future meeting with school principal

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Ktllc, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    V does not qualify for special services at this point but both his Occupational Therapist (OT) and playtherapist give him 2 weeks before he completely collapses... yeah, I know: very optimistic, but probably sadly realistic.
    Anyhow, I have scheduled a meeting with the principal in an attempt to get the school and future teacher ready for V's arrival in August.
    Sure, legally, they don't have to do a thing, but I hear this specific school is pretty good with special need. Other schools actually send students to this school when they don't want/can't deal anymore.
    So, my hope is they will listen and actually try to make it work for V, even with no IEP in place.
    I was going over what I should say and decided to draft a letter that will I copy and hand out to the principal and K teacher who will attend the meeting. It will take place just before K camp. My goal is to summerize the issues, without swamping them with too much detail. And I also want to keep a positive attitude. I don't want them to see V as all negative. It would not be helpful and would not be true. V is so sweet and loveable when you meet him (until you place expectations and ask results).
    Here itis:

    About V, 5 years old.V is a sweet little boy who wants to do well and please people.
    Official diagnosis:
    Sensory integration disorder,
    Dyspraxia affecting the ideation part of motor-planning,
    Cautionary diagnosis of Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD),
    Mild expressive language delay,
    Anxiety

    How those issues translate in his life:
    V becomes easily overstimulated (noise, visual, information…)
    V pushes back as a defense mechanism but it is not defiance. It really is anxiety.
    He has difficulties following rules imposed on him. It is not defiance but genuine misunderstanding or lack of understanding of what is asked from him.
    Social issues with peers: has a hard time with the concept of “give and take”.

    What can be done to help V:
    Use of a visual schedule of the day.
    V is a visual/hands-on learner. Extra visual clues should be used. Don’t tell him, show him.
    Make eye contact with V when talking, ask him to look at your face and make him repeat what he understood.
    Make a trial use of an FM system after 2 weeks in school (Central Auditory Processing Disorder (CAPD) remediation).

    V’s issues are not so severe as to qualify him for special education at this point.
    His issues are nonetheless quite impairing to his learning.
    As his mother, I believe V can and will do good in Kindergarten providing that the school team implements the few strategies listed above and gain an understanding of the cause of his challenges.
    I will be happy to work as a team member and provide as much information and help as needed.

    Sincerely,
    Ktllc

    Please be as critical as possible! It is the first time the school (not the district) will hear about what's to come. And I know V can learn: he knows almost his whole alphabet after working with him for barely 3 weeks, but using a method he understands! And I've just started talking about letter sounds, and he gets it. But believe me, it is NOT easy to work with him. So yes, I see progress but it is not all rosy. And then his behavior has been awfull at home (spitting, pushing, hitting, always complaining, etc... not really violent, but just nagging everyone all the time).
     
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    JMO, but... leave motherhood out of it.

    "Having worked with V on learning (whatever school-prep skills) over the last two years (or however long)... (add the I believe stuff) providing that we (not "the school team") proactively implement proven strategies, gain an understanding (ya da ya da) and monitor carefully."
    Or something like that.

    If you come across as a parent... you're toast.
     
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    I think the best thing you are doing is meeting with them and giving them the heads up. If this is a great sp ed school maybe they won't be so difficult about having an IEP for V. This way they can start the process the very first time they see a problem and they don't have to worry about your reaction to V's difficulties.
     
  4. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I would add "according to (whoever did the evaluations)." I agree with Insane 100%. When you meet with them, also make sure you voice his strengths to them and that you might ask for a new evaluation after they see how he does with these few "accommodations". If they won't go along with you, make sure you request one at the beginning of the school year. Different evaluators can see things completely different. I think you're doing an awesome thing. I did the same when difficult child 1 went from elementary to middle school. It didn't do any good so we went the HARD route with them.
     
  5. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, I'm no expert, but I think your statement is clear and well set-out. I think it is helpful in giving a picture of V and the best way to help him. If they are worthy educators, they will be grateful and take you seriously. Of course I couldn't help imagining the response I would get if I tried to present a similar document in France (without any official diagnosis or individual education plan) - I'm so used to a system that denies difference and doesn't want to know about it that it's a bit hard to make the leap to a system that is more grown up and aware :)
    I do wish you luck with it...
     
