Ben’s Preschool Evaluation and First IEP

eval-table

Ben turns 3 at the end of April, so he will be transitioning from home-based early intervention to having his therapies in a preschool setting.  In our county, most kids with significant developmental or behavioral disabilities go to a designated “special needs school”.   I understand that a lot of parents and educators disagree with this approach, but we think it’s the right one for Ben at this time.

Earlier this month (the same week as our vehicular fiasco), he had a formal evaluation at the Center.  He first had his hearing and hearing aids checked briefly by their audiologist.  Ben is difficult to test using behavioral cues, so the audiologist was relieved to learn that he’ll be having a detailed ABR under general anesthesia tomorrow morning.

ben-rolling

Then we all went to a different room, and we met all the therapists that Ben would be working with in school, as well as the school psychologist.  The physical therapist went first, and she put Ben down on the mat to watch him roll, crawl, sit up and stand with support.  We were pleased that we’ve already met Ben’s therapist – she filled in for our usual physical therapist a little over a year ago when she was on maternity leave.  Ben did very well.

ben-at-table-1

Then they sat Ben in a little chair and tested how well he was able to manipulate objects with his hands and arms.  Ben sat very well and cooperated with all the tasks.   The school psychologist asked whether we wanted Ben’s IQ tested.  We consented, and she did her evaluation.  Through the entire process everyone asked us lots of questions about Ben’s routine, his likes/dislikes, special abilities, personality, and what our goals were for him.

ben-at-table-2

nate-and-me

We generated his IEP for the year, and read over and signed it.  Since the preschool operates year-round, Ben could technically start attending as soon as he turns three, but we all agreed to keep up home-based therapies a little longer; until August.  We asked questions about the preschool itself.  We learned that the classes are typically small (6-8 kids per teacher), kids work individually with the therapists at different times during the school day (or rather half-day), we are able to communicate back and forth with Ben’s teacher and therapists daily using a notebook, and at least once a month, his teacher will do a home visit to meet with us and discuss any concerns.  Ben will be continuing PT, OT (including working on oral feeds), ST, and will periodically meet with teachers for students with visual and hearing impairments.

ben-koosh1

The prospect of sending Ben to school fills us with anxiety, but at the moment we feel a little reassured after our IEP meeting.   For now it does appear that his educational needs will be met in this setting; we’ll see how things actually work in a few short months.

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9 Responses to “Ben’s Preschool Evaluation and First IEP”

  1. Heidi @ ggip Says:

    I appreciate your sharing with us the entire process. I imagine that our experience will be similar to yours. I think in our county we have several EI preschools, although I think some of them try to integrate some children from the general population too. We’ll see.

    I guess my main concern initially might be safety and ability to deal with medical issues if they arise.

    I tell you, Ben looks ready for school in his handsome vest and spiffy glasses!!

    And to answer your question, Blue had a taste of frosting, but not anything else. We are thinking we are going to have some issues with food allergies, so I am trying to play it safe.

  2. Stacy Says:

    Your blog is something I look forward to reading! Ben and his journey is the same I see for my son Edwin. Eddie is 14 months and looking back is in about the same place Ben was. Thank you for posting so much about Ben so I have something to gage by. Keep up the great work! One question have you tried sign language with Ben?

  3. Rhonda Says:

    Oh my gosh. Could he be any cuter? He reminds me so much of Sean when he was that age. Sean started school when he was 3-1/2. He was so tiny and I was so worried but he did well. He rode a bus and had to be picked up and put on it because he was so small. Sean will be “graduating” next February so we are looking into all new options for him. The time sure flies. Ben, you’re doing great!

  4. misty Says:

    SOOOO CUTE!! and he DOES look so ready for school in his glasses and vest! love it! i cannot wait to hear how he does.
    in CO, we too have to start ‘school based’ therapies around 3 or 4 years of age… or clinic based. not sure how that will go, but it really is getting closer! i cannot believe that Mason is almost 18 months old.. AND that Ben is turning 3!! when I first saw him online(winter 2007), he was still ONE!

    i know the anxiety you must be feeling, but I am sure that he will do well! keep us posted!

  5. Sandi Says:

    Ben looks so handsome in his sweater vest and glasses! I’m glad the IEP went well, though I understand the anxiety.

    Jess started preschool at age 2 and she was so tiny compared to the other kids! And it was so odd putting her on the school bus in her car seat. She loved it though and was soon the class “bully” much to my chagrin!

    She attended a wonderful special needs preschool. For kindergarten thru second grade she attended a local elementary school in a special ed classroom, but it was never a good fit. She now attends a special needs school and is thriving!

  6. lisa leonard Says:

    The transition to preschool was so, so hard for me. But it has been so wonderful. It takes time for me to build trust with teachers–but they have been amazing. And David has thrived. I hope its a positive experience. Sounds like the testing went well. And Ben looks like such a big boy-and so handsome! Sending hugs!!

  7. Robin OSborn Says:

    Wow, Thanks for sharing. My boys all went through the county preschool. Stephen could have started at age 2, but he started at age 3. Stephen has Autism. We are so thankful for the county programs for the ST and teachers. They were phenomenal. If you are concerned, about the medical issues there is home care nursing that could go to school with him. I worked in that before my kids and I went with a girl to class based preschool, who had a GTube and a trach. I did most of the suctioning. He is in good hands and very caring people!! He is in the Lord Hands as well!!

  8. suna Says:

    we are in the same boat…..preschool in november. cyrus also has cornelia de lange.

  9. joanne Says:

    How exciting, ben looks really happy in the pictures i think he’s ready for school. Thank you for sharing the process. I wish you luck and blessings that things will work out just fine and that all will be well.


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