Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Change that to Fire Breathing Dragon

The school sent home a proposed IEP in Little Man's back pack last night before the meeting today. 

I am SO MAD!  First of all I thought I was entitled to that two days in advance. Second - they have stripped down my son's supports to two days a week half hour group speech therapy and half hour a day resource teacher in the room. His only iep goals are that he will follow class room directions independently with only two prompts and increase his use of pragmatic language by the end of the year. 

No interm goals listed and no evaluation method listed.  No accomodations listed.

It made me mad enough to rewrite the entire damn thing.  My version is below - should be a hell of a meeting.

Present levels of Academic and Functional Performance
Student Strengths
Little Man loves to please people.  He enjoys helping others and particularly likes when he can be the “knowledgeable” party in an exchange.   He thrives with one on one attention.  He is very good at rote memorization and can often appear to know more than he comprehends by virtue of having memorized specific information in specific contexts.
Extensive use of social stories over the summer has allowed Little Man to interact more with peers in situations that specifically apply the language and skills practiced by rote. 
Little Man is highly imaginative in his play – however this trait is emphasized to the degree that he is often lost in his own world.
Little Man loves music and finds music and rhythm a strong aid to memory.
Students Area of Need
Little Man has issues with slow auditory processing and short term memory deficits.  This impacts his ability to work independently.   He needs slower than average delivery of auditory input, visual demonstration of directions as well as auditory input, and requires reminders (visual or auditory) to remember the next stages of a task.  Repetition and routine help with this issue.
Little Man required private speech and language therapy outside of the school both during the school year and over the summer in order to make improvements in his articulation abilities over the past year.  However he continues to present with errors which combined with his low speaking volume, lack of eye contact and inability to read social cues for when to speak impede his ability to communicate functionally.  Little Man does not use grammatically correct sentences and may have difficulty grasping the past and present as concepts which may hinder his use of the grammatical forms.  He is unable to use language to describe events in his day, stories he has heard, answer WH questions or to interact with his peers socially.
Little Man has been evaluated by both the XX Children’s center and Dr. BLAH BLAH and is estimated at about 3.5 years of age developmentally.  This dysmaturity along with sensory issues can create issues with self-regulation for Little Man.
Effects of Disability on School
Little Man is meeting grade level expectations after a full years prior exposure to the curriculum and extensive outside interventions but requires special education services to help him learn coping techniques for his sensory and neurodevelopmental deficits. 
Little Man’s continued speech difficulties, dysmaturity, and difficulty understanding social cues negatively impact his ability to interact with peers and adults throughout the school day and to access the general education curriculum without accommodation and supports.
Academic Performance
Little Man can recognize all 26 letters and their sounds in the specific school context.  He has trouble accessing that information in new or novel settings even after a year’s exposure to the information.  (For example – inability to name any letters on the eye chart at the physician’s office with corrective lenses on, inability to identify letter sounds in church school games, difficulty recognizing 3D representation of letters at gym)
Little Man has memorized a great deal of beginning reading material from his first year in Kindergarten and “reads” it fluently due to repetition at home and in school.  When presented with the same words in a completely new context he often struggles with them. 
Little Man’s grasp of numbers is spotty.  He can count up to 100 with assistance and a focusing task (racing cars along a table).  Without a focusing task that captures his interest, he varies from 40 to 60 in independent counting.  He performs much more strongly with any numeric task when physical concrete objects are involved. 
He has not been able to grasp the idea of pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters and their values for him one unit remains one unit even after extensive practice. 
Functional Performance
Little Man is currently not ready for toilet training for bowel movements.  He has poor muscle ability and low sensation reception.  He requires the use of pull ups during the day and may need to be changed if a bowel movement occurs.   His current goal in this area is to accurately identify the sensation of needing to go and notify an adult.  He should not be pressured to use the toilet if he does so. 
Little Man has improved his core muscle strength somewhat but still presents with low tone and still exhibits poor fine muscle control impacting his ability to write and draw.  He has difficulty accurately forming figures particularly those with diagonal components and also has difficulty exerting enough pressure for his writing to be visable.
IEP Annual Goals
Social Skill Area Goals
1. Little Man will increase social-emotional skills as measured by the benchmarks listed
a. Little Man will identify various emotional states in others 4/5 opportunities to do so.
b. Little Man will state why a person might be feeling a particular emotion 4/5 opportunities to do so.
c. Little Man will identify various simple emotional states in self 4/5 opportunities to do so.
d. Little Man will state why he/she might be feeling a particular emotion 4/5 opportunities to do so.
e. Little Man will state what would be an appropriate response to a particular emotional state 4/5 opportunities to do so.

