needlessly pushed off our requests for starting the trial and error process of what will work best with her.

I also brought up whether or not she should have an ABA therapy plan implemented. They basically feel that what they are doing with her is working. The social worker went on a long tangent about how ABA is very time consuming and leaves the child isolated from other kids and they don't get the socialization that they need. They do have a consultant from another institution who came to the school to observe and give some tips at the beginning of the year because the school felt they needed to have someone look at their Autism program and give them some ideas. The consultant will be back next week and the team will revisit it when she is back.

The social worker at the end said she has the numbers for a few ABA therapists she could give us. I said that would be great BUT we have already maxed out of our insurance in July so it wasn't something viable for us now.  Considering we will have to figure out a program for her next year to maximize her needs and the available therapy she will have it's going to be a game of what will be the priority. Insurance blows.

All in all it was a good meeting. I just wished I could see her doing all these wonderful things for her teacher and therapists. Seeing is believing right? Sigh. Hopefully soon she'll be doing these things at home.

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