We had heard many horror stories about this process (parents having to fight the district, sue the district, etc., etc. in order for their child to get an appropriate education). I even attended a one-on-one coaching session to learn how to better advocate for Brady during this process. Thankfully, the process went more smoothly than we had anticipated. Our local district was very efficient and had the school psychologist, PT, OT, speech therapist and a pre-school teacher evaluate Brady simultaneously. The same group then met with us two days later and had his entire education plan loaded onto their laptops in time for our meeting. Troy and I were up until 1:00 am that morning creating our own list of everything we wanted for the Bubs and those school people delivered everything on that list and a little bit more. No fighting or pushing for services required.
Because Brady fell into the severely delayed category in most areas of development our IEP team suggested he attend a different pre-school program which has a 2:1 child to staff ratio rather than the typical 5:1 ratio. Additionally, Brady will attend four hours per day, four days a week rather than the typical 2.25 hours. Obviously this arrangement has calmed many of our fears regarding Brady's personal safety and communication abilities. We were a little disappointed that he will attend a school nine miles away rather than the elementary school down the street, but we have the choice to move him to the standard special ed. preschool at any time during the school year. That was the most surprising part of this process - that we actually had choices.
The three of us will go to school together on August 11th to meet Brady's teacher and give her final instructions regarding his seizures and feeding instructions. Then our little Bubs will start school on August 12th! I had just started fretting about finding a backpack and lunchbox to replace Brady's diaper bag and look at the surprise I got in the mail the other day...
My dear friend Michelle sent this "just because" and I hadn't even told her about Brady attending pre-school. Isn't it amazing how the people close to you are just on the same wavelength sometimes? Thanks, Michelle!
By the way, Brady was determined to be only moderately delayed in gross motor skills and social development. I'm positive this is due to Coach Farnsworth's daily sports training and the fact that Brady dazzled those people with his smile!
p.s. I found and excellent blog regarding disability advocacy for anyone out there who might want tips in effectively advocating during meetings such as an IEP. Enjoy!