Friday, March 23, 2012

IEP Debrief

I usually find it hard to post after IEP meetings, just because I'm so drained and so glad that it's over that I don't want to re-hash it yet. :)

That said, it went well. We went over the evaluations for speech and for OT and Dean qualified for both services at school! So this is good. I felt the evaluations were accurate, addressed the concerns that we have, and were followed up by appropriate goals to add to Dean's IEP.

The OT at one point commented that she was glad that I asked for copies of the reports ahead of time and read through them prior to the meeting. I explained that it was easier for me that way because I can really read through and become familiar with the information so that I'm more present during the actual IEP meeting. She added, "I would also think that it's just... a LOT to digest, and I know that seeing some of it must be hard to take in."

This is the first time so far that a comment like that has been made, and I wanted to hug her for it. Instead, I just said, "It is. Every. Single. Time." I really appreciated this gesture from her in saying this.

The next IEP meeting will be at the beginning of June, where we'll discuss Dean's placement for next year and his team of teachers and therapists will make their recommendation (which is stronger than a recommendation, really). As I mentioned in the last post, this is going to be a difficult decision. Please pray for wisdom for the best placement for Dean for next year.

Also, if you could pray for Dean's speech, it would mean the world to me. Seeing the evaluations and AGREEING that there has been almost no net progress in a YEAR was crushing. During his speech session today at Children's, his SLP agreed that Dean's issues are likely a combination of very low muscle tone in his mouth area, as well as apraxia (motor planning). She said that she wasn't really sure how to proceed. :( That was not encouraging. I cried in the car on the way to Trader Joe's afterwards. I can't tell you how badly I long to hear Dean's voice. I know there's so much in his little head, and I want to know him more. I want to know all the things he feels and thinks and observes, because he's my son. What mom doesn't want to get to know her kid more? Is this too much to ask?


Candice said...

Graham also had a year of almost no progress. It was so frustrating!! I think it was from 2-3, and now he progress has been pretty steady. Last July, he had very few 2 syllable words and only said 1 word at a time. Now he can say 3 syllable words and has 5 word sentences. His diagnoses are the same, apraxia and dysarthria. His current speech therapist has had good success with him using visuals, as well as providing physical inputs. It will happen hon!!

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Candice, that is helpful to know!! Thanks for sharing.

Giulia said...

As far as I know about dysarthria, many of people with this disability learn to talk while they learn to read.
As crazy as it sounds. But a person I could know could speak her first word at...6 yo. Now she is 15 yo, and in a mainstream high school (I spoke to her mother more than the girl herself). Her mother said that she learnt to speak when she learnt to read.
For many years, they thought that she had mental retardation (she also has dyslexia, dysorthographia, dysgraphia, dyagrammatia, all the dys linked to language). But her IQ tests show that she is... gifted ! As surprising as it sounds.

The theory is that persons with dysarthria form the words through seeing the letters more than when hearing the sounds.
As with PWS, the persons are more visual than hearing, it would make sense that he learns to speak more easily when he reads the words and see the word than when he has to hear the word.

I know that it's very early, but it may worth the effort to see in this direction.
I mean, starting right now with the letters, like you would teach to a 6yo child how to read.
Of course, many will tell me that "3 yo is too early to learn how to read, as we read after speaking". I answer that it's true for the vast majority of persons, not the persons with dysarthria. and the most important is making Dean become able to communicate, so if it means to teach him to read before the typical age, be it. It's not the end of the world, as long as it's a fun game for him.

Giulia said...

Sorry for the new post, and you may have thought about it, but did you get the Ipad with Proloquo2go (for PECS) ?
It may help everyone a lot, especially Dean.

Ali Foley Shenk said...

Great information, and I was thinking about using more visual cues as Candice mentioned above. Something to look into!