Friday, August 17, 2012

Entering Through the Special Education School Door

(Trey is 2 years 11 months)

Well.. here we go!  We are now entering the St. Charles School District public education system.  I went through the same district, my twins graduated in 2011 from the same district, and my daughter Megan just started 8th grade in the same district.  I know no other school district and I have had nothing but good experiences as a student and a parent there.  I was even a substitute teacher in the district for 2 years after I received my Associates Degree in Education.  I have very good friends who are teachers there.  But I never thought in a million years I would be where I am today.. about to enter this district through the Special Education door and head down the long hallway of evaluations, IEPs, and advocacy.

 On Wednesday, David and I had our initial evaluation interview with the St. Charles School District-Special Education Department.  The purpose of this interview was to determine what testing Trey will need to determine 1) whether he has a particular category of disability 2) his present level of performance and educational needs and 3) whether Trey needs special education and related services.

After the two hour interview, it was decided that Trey needed testing in the following areas:
  1. HEALTH/MOTOR:  Sensory concerns, foods limited, sensitive to loud noises, tactile concerns, movement concerns, fine motor and visual motor concerns.
  2. SPEECH/LANGUAGE:  Diagnosed with receptive/expressive language disorder, limited phonetic inventory, simple routine and one-step direction limited, very limited expressive language.
  3. INTELLECTUAL/COGNITIVE:  Does not ID colors, does not point to pictures or body parts upon request.
  4. ADAPTIVE BEHAVIORS:  Uses no utensils, does not use cup with straw, does not undress, does not wash hands.
  5. SOCIAL/EMOTIONAL/BEHAVIORAL:  Limited pretend play, does not play with other children, does not share, transitions are difficult. not easily directed by parents.
  6. ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT:  Does not give name, age, or gender.  Does not point to pictures upon request.  Does not ID colors.
The next step is the actual evaluations of Trey that will be done by the special school district and United Services (special education preschool contracted through the school district).  They will test using the DAYC Assessment with informal play and observation.

Then Trey will be heading off to preschool...more than likely all day, 5 days a week to receive all the services he will need.  The district's plan is to have him eligible and attending by his 3rd birthday (9/29) because that is when the services with First Steps stops.

All this has David and I super nervous for him!  We know it will be the BEST thing for Trey.  We know the importance of early intervention for Autistic children.  We know he will flourish!!  It is just going to be an adjustment I am sure... we get teary-eyed thinking about it.  After leaving the interview at the school, we had a reality check on just how delayed Trey is in so many areas.  Yes, we have seen improvements since he was diagnosed in April... I mean, look at this kid!  He knows all his letters, numbers up to 20, and spells over 35 words!  He amazes us everyday.. but, yes, very delayed in many areas. 

We love him more than words can express.  We don't want to change who he is or "cure" his Autism.  We just want to do whatever will make his life better. So I am now ready to begin this journey with the St. Charles School District.. putting my faith they will have my child's best interest at heart for the next 14 years.

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you are already familiar with the district as that is half the battle. The evaluation has always been the hard part for us and not knowing what programs were going to be recommended. Just remember, before the IEP, you can get all of the testing and recommendations so you can review them. That way you are not going into the meeting cold but prepared. Come up with a list of things you believe Trey needs to succeed. Good luck!!