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Wednesday, November 25, 2009


So after having 10 people sit around in a circle to discuss one little four year old, we have an IEP for half a year. And the school district is threatening to force us to go to a different school if we want summer school. Because taking an autistic boy and putting him in a strange environment with new teachers for three weeks in the middle of the summer is productive. Yeah.

Anyway, they're thinking he's going to outgrow his AAC and need something more advanced soon. It's clearly appropriate for him. He navigates it like a pro. However, he's also created new problems by having a voice. Just as with spoken words, sometimes he's communicating wants and needs, and sometimes he's just making noises for internal reasons not relevant to the discussion.

The preschool directer thinks they pretty much have this one under control, and I tend to agree. Rather than saying something like, "No talker!" or "Talker down!" like the school district suggested, the teacher just says, "But we're not talking about X right now. Let's talk about Y." Just like any other kid babbling about something unrelated to the lesson. Sometimes when the lesson is over a skill he's already mastered, they just turn down the volume on his AAC and let him explore as much as he wants. This? This is why I am not taking him to a school district preschool.

Our next IEP will be for transitioning to kindergarten. I have to admit I'm concerned about this. I have faith in the school he'll be attending, but I can't control all the variables there either. What if he gets a horrible teacher? How much are they going to underestimate his abilities? How bad is it going to get next year when he's stuck in this new routine?

I'm glad he's doing so well with reading, because I feel like that's something that shows proof that he's educable. And it saddens me that he needs that. I feel like when it comes to special ed, some kids are taught, and some kids are warehoused.


  1. I hate IEPS (or ARDs as they are called in Texas). I've been going through them since the bright boy was 4, 16 years now. He was one of those kids who were warehoused. When he had a stroke at 9, I reached my capacity to continue to be in the school with him each day most of the school day working to see he was taught. I brought him home and homeschooled him for a decade before transitioning him to a day center fulltime. On the other hand, my garden girlies are doing well with school and the therapies and accomodations they have put into place (and the oldest garden is a step down from and IEP equivalent; the school works with her and accomodates without identifying her as special ed). I still don't like the meetings, but at least so far there isn't warehousing going on. They work to reach them, keep them on track, and help them with social skills. It's not perfect, but it's by far superior to what the bright boy got.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Oh I know your anxiety about kindergarten..I have found that making my presence felt has always been the best way to get my kids what they need. I have been there-we have had crappy teachers here and there..but we have had wonderful support staff-who, helped my boys get through some of the harder parts. In hind site, it was a valuable learning experience for all of us..Try not to stress too much. Your boy sounds like he is doing wonderfully. He will continue-regardless of the teacher.:)