New IEP accommodations

IEP

So I had this all written up as a facebook update, and it was getting longer and longer and I decided to make it a blog post. You know, because it was too long to be a damn status update. OK, that and maybe our IEP accommodations might help someone else in the same situation. And my blog is public and searchable. So I win. Twice. Woot!  We have new things being implemented in M’s IEP! Two quarters we’ve had the same problems (and falling grades to show for it) and we’ve finally made enough noise (or it’s been going on long enough?) for some changes to be made! This is copied straight from the follow up email and [my comments for this post are in brackets]. I know I shouldn’t be so excited until I see how it all works out for him, but this is the most we’ve gotten done as far as helping him since the beginning of the year.

1.  Parents are able to check Powerschools, however, future homework assignments are not always listed. [long term assignments are not always listed either] We will put together a homework sheet with a space to list his assignments. [it’s getting taped to the front of his new universal binder, instead of having six binders/spirals and a torn sheet of paper as a planner. Sometimes. Usually there is no planner, torn sheet or not.] Please make sure he is writing the homework down on the sheet on a daily basis.  You can assign a peer buddy to assist with this but please double check that it is getting done.

2.  Please email Ms. J and Mrs. H if there is an assignment that needs to be completed.  We can follow up with him in our class. [learning strategies has kind of taken the place of his aid – and his elective. Which sucks for him as I know he’d love to take art or another elective, but I am seriously hoping to implement all these changes over the next two quarters and maybe he can take an elective next year]

3.  Please allow Malachai to email assignments to assist with organization. If he needs something printed, we can print in his Learning Strategies class. [last week he had a paragraph to write. Five freaking sentences! He said he did it, and lost it before it got turned in. It was not listed in powerschool so I had no idea there was a paragraph due. I found out about it after I got an email about the assignment being assigned for a week and the teacher would have helped. Mrs. H, this morning, said she knows he did it as she helped him with it. After the “I did it/I lost it, I emailed back asking if he could email assignments in all classes – this is a huge win!]

4. In order to cut down losing items, Malachai will be starting a universal binder system.  One binder for all subjects. [color coding his subjects was brought up as well, so a trip to the office store for colored lined paper is happening too, as well as dividers and a new pencil case]

4.  Parents have requested more communication regarding Malachai’s progress in class as well as upcoming assignments if possible.  Mom’s email is:

And we have a meeting on Feb 18 in the afternoon. I’m so happy! The meeting time isn’t convenient, and I have to pull E from her afterschool activity that day (or drop her late) but we’ll manage.I understand we can’t have an “everyone” meeting in the morning when it’s convenient for me.

M is so smart, but he is just falling through every crack there is, mainly because most gifted trained teachers are not also trained to deal with his other needs. He got moved from GEM to advanced math because the teacher couldn’t deal with him (I’m almost positive of this – and she is a great teacher, D had her last year, and she tried so hard to work with M this year) and it’s not a shortcoming of the teachers IMO. Apparently the standard classes have dedicated ESE teachers who work with them – M’s ESE teachers are for the high school! So he’s a young sixth grader (turned 11 the week before classes started – his birthday is a whopping two weeks before the Broward County September first cut off) and his learning strategies class is full of 9 – 12 graders, and the teachers aren’t on the 6-7-8 side of the school at all really. So this is a huge step forward.

Our ESE adviser has said he is making friends, is friendly, and everyone loves him. I know he doesn’t talk to anyone on the phone, and when I asked him earlier this year his best friends are in high school (which I think he gets a kick out of personally) but I know he’s friendly in school at least. He’s doing with with the weird rotating schedule. He is just incredibly unorganized.  I mean, it’s obviously not only that, but adding being unorganized on top of being highly distract-able, impatient, fidgety, and everything else, it doesn’t bode well. So here’s hoping that these changes help at least a little with getting his assignments brought home so he can do them as well as turned in on time!

Anyone out there have a similar child? Have you implemented anything that might help M?

3 Comments

  1. Love your blog post. I have a son (12 year old) with autism and an IEP. He is in all gifted advanced academic classes with a high IQ and a low EQ. He would lose homeworks and worksheets all the time. What worked for him was when I found sectional divider that had a zipper. He could put each academic class papers and assignments in it’s section, then zip the whole thing up. I don’t especially like the “if you got time…” verbage in the teacher e-mailing information though. It should be based on the “Needs of the child.” that verbage sounds more like it is based on the “convenience of the teacher…” None the less, it sounds like a step in the correct direction.

  2. Sory for the double post, I just forgot to mention. With the new national push for common core and 21st century learning. Make sure his keyboarding skills are up to date, or have it addressed in his IEP. Imagine taking a test where you hunting and pecking throughout the keyboard. On this note, my son’s IEP gave him a laptop to use in each academic class, on his IEP. He can save homeworks on a flash drive and print them out on the schools network printers. This as also helped him a lot. He only has to keep track of the flash drive and laptop. If he gets a paper worksheet assignment for example, He will just take a picture of it, save the image, type out the answers in MS word, then print the image and word doc at school when the assignment is due.

    • My son is also autistic, gifted. It’s so hard to accommodate them properly! We just got a request in to the county for a technology something or other (basically for them to come out and see if he would benefit from a laptop in class) but I’ve been told it takes four to five weeks for that to even be approved before they make plans to come out. We picked up a netbook for him, but then we were told that if it isn’t supplied by the county that they can’t be responsible for it at school and it can’t be written into the IEP. So we haven’t given it to him yet and we’re going to wait and see what they come back with.

      I am so beyond angry about this common core nonsense (and it will be an upcoming blog as well). My youngest (in third grade) is not doing well with it. My two older are in the Cambridge program, so they aren’t really using it (yet), but I have looked into keyboarding for him just so he can better use a laptop in class. It doesn’t help for taking notes if he is using two fingers to type with! He has a computer of his own here at home, and he is super comfortable with them, but he isn’t a touch typist by any stretch. His gross and fine motor skills have come along by leaps and bounds over the last five or so years, but to be honest, I’m sure he’ll ever be on par with his age-peers.

      Thanks for all your input! We (parents in general) need to stick together – I have a lot of special needs parent friends, but most of their children are much worse off than my son so even with them it’s kind of “oh, isn’t that nice he needs this help… but hey, he can feed himself!” Which I totally get – I had a severely impaired sister, but needs are needs, ya know?

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