Speech and Language Goals

1. Little Man will increase social communication skills as measured by the benchmarks listed
a. Little Man will initiate appropriate communicative interactions with others 4/5 opportunities to do so including establishment of eye contact and use of appropriate vocal volume.
b. Little Man will initiate varied appropriate topics with others 4/5 opportunities to do so.
c. Little Man will initiate communicative interactions with others by asking questions 4/5
opportunities to do so.
d. Little Man will engage in conversational turn-taking with others across 3-4 conversational turns, 4/5 opportunities to do so (topics initiated by self /others).
e. Little Man will call attention to communicative partner prior to communicating 4/5 opportunities to do so.
f. Little Man will ask questions of others regarding topics initiated by self or others to sustain
conversation for conversational turn-taking 4/5 opportunities to do so.
g. Little Man will identify and understand various non-verbal social communication behaviors (ie. Tone of voice, personal space, vocal volume, body orientation, facial expressions) by stating their implied meaning 4/5 opportunities to do so.
h. Little Man will spontaneously seek assistance/ ask for help/ seek additional information given visual prompts 4/5 opportunities to do so.
i. Little Man will spontaneously use a verbal or non-verbal message to indicate to the speaker that he needs additional “wait” time to process information editorially 4/5 opportunities to do so.
j. Little Man will identify breakdowns in communication and make appropriate adjustments 4/5
opportunities to do so.

2. Little Man will increase narrative discourse skills to objective criteria as measured by the
benchmarks listed below.
a. Little Man will state the main idea of the story, video or situation 4/5 opportunities to do so.
b. Little Man will relate information (ie. Past events, stories, situations, etc…) sequentially 4/5
opportunities to do so.
c. Little Man will identify what happened first, in the middle, and last regarding a previous read
story, past event, or situation.

Academic Behavior
1. Little Man will increase their ability to function appropriately within the school environment as measured by the benchmarks listed below.
a. Given both visual and verbal prompts, Little Man will participate in tasks/ activities to completion by exhibiting appropriate behaviors, 85% of the time.
b. Little Man will transition appropriately from tasks and activities and school environments 90% of the time given advance visual and verbal prompts.
c. Little Man will accept changes in routine/schedule by exhibiting appropriate behaviors given
visual and verbal cues 75 % of the time.
d. Little Man will follow classroom rules and directives given visual and verbal prompts 90% of the time.
e. Little Man will independently ask to “take a break” when experiencing self regulation issues given visual and verbal prompts 70% of the time.

Academic Skill Area Goals
1.       Little Man will answer who, what, where, why and when questions to 70% accuracy for both written materials or description of activites going on around him.
2.       Little Man will increase his/her functional math skills in the areas of time and money by demonstrating understanding of future and past independently with 80% accuracy and demonstrating understanding of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters.


1.       Communication with Little Man by teachers will include:
Concrete and Specific Language
Avoid using vague terms like later, maybe, "why did you do that?”
Slower pace
If necessary for understanding, break tasks down into smaller steps
Use of gestures, modeling, and demonstrations with verbalization
Specifically engage attention visually, verbally, or physically

2.       Social Supports for Little Man will include:
Protect the child from bullying and teasing particularly around toileting
Create cooperative learning situations where Little Man can share his/her proficiencies
Practice on specific skills through natural activities with one peer
Practice on specific skills through natural activities with a few peers
Structured activities with set interaction patterns and roles
Focus on social process rather than end product
Specific teaching, rehearsal, practicing, and modeling in natural settings of the following skills:
joining others
accepting answers of others
accepting success of others
taking the lead
following ideas of others
appropriate joking and teasing
3.       Environment and Routine
Provide a predictable environment
Minimize transitions
Offer consistent daily routine
Avoid surprises, prepare Little Man thoroughly and in advance for special activities, altered schedules, or other changes, regardless of how minimal
Talk Little Man through stressful situations or remove him/her from the stressful situation
Provide personal space in resource or other room for recovery from overstimulation
Reduce distractions and sensory overloads due to noise, vision
4.       Presentation of Material
Presented visually, kinesthetically, as well as auditory
Use established routines
Divide instruction into small, sequential steps provide visual reminders
Provide repeated opportunities to practice
Provide needed prompts and cues
5.      Self Management/Behavior
Provide reinforcement that is individualized, immediate, and concrete
Incorporate strengths and interests into daily plan
Avoid punitive measures that lower self esteem, increase anxiety, and are not understood like taking away set routines, free time, or exercise
Avoid disciplinary actions for behaviors that are part of his disability, i.e.:

avoidance of eye contact
talking to self
slow response time
repeating words or sounds
upset in crowds or with noise
perseverating on topic of interest
upset by change

6.       Communication with Parents
The school will use a communication journal provided by Little Man's parents to provide the following info at minimum 2x a week:
Who is writing
The topics covered for the week
Children Little Man played / interacted with
Names of books read, copies of poems, sayings that he should be memorizing
Description of any behavioral issues including: trigger, behavior, consequence

A copy of Little Man's intervention schedule – days / times he has Speech, Resource, in class support  - will be provided to his parents
The school will allow Little Man's parents to attend at a minimum 2 of Little Man's interventions during the school year so that they may observe methods and incorporate them at home.  This should be scheduled at the mutual convenience of the parents and the school.

3.       Knowledgeable mentor / resource for Little Man
The school will provide at minimum one person with training in alcohol related neurodevelopmental disorders to work with Little Man.  Training for that resource will be provided at the schools expense since training offered by the parents at their expense was declined.


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