Another IEP Meeting

by beagooddad on May 1, 2008

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I hate IEP meetings. It is never easy to listen to somebody detail the things the child is bad at in excruciating detail. This year was no exception.

Pookie does a lot of things that amaze his teachers on a regular basis.

Unfortunately, he does a lot of things that the teachers said mask what he might know and hinder his ability to learn some of the things that he should be able to learn.

Plus he does not interact with other kids socially the way he should.

Plus he often seems to not be paying attention (even though they know that a lot of those times he really is).

His biggest problems (outside of the normal social stuff) are the echolalia and language processing. He can say a lot of things but often has trouble answering slightly abstract questions and has very little interest in asking people questions except when he wants something.

So, what are the options for next year. This fall, Pookie (and Geetle) will be making the big move from preschool to kindergarten.

We spent a bunch of time trying to decide whether we wanted him in a special ed class and pulled into a regular class for small parts of the day. Or in a regular class (with an aide) and pulled out for speech, OT, etc.

We were not really comfortable with either option because neither seemed to have enough time to fit in all the things Pookie needs and neither seemed guaranteed to keep him progressing on his strengths while letting him catch up on his weaknesses.

At the end of the meeting, the person running the meeting asked all of the teachers what their recommendation was for Pookie next year. They said they did not want him in a normal classroom full time.

I started to get frustrated expecting a big battle. So then that person running the IEP said, “Then you all agree that he should be in a MLP class.”

Come to find out, MLP is the district’s “modified learning program” which will be a class of no more than 12 higher functioning (I hate that term) special ed students of ages varying no more than 4 grades (in Pookie’s case, no more than K through 3rd). The kids get pulled into normal classes with special ed support as the teachers and parents see appropriate.

I asked, how is that any different than putting him in a normal class and pulling him out for special services? How does that free up any more time to meet all of his goals?

They explained that MLP is full day.

We quickly agreed that this seems like the best option for Pookie for kindergarten. It will provide all of the special ed services that he will need but also give him plenty of time to mix into the normal class throughout the day.

If everything goes throughout the year, he will be spending quite a bit larger percentage of the day in the normal classes than he does at the beginning of the year.

There is even a decent chance that he will be in the same school as Geetle and the rest of the kids in the neighborhood. That school will definitely have an MLP class next year but we will not know whether it will include kindergarten until middle of the summer.

Keep your fingers crossed.

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