Friday, January 20, 2012

IEP referral

Today was my first IEP meeting. It was just the referral meeting, but we did more than I expected. We reviewed all of Sweets' history with early intervention, and decided which evaluations the school will do.

Besides me, the other people at the meeting were:
the daycare teacher (certified birth-kindergarden special education),
the daycare director (developmental daycare),
the early intervention service coordinator,
the local school system preschool coordinator (who also served as the school SLP),
the school psychologist, and
the school physical therapist.

We discussed strengths and concerns, including play skills, gross motor, and communication skills. We discussed her current and recent services through early intervention.

We also discussed the recent apraxia eval and the possibility of an apraxia diagnosis for Sweets, though I did not give them the report from this eval. Sweets had scored a 79 composite score on this eval (9%). I have read that the cutoff for eligibility is actually below 78, so I am afraid that this eval could actually make it harder to qualify. Someone in the meeting actually said it has to be below a 70 for a 30% delay, but I don't think that was correct. The school will do their own eval anyway. They would like to know which tests were done so that they don't repeat the same ones. They said that it is not accurate to use the same test within a year.

In the end, they decided they will basically just do a full panel of evals on Sweets, not just the communication and educational evals that I thought they were planning. Here is the list:

Physical Health (vision, hearing, etc)
Educational (academic achievement)
Intellectual Assessment (they will do one that does not rely on as much language)
Social Appraisal
Motor (fine and gross)
Adaptive Behavior (self-help)
Sensory Processing Appraisal

They will do all of these evals at the daycare, without me present. That is different for me; I have been present at all of her other evals. They usually have lots of questions for me to answer. This time they gave me a stack of paperwork to fill out instead. I requested to get the eval reports before the IEP meeting so that I have time to review them, and I provided my email address for them to send them electronically. Apparently otherwise they would just give them to me at the meeting. I can imagine I would have time to thoroughly read all those reports right there. Of course I want to get them ahead of time! This way I will get them all with at least a week's notice before the IEP meeting. At the next meeting, we will discuss the reports, decided whether she is eligible for IEP, and if so, create the plan. The meeting is scheduled for March 30, which is almost a month before her birthday, giving us plenty of time, so I am happy about that.

I am still worried that she won't even qualify for services, but the daycare director seems confident that she will. It does seem like this team will try to qualify her if they can. They do not seem resistant or uncooperative at all. I think I have just heard so many stories of struggles with IEP teams that I was prepared to have to fight them, but it doesn't look like it will be that way.

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