IEP's any suggestions?

Amber - posted on 11/08/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Hi everyone,
My son Austyn was diagnosed last February, he's 7 years old, and in grade 2. Although he seems to be doing ok in school, I know that there are things that can be put in place to help with transitions, social skills and fine motor.
I have looked up some information, and received some assistance from Autism Ontario in what to ask for from the school during our meeting later this week. Last year, I went to an IEP meeting and felt that I didn't really have a lot to contribute, as I didn't know what to ask for. This year I know what to ask for.
I'm requesting an OT for an assessment, for a few things, sensory, and fine motor being the main ones. Austyn seems to be extremely under sensitive. One of the things he does (that worries me) is that he likes to rub his eye ball with his finger. He says he likes how it feels. And he never seems to know when he's had enough to eat, always asking for food. While I'm preparing lunch, he will be discussing with me what he would like to have for snack.
Also, while his gross motor skills seem to be excellent, his fine motor skills are lacking. He has a difficult time printing, that kind of thing. I'm hoping that we can get the OT in to see him at the school without a huge wait time, however, I put him in piano lessons, which he enjoys, hoping that by practicing he will gain some skills in this areas.
However, I'm wondering, does anyone have any suggestions on how to go about getting this help from the school, any challenges I should be away of?

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Jess - posted on 12/04/2010

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Oh, okay, I'm not sure what is available up there. RtI (response to intervention) is a newer thing down here in the states. It's a general education initiative to give students extra help in areas they are low (typically math or reading), but if done well it is a great way to collect data needed to entitle students who need special education services (an IEP). A 504Plan is for students who don't qualify for an IEP (meaning their deficit isn't great enough to qualify), but they need certain accomodations in order to be "successful" (like extra time on tests or assignments, preferential seating, reduced or modified homework, etc.). It used to be a student had to have a medical diagnosis (such as ADHD), and enough data to show that without the accomodations that they would fail, but I think recently in our area it has been changed to where you don't have to have the medical diagnosis, you just need sufficient data/evidence that the child needs the accomodations to be successful. We do have OT in the school, but it's mostly for gross and fine motor issues. We had looked into OT for sensory issues as well and we had to go through our local clinic for that. It sounds like he's doing very well, and you're doing awesome stuff to support him. =) Yay for his teacher that is helping at recess. My little one has had social issues with things like personal space and using an inside voice; it's getting better but it's still a work in progress. His sensory issues have improved too. When he was younger he would have major melt downs if his coat wasn't on just right or his socks. It's better, but he still has to put his outdoor things on in a certain order, the zipper ALL the way up (even if it's up to his nose) and every single snap or button done up. As long as his socks match he's okay now, and doesn't match up the little line on the toes anymore between his feet. He's also better about water temperature, he was always upset beacuse he said it was "hot" and it was maybe a little lukewarm. He still touches everything though! That's a huge challenge when we're somewhere with breakable things.

Amber - posted on 12/04/2010

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We live in Canada, so things are very different here I think. I'm working on OT for sensory issues, and he was having some fine motor problems, we spent all of grade 1 and this far in grade 2 working on helping him to print. He loves to write "books" and writes one every day at school. They are usually abotu 6 pages long. He is getting very good at writing "in the lines" now which is nice, because it's helping him a lot with his school work. He's starting to perform very well academically, but the social issues are still very pressing. We're working on it, slowly but surely. Since I have taken him out of daycare (and changed my work schedule so I could be home with him and his siblings) his behaviour has changed dramatically, and we have fewer melt downs.
My work demands that during the months of March and April I work a lot of hours, so I contacted the local children's aid society for help with advocating with childcare subsidy (I qualify for a reduced cost), because subsidy has children in a childcare facility, like a licenced daycare centre, and will not offer help with funding for private babysitting. Even though I would like to, I can't afford to pay a babysitter privately without help.
For now, he receives some help in school, but he seems to be doing very well in the classroom setting, the school's resource teacher has spent some time outdoors during recess, as this is Austyn's trouble area.
Thanks for the ideas, but I have no idea what Rtl or 504 plans are, so I'm not sure if they are available here, or if they are called something else.

Jess - posted on 12/04/2010

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It's going to depend on what state and the school district you are in. In most instances, a student has to meet certain criteria before receiving special services. This can very greatly from state to state, and even between districts. Having his official diagnosis should help you help him. What I have seen is that the major criteria to receive help (like OT, speech, academic accomodations, etc.) is that the "deficit" must interfere with the student's ability to perform at the level expected for his/her age group. For example, if your child was not able to physically form legible letters in second grade, that would interfere with his ability to complete his school work, or perform at the level he is capable of. In our case it was tough because our son performed so well academically that he really didn't qualify for services (even though there were some major social issues); however, we were lucky in that his teachers so far have been great about doing extra things to help him, and there were even some things done whole class that helped him too. If you have specific questions about RtI, 504Plans, or IEPs, I'd be happy to try to help you, but I live in Illinois, so it may be different.

Marina - posted on 11/10/2010

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Hi my son is 6 and he and Austyn sound soo much alike!! We are in California so things may be different
were you are, but OT is extremely difficult to get here.
I guess I dont have to much to say except sometimes you have to fight for what you need! best of luck

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