Monday, September 24, 2007

Cassie's IEP meeting was today

Cassie is going to a new school this year, her old school is now only K-3rd. For now she is still only going to get speech therapy, but we have started the ball rolling on the documentation to get her IEP extended to math if necessary.

I really like Cassie's new teacher. She was a special ed. teacher for nearly 30 years, and I am confident that if Cassie starts to fall behind in any areas she will notice and notify me immediately. She has agreed to gather the results from Cassie's WASL (Washington Assessment of Student learning) and another placement test and put them in Cassie's file, so they will already be prepared if I have to request an IEP evaluation. She has even offered to tutor Cassie one-on-one before school a couple days a week if she does start to fall behind so that we can get her IEP eval. done without her falling back even farther.

So far this year the class has been reviewing, when they start on the new curriculum if she starts needing an extraordinary amount of time to finish her math homework the school has already agreed that, as soon as I call them and report this, they will start the IEP process. Last year, I kept telling her teacher that she needed two to three hours to do a single sheet of math homework. The teacher and the school just kept telling me that she wasn't falling behind in class. That's because I was spending two to three hours a night helping her to understand the work at home! It's as if they want me to stop helping her and just let her fall behind before they will do anything about it!

I feel sooooo much better about Cassie's new school and new teacher. I am so relieved to feel like they are actually listening to me.

Friday, September 21, 2007

About my kids

All 3 of my children have special needs. Keith, D.O.B. 8-4-1994, has ADHD; Cassie, D.O.B. 4-24-1998, has mosaic Down Syndrome; and David, D.O.B. 5-5-2006, has trisomy 21, the most common form of Down Syndrome

Keith is an 8th grade student in the highly capable program at his middle school where he gets high school credits for honors science, honors social studies, honors language arts and geometry. He loves sports and plays football, basketball, and baseball for his school. His cognitive abilities are not affected by his disability, although his common sense quite often is. He has severe issues with impulse control, and at the end of last school year even suck a paperclip in an electric socket when his teacher left the class unattended for a few minutes.

Cassie is in 4th grade. She is very much a girly little diva who is into princesses, dolls, frilly dresses, and anything else overly feminine. I have no idea where she gets it from, as I was a tomboy, and my favorite thing to do at her age was to climb trees and throw pinecones at the neighborhood boys from my perch. She is an active member of Girl Scouts of Western Washington. She manages to do well in school, but has trouble with talking to much and out of turn in class. She was diagnosed with a cognitive delay in preschool, and we just recently found that it is due to mosaic DS. Neither the doctors or I ever suspected that she might have Down Syndrome until recently. After my youngest child was born, as I learned more about the signs of DS, I began to get more and more suspicious of the few signs she does have until I finally got her tested.

David is 16 months old. He keeps a very serious expression on his face when he is around people he doesn't really know. When he does get to know you it is easy to make him smile, and his smile lights up the room and could melt the coldest heart. He began talking at nine and a half months old, and now has a vocabulary of about 15 words. He began putting together 2 and 3 word phrases at 11 months old. He has just begun to be able to sit for short periods when placed in a sitting position, and can push himself back up if he falls forward. Other than that, he does not get to a sitting position on his own yet, let alone crawl, stand or walk.