Comfy fish in a tiny pond

CJ’s progress report from 5th grade was so positive. I know I’ve posted about all his big leaps, but this is my case for IEP’s…and I wish education could go to IEP’s for all children. In the IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) I sit down with all the school personnel who work with my child and we write measurable educational and behavioral goals and evaluate and modify current goals. His main goals for this year were to be able write and say his name, address and phone number; not run out doors or escape by running away; and some basic math and reading goals.

I’m happy to say that he blew the first two goals out of the water. CJ has not attempted to run out of the classroom in a couple months and has learned to “tantrum in place”. We’ll work on the tantrums later. Right now it’s success that he stays in his assigned area.

He can also write and say his name, address and phone number individually, and in several languages (his own independent study) . Also, with IEP, there is no “pass/fail/holding back” – so CJ stays with his age group – this is invaluable – because social modeling is a HUGE part of how CJ learns.

School is “forced socialization” where he gets opportunities to interact with others in a safe, judgement free zone. Unfortunately, it’s only one of two public and safe, judgement free zones in CJ’s world. That being said, CJ spends most of his school day in a self contained classroom with other kids on the spectrum – so even if he has become a comfy fish in the pond, it’s still a very tiny pond.

He moves up to middle school (6th grade) next year. I’m very scared, as I do not know what to expect. With the elementary schools, I was invited into the classroom to meet the teacher and the staff, and we discussed IEP and everything. This time, it was handled in a committee of Special Ed people. I feel like I”m starting all over again, because we have a brand new IEP team, a brand new environment and a brand new set of potential injury and fights. I have to explain everything all over again. A whole new set of judgmental ignorant people who will assume I know nothing about parenting or autism. Another war composed of so many battles over so many ditches that aren’t worth dying in

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Pearl Manhattan

Life interrupted - this space is changing - stay tuned

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