Friday, June 3, 2011

THE transition meeting

That's what they called the meeting today of Natalie's IEP discuss where Natalie will go for kindergarten.  The school district recommended general ed kindergarten with the support of a special ed resource person on campus.  This means NO one-on-one aide.  Tom and I were a little surprised because we thought Natalie's current teacher was also recommending an aide.  Apparently she got talked out of it!

So here's how they convinced us to try this out:  Natalie's kindergarten readiness is excellent.  Academically, she is at the top of her class (including the gen ed kids in the class), and can do all the stuff that they expect kindergarteners to do.  The only place she will need accommodation is with toileting, fine motor, gross motor and extra processing time when given verbal directions.  Our main concern is with transitions:  moving from desks to floor and back, where Natalie often doesn't respond right away or gets distracted.  The school district felt the K teacher could put Natalie in a place where it would be easier for her to succeed, and they encouraged us to give it a try.  They said if it isn't working, we can call an IEP meeting (actually, the teacher would be able to tell right away that it's not working) and provide additional support.

Tom and I were very encouraged by how much confidence the other members of the IEP team have in Natalie's ability to succeed in general ed kindergarten.  They also told us that at her tri-annual IEP in November, it's likely that they will remove the MR (mental retardation) eligibility for services (which is now called Intellectual Disability).  They say that Natalie's progress and performance are not consistent with a person with an Intellectual Disability.  Wow.  Of course, she still has special needs...she currently has a secondary eligibility of Orthopedic Impairment, which will likely become her primary eligibility.

It's always great for other people to tell you that your child is smart.  People tell me that Lukas and Konrad are smart all the time.  But it's really special when teachers tell you that your child with a syndrome that you thought would never do smart.


Susan Diehl said...

Wow, wow, wow. I am thrilled to read this! I can't believe what good news that is. I know you must have felt lighter than air to be told all of that. The fact that she is even being measured against her" typical" peers is wonderful and encouraging. I'm so proud of her and YOU for how hard you've worked to get Natalie where she is today. I remember very well how devastated you were when you learned soon after her birth of her difficulties. Hats off to you, my dear, and to Tom! Xoxo

Pudgy Pencils said...

This makes me SOOO happy to hear that others can see it and acknowledge it! I am just amazed by her videos of talking, quoting verses, etc...she IS smart and a sweetie too :D I have often wondered how many RTSers are actually a lot more intelligent than people know, but it's so hard for some to communicate that people don't see it easily. Way to go Natalie, and to her family for helping her SHINE!! :D

Jacqui said...

That is so so so brilliant, and so remarkable. Good work to you for all the input and care you have given Natalie to help her to reach her potential. Go Natalie for pushing boundaries beyond expectations and inspiring so many of us.

Anonymous said...

So happy for your family that Natalie's assessment was so positive! We will be praying for this smart little girl to transition well. Love The Hesslers

Nicky said...

AWESOME!!! Well done Natalie (and mom and dad, of course). You guys must be ecstatic! xxx