Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Countdown to Kindergarten: IEP Meeting

Anthony’s kindergarten IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting was held way back in April. In 3 weeks we'll be putting the plan into action.

There were 12 people around the table, including Paul and me, the Portland Public Schools (PPS) transition coordinator, a physical therapist, speech therapist, school psychologist, general ed kindergarten teacher, 3 special education teachers, the special education program administrator, and our friend who took notes. Whew!

It went well, and his placement will be in the general education kindergarten with “pullouts” (mostly for group speech therapy) no more than 11% of the time. He will have an aide with him in the classroom. Everything we had hoped for. Honestly, it was not at all the contentious battle we feared it might be. Many families have to fight for their child’s right to be included in general education, but that was not our experience at all.

Sitting outside the principal's office. Let's hope this doesn't happen too much this year!
We’d like to take credit for the outcome, but really we are lucky in that PPS is committed to inclusion for students with disabilities. We know families in other school districts who are just as involved in advocating for their kids who have had a much rougher time. Probably the most heated part of the meeting was when we got into a big discussion about why cutting with scissors- specifically cutting out a gingerbread man- is so important that it warrants a goal on the IEP. But I’m good with it now.

Anthony's Goals
Here are some of the goals Anthony will work on this year. I’ve paraphrased them-- the actual goals and objectives are written using more education jargon. It’s important to note that he only needs to show reasonable progress on each goal. That is, they’re not going to kick him out of general ed if he can only count to 15 instead of 50 by the end of the school year. The goals are broken down into small steps. For example, for his sight reading goal, step 1 is to memorize 10 sight words, then 20, and eventually 50.

Reading (75 minutes a week of extra help):
-       Learn 50 sight words. He can show he’s learned the words either by using sign or spoken words.
-       Show understanding of a story by sequencing 2-3 parts of the story using pictures and pairing a pre-made picture to the correct story.

Math (75 minutes a week of extra help):
-       Rote count to 50, recognize numbers 1-20. As with sight words, he can show he’s learned them through sign or spoken words.
-       Understand the basic language concepts of math: more, less, bigger, smaller, in all, total, equals
-       Identify five basic shapes - square, circle, triangle, rectangle, and star by number of sides and corners.

Fine Motor/Handwriting (1 hour a month of extra help plus 8 hours per year of OT)
Cut using self-releasing scissors within 3/4 inch of the line
Step 1. A straight line
Step 2. A circle
Step 3. A star
Step 4. A gingerbread man (seriously!)

Write his first name using a tripod grip
Step 1. Trace his first name
Step 2. Copy his first name
Step 3. Write his first name from memory

Write the upper case letters and lower case letters of the alphabet
Step 1. By tracing
Step 2. By copying
Step 3. Independently

Color an object using multiple colors and staying within 3/4 inch of the lines.

Create a story by placing pictures in sequence (This one seems out of place but it's a writing goal, adapted for him.)

Communication, language, and self-help goals
These include things like getting dressed independently, playing cooperatively with peers, initiating play, asking for help, asking a peer to stop doing something he doesn’t like, etc. He’ll also be working on articulation in speech therapy.

Additional Supports and Accommodations
·         PT consult to general ed for classroom setup and evacuation plan
·         Assisted communication consultation and materials
·         SLP consultation to general education teacher
·         Preferential seating near teacher and surrounded by supportive peers
·         Visual supports for schedule and directions
·         Adult assistance for "self-help"

So that’s that. He's ready. We're ready. Bring it on!

1 comment:

  1. Well, it's good to know that someone else's Kindy goals are nearly identical to my son's! I was a little worried that ours were not good enough or too much. Thanks for posting Anthony's......that's really helpful. I hope you all have a wonderful year in Kindergarten!