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would also say something about "as of last year in the Pre-K program, V did not meet the criteria for an IEP. He has had evaluations with gggg and we hope he gets off to a good start with your school of which we have heard such good things. Please note that I will be more than willing to have him evaluated for an IEP if we on his school team find it would be in his best interest going forward into this year. I'm sure we both know how important it is that he get a strong year under his belt so that he looks forward to school as a place that he looks forward to learning with love and desire."
     
  7. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think it is a great idea. I'll throw out other thoughts but they are general so if they don't apply just ignore ...
    1. You can recognize V's anxiety increasing when you hear _________and when you see _______. (For q-- blurts, rocking, hair twirling, louder voice, sleepy signs etc....).
    2. Things that can help once anxiety or upset happens include _____(going for a walk, swinging, quiet time in a library ....whatever )
    2. If you have concerns contact me at ....you of course have said this but nice to put it in writing.
    3. Does anything help with his sensory issues? ...use of a ball or movement chair /sitter, weighted vest, sqish vest trampoline jumping swinging figits etc.
    4. In grade. K they often still sit on the floor. Picking a spot and marking it with tape or a little rug can help position him in a good place. Q always needed something like a wall or shelf behind him.
    5. Minimize choices to two or three things and use visuals as you said. Present tasks visually step by step on a small individual white board and cross off the steps ( for vrade K kids, I drew pics like a scissors pen etc. Or....used premade 1-2 inch symbols or photos, cut up &laminated with velcro-hook side-- on the back. The white board had a strip of loop down the left side to put the pics in order. I used a clean up picture at the end ...a trash can or picture of his table/chair or picture of his backpack at the end of the day.
    6. Offer to take pictures or provide graphics if needed for schedule and task boards. They can cut and laminate.

    Hopefully the therapists are wrong about his falling apart. Some kids do well because of all of the structure and visuals in K. I hope that's what happens for v. I think your idea is very proactive. Maybe the principal will pick a teacher that matches V's needs!

    Big hugs ...you're doing great

    Hope they are receptive!
     
  8. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I think these are good points as are the other posts. Maybe don't say his ISSUES are not severe enough but rather say that past school evaluation did not qualify him for special education services at that time. I was typing when others were when i first wrote this so it says mostly the same.thing...lol. Maybe even add that he has been privately identified as having x challenges and has received (or receives ) Occupational Therapist (OT) and Speech therapies.

    To IC's point maybe add that teaching him has required use of ..... again making it be a teaching / student situation.

    Do you think it would be worth asking for a 504 plan? It can work in good schools and if nothing else it formally documents that there are concerns and helps with the often used procedure schools use requiring informal accommodations before formal referral and assessment.
     
  9. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    WOW, so much good input. I'll integrate it in my letter.
    I have already requested Ms.R as his teacher (she was Partner's K teacher), so hopefully they will go with it. Ms. R really wants V as her students and she is aware that he has issues and we already have an established relationship (used this as an argument in my request).
    I know it is very proactive, but hopefully they will not be offended by a parent who wants to be involved and wants the best possible outcome for her child. That's what they preached all year round with Partner, so they actually might find it refreshing? It is a title 1 school, which means they have quite a few extra resources.
    The meeting is next month, so I have plenty of time to organize my thoughts and redraft the letter.
     
  10. buddy

    buddy New Member

    great, plenty of time. I think it is wonderful to be so proactive and if they are good, they WILL appreciate it. They should want all parents to be so involved.
     
  11. wow! I think your letter was fantastic to begin with. I was going to add a suggestion similar to Buddy's outlining additional strategies that work but Buddy did a great job already!!

    It is so wonderful that you are being so proactive for V and I'm sure that will help him get off to a good start in K. Please keep us up to date and let us know how it goes!
     
  12. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    One thing I would also suggest is to make this a two page letter and the first page should be a cover letter with your son's name in rather large, bold type in maybe a blue ink and the most adorable picture you can find of him lately printed on the front cover letter.

    Something like:

    Johnny Doe

    (insert picture)

    Age 5

    All centered on the page of course.
     
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