Thursday, December 17, 2015

unexpected outcome and our first IEP

I met with the Learning Assistance Coordinator at the school and she had bad news for us. Unfortunately the assessment report from Fraser Developmental Centre wasn't enough. First, they didn't receive it in time to apply for school support (which needs to be done by the end  of September to  register with the Ministry of Education) and the short report they got didn't have enough info on it. Second, upon receiving the full report, the LAC and SEC (Special Education Coordinator) went over it carefully and they aren't able to apply for extra help for him when it comes time in February 2016 either (the second time schools can apply).

So no Aide for Rhys.

At least for now.

The wording that I struggled with they did as well. ("You may wish to identify him as having....") The big issue they had with the diagnosis of Complex Developmental Behavioral Disorder (CDBC) is that Rhys doesn't completely fit that description either. He does not have any behavioral problems. That is, no aggression, or self harm, or class disruptions ,etc. And that Behavior is an important part of CDBC. So they didn't feel that they could properly label him that way. Even though as I was told they really wished they could.


To say I felt disappointed would just slightly address my feelings. I felt it was a step back after our gains lately. And I was worried about Rhys not getting the help that he needed. But I have been assurred by the LAC that while Rhys may not have an Aide, he will always have an  IEP. And they will always have him placed in a classroom where there is already an Aide, who is able to help him as needed. That encouraged me.

Despite that set back, I do not feel that Rhys will "fall into the cracks" like it felt last year.  He has such a wonderful teacher (who R and I both love) and the same Aide in the class as last year (who I've been talking with) He also has this report from Sunnyhill and they can't ignore that. But the truth is that Rhys really is doing well. Yes, he is about 1-2 years behind in a lot of ways, but he just needs direction, and he doesn't need that all of the time. So I understand the confliction in this decision.

When I met with the Learning Assistance Coordinator and his teacher last week for our first IEP meeting (Independant Education Plan) I had a bit of nerves. I wasn't too sure what to expect. And it's funny how despite not knowing for sure, you can always end up feeling as though you weren't really expecting the outcome in the end. The meeting was different than I thought it would be. We started with his strengths (which I think is always a good place to begin) and then his needs, and then delved into the many categories where he needed help. With each heading (Communication, Social/Emotional, Acedemic, Physical/Independance) we discussed areas that he needed to strengthen and the LAC gave us solutions on how to meet those concerns. It really wasn't a surprise, really. Nothing was said that I didn't already know, and thankfully most I had already discussed with the Learning Assisstance Coordinator so it felt more like an 'official recap' for the records. So un-climatic!

I am going to see Rhys' pediatrician and see if he would qualify for more help elsewhere, as we agree that Speech Therapy and/or Occupational Therapy would benefit him. As his teacher said, learning disabilities don't separate kids too much, but something they see will eventually set him apart, such as his inability to run properly or do simple things like skip. Maybe there is a program that we can get Rhys into that's locally run and doesn't cost a lot.

I really do think this year will be a good one, though. We are making small steps. He is in the right school, and placed in the perfect classroom, and he is loved by many.


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