OK so I lied. I didn’t mean to but as it turns out, I am going to talk about Jay’s 2012 IEP after all. You see, I can’t stop thinking about it and reflecting on how our lives have changed over the past year or 2. When I realized I was going to write something about it, I had intended to wait until I got the final IEP before publishing the post. I had all kinds of plans to quote directly from it so it could sound official. But now I don’t feel like waiting anymore.
Of course, Jay’s IEP talks about all kinds of deficits that he has. It talks about how much therapy he will get. It talks about what accommodations he will get and what methods will be used to help him to achieve his goals. Yes, the goals. So many goals that I added an extra page to the forms I was asked to fill out. So many of them the same as last year. So many of them that still say “in progress” or “not yet started”.
But this is not a post about those lingering things. This is a post about what is NOT in this years IEP, as well as the new things that have are.
No longer does it say “Identify 250 objects” or “Point to and name pictures in a book“. It doesn’t say “Respond to ‘hello’ and ‘good-bye’” or “Follow one step commands“. Nope, those things are gone.
This year there is no mention of “Learn the letters of the alphabet” or “Learn colors” or “Complete a 12 piece interlocking puzzle“. Been there, done that. Or as they would say “Mastered“.
They were able to backspace through the part that talked about him needing to be potty trained and appropriately dealing with transitions.
In April 2011 … >THIS< is where we were with his speech. Please read it! That was a year and a half ago. A lifetime ago? Just the other day? He was 3 years old and I was hoping, praying, wishing for him to say one word. Just one. My goal was to know what my babies voice sounded like. His silence was killing me inside.
Now, he has goals like “Use proper pronouns” and “Use proper tenses (past, present. future)” and “Improve articulation“. It’s no longer about increasing his vocabulary. He has plenty of that now. Now it’s about making sure that he is pronouncing things correctly so that when he says “the frog goes ribbit“, it doesn’t sound like “the foh goes ribbit” and when he says “I see a spider“, it doesn’t come out sounding like “I see a fighter“.
After months and months we have gotten him to move from “I want oose” to “Can I have juice, pleeeease?” Wow. Just wow! According to CC, he is sounding less and less like a cave man.
Now the focus is on him learning that instead of saying “Your turn Jay” he should say “My turn“.
It’s about him writing his name and other words. No-one has any doubt that he can and will. He’s already more or less able to trace his name and can spell a few words orally.
He can and does follow one step commands consistently; So he has moved up the goal ladder and is being challenged to be a better planner and organizer and to follow multiple step commands. eg. Put the fork in the garbage, then put the plate in the sink and then come sit on the rug.
There is a focus now in delaying his gratification so he will do what other people want first and then he can get rewarded with something he wants. eg. Clean up first and then you can get a wowipop (lollipop). Before, we were so happy that he was using his words to ask for things that he would get what he asked for each and every time.
What can I say in closing that I haven’t said many times before? We have a long way to go but we have come SO FAR.
Thank you all for letting me sing my sons praises like this. Not that long ago, I was having a really hard time thinking about him turning 4. Now three months away from his fifth birthday, I am in a very different place. I am not at all worried about the number. I am just so happy that he’s making strides. Despite all the love and hard work that has been put in, there was never any guarantee that I would ever hear my son tell me that he loves me. There was never any guarantee that my son would ever want to play with us. There was never any guarantee that I’d get the chance to sit in an IEP meeting and have his goals moved up to a more advanced level.
Special thanks always to his teachers and therapists and to everyone in our lives who have shared our joys and never dismissed our concerns.
I hope you all have a happy and safe weekend!