Wednesday, February 13, 2013

A new path

I'm not sure if I wrote that we were having Avery's annual IEP this week.  In fact I commented to my husband that this was really early for her IEP since last year we had it in March. In May she will be 5 and will go on to "kindergarten". When the paperwork showed up at our house it listed the kindergarten teacher for our oldest daughters school. It is our home school. So basically she would show up and go into agreement and say that that the home school is not the right place for her. Avery is basically in an out of district placement because while we have two schools in this one town they are two different school districts. So when the paperwork showed up and listed that teacher I thought well that's crazy she's not going to that school like ever.

But something happened between correspondence between her teacher and I in the last few weeks that made me think about what was going to happen. Her teacher kept mentioning options. Now she's special needs. She is nonverbal Autistic. She has severe sensory issues that impede her ability to learn and function. So when they mentioned options I thought ok we are starting the process early so that we can investigate a good out of district placement for next year.

What actually happened at her meeting yesterday shocked me.

As the group was discussing how far she has come I started to get the feeling that something was off. The previous above mentioned Kindergarten teacher wasn't at this meeting. Then they started to talk about how while she has made progress it's not the type of progress they thought she would be at by now.  Wow.

They talked about how her sensory issues are so much more profound in the last 8 months than they ever were when she first started. How frustrated she gets, how angry, how violent she is towards herself. These are things that are occupying her days. That they don't have the right tools to help her.

They believe the right environment for her would be a full day program. Like NOW.

As in there is another school we would like you to look at and if you approve we would like her to go to that school for the remainder of the year.  If you don't approve of it then she would continue at her current school until the summer when she would then progress at age 5 to kindergarten. *I had asked about one for her when she first went into early childhood preschool but they wanted us to give their program a chance and there really wasn't any options around. Most private schools won't take kids until they are 5 and in kindergarten. ** we also acknowledge that we are very lucky to have a district that says "yes we can't support her and we will put her in private placement, that's rare. This then leads also into her placement for next year with a full day Autism program at a highly respected private school.

My husband and I will be touring the other facility tomorrow am. There is currently one other little kid in the program that she will be in and that little girl is the same age as Avery.

We've always said Avery needs more than what she was getting at school. It's not that it's a bad program it's just not the right program for her and her cognitive delays.  While I am looking forward to her getting more services that she needs I am also really afraid of how this transition to a new bus, new school, new teacher, new and longer day will be for her. It's a lot of stress for her (and us).  I also hope she doesn't feel like her "school family" abandoned her either. Sigh.  Also the guilt that we haven't done enough for her is at an all time high now because of this. It's not the schools fault they always prop us up and tell us we are doing a great job etc but it's still disheartening to hear what was said yesterday.

Taken in early 2012
So that's where we are at now. Probably a new school for Avery within the next couple of weeks. So if my posts are not abundant in the next few weeks it's because well, life just got in the way.

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