Thursday, November 29, 2012

Drum roll please......

After two long, grueling years of fighting, asking, testing/retesting, meetings and LOTS of frustration, Riley has an IEP. Whoo hook!! We had our big meeting yesterday. We took our friend with us to the meeting (she's a behaviorist), and we got an IEP! I think they were giving us one anyway, but having someone else (from outside district, and thinking she might be an advocate) helped. He qualified under speech, and Autism. Duh. I had been telling the psychologist at the jr. high that for two years! I KNEW he had trouble with his pragmatic language. Anyone who has talked to Riley can figure that out! Anyone who knows anything about Autism can figure that out. Duh. Social skills issues galore=Autism. The speech pathologist at American conducted her testing, and what do you know? Serious deficits in pragmatic language skills! I had to really restrain myself from yelling "duh!" Except it wasn't this team I wanted to yell that at. I so wish the jr. high team had been present. In any case, he will see the speech teacher once a week, for 30 minutes to work on those deficit skills. He remains in the tutorial class (resource period) that we placed him into this school year. He has goals for speech and goals for turning in his work. He has accommodations (quite a lot-all of them transferred over from the 504 plan). We have a case manager, and now there's a real course of action. As our behaviorist friend pointed out to them, this is a kid who can (and will) go to college, and if he does not get help with the skills he's lacking, he won't make it through college and then won't get a job. She then asked them what they were going to do to help him. The inclusion specialist will be by to see him, and we have a plan! It's all LEGAL now, so they HAVE to follow it. All hell breaks loose if it's not followed. I am not worried. I trust the staff and administrators at the high school. We absolutely love it there. Riley's teachers had nothing but kind things to say about him, and why not? He's not a behavior issue. They are all willing to help him succeed, and the best part is, he KNOWS it! He senses it. We are very happy. We won the education lottery! It was a long, difficult battle (and it may not be over), but it was worth it.

The above picture is from marching band. Riley is a completely different person with his band friends. It's amazing for us to watch the transformation of him there-it's like when we take him to Disneyland. Pure happiness.

Now, do I email the superintendent and head of special ed to let them know of our success (and the jr. high's failure)? OR do I let it go? THAT is the question.