Tom and I survived Natalie's triennial IEP yesterday. It was 2.5 hours long and we didn't even get to her new goals, so another date has been planned for Part 2 of the IEP. Overall, I think the meeting went well: reviewing Natalie's current levels and where teachers and therapists understand her strengths and weaknesses are. But the continuing question is Natalie's behavior and how to deal with it--she's behaving differently than she did last year, and it could be because there is so much more sitting at a desk in kindergarten than there was in pre-K. We're happy that a behavior management plan will be prepared, and they will also be consulting with autism specialists at the school, since many of Natalie's objectionable behaviors are autistic-like.
We think everyone at the table understands what their job is, except Natalie's teacher! Natalie's teacher has stated that the classroom environment is just asking too much of her and everything is just too hard. The lingering suggestion when she makes these comments is that Natalie should be somewhere else (a special day class instead of a general ed class). As I think about it after the meeting, that's the purpose of the IEP team! We have to come up with ways to challenge Natalie, but not beyond her capabilities. We still think that Natalie will do the best in the classroom she's in, and with the teacher she has, but we need support from other people who've had more experience with special needs modifications. There have been some modifications (a one-on-one aide), but more modifications need to be made.
Thanks for your continued prayers...it's not over. This has been the hardest IEP yet, but we have confidence that we will have a positive outcome in the end. I'll probably be making some phone calls next week to follow up with those who understand what their job is...to make sure they know that we know what their job is!