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Old 07-28-2011, 11:33 AM
Location: Eastern time zone
4,469 posts, read 5,834,390 times
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Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Just wanted to say thank you again for all the advise that has accumulated in this thread.

Many people's arguments here have convinced us to go ahead and disclose the dx to the school.

We have.

A few weeks ago, I wrote an extensive e-mail to the principal in which we explained the whole story. She was thankful that we disclosed and said that this will help them meet his needs better. OK. We expected that.

We returned to the US a few days ago and today we enrolled our son in K.
He went through the screening, the teacher who did the screening was excited about him as he apparently responded all questions correctly and completed all tasks she gave him. But then again, when he met the principal, he was kind of off and awkward as usual, not looking her in the eye, not responding when she would say "nice to meet you". When I asked him later about it, he said he's just "shy".

In the meantime, we set up an appointment with the principal + someone from the district to sit down and talk about the whole thing for the first time.

At this point, what should I have with me at the meeting - which will be next week? What are the main things I should ask about? Talk about? Suggest? What should I expect that they will do at this point?

Everything will flow from there - probably a proposal to have him evaluated by the school psychologist?
Or will they wait to see how he does in K first?
Do you think we will be talking about an IEP now?

I don't even know what to expect at this meeting.
I would appreciate it if anyone had any advice for this particular day. Thanks again!
He shouldn't need seen by the school psychologist if he has a diagnosis already. Depending on his needs, he might be scheduled to be seen by the school OT, PT, speech or gifted specialists.

What I would bring is a list of concerns, a list of his strengths, and a list of what you find works well when you teach him or discipline him at home. IOW, things you would like a teacher to know: things that would make her life and Fernando's life easier. If none of that requires outside-the-classroom involvement (i.e., speech therapy, OT, social skills groups, whatever) or special placement, chances are he will not need an IEP but a 504.
I would also bring a legal pad, pens, and possibly a friend who agrees not to open her mouth but will take notes.

I have mixed feelings about both parents attending. Some folks swear by this, but I don't as a rule bring my husband because he's far too easily BSed and doesn't understand jargon nearly as well as I do. In general, it depends on your schedules, your strengths, and how well you work individually or as a unit.

I do bring doughnuts or muffins if it's an early AM meeting. People generally tend to appreciate the gesture, and it sets a congenial tone, particularly if it's a first meeting and you're an unknown quantity.

Helpful hint: when introductions are going on, make a seating diagram on one of your sheets of paper, so you can remember who that weird woman with the glasses and green dress was, later.

One thing I would ask for at this meeting is a conference appointment with Fernando's teacher to discuss and fine-tune how things have gone at the end of the first week of school (maybe second week if school starts on a Wed or Thu, like it does in some districts).

What I would not bring: preconceived attitudes and prejudices.
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Old 07-28-2011, 12:37 PM
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I would also bring a picture of your son, so that they can see what he looks like. We usually set these up on the table at our IEP meetings. We have an *all about me* book we use and we make copies for the therapists and teachers. I can send you ours if you give me an email. Then you can modify it as you wish. Ours is specific to my grandson's autism.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:09 AM
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Hello- I haven't read the whole thread here, but have scanned through. If I repeat what another poster has said, I apologise. Most teachers are in the field because they truly want to educated all children. We are taught to look past disabilities and look at abilities. Teachers in Georgia are required to take a Special Education class which prepares them to better educate students whom might need differientiated instruction. We want to work with the parents, administrators, and various specialists to make sure each child received the individualize education they need. If you go into your child's new school, with an uncooperative attitude, it will set you up for lots of hostility. If you go into school, as part of your son's educational team, you will be greeted with open arms as will your son! Make sure you do your homework. Research the diagnosis, best educational practices for the diagnosis, make notes specific to your own childs behavior & academic abilities, and strategies that you use at home to help your son. Make sure the teacher knows about any outside counseling, classes or therapies your child has had. Your child's instructor, can work with these specialist also to design classroom lesson plans that are diversified for your child. Remember your child's teacher cannot be an expert in all fields, so your help is greatly appreciated. Make sure to volunteer in your son's classroom to get to know the teachers more personally, make the transition to school easier for your son and to participate in the way his education is addressed. Make sure you know what your son is legally entitled to in the state of Georgia (540 Plan, IEP, Therapies, Parapro's, IDEA Legislation, Ect...). It is in your son's best interest to take advantage of all the special services that are offered, free of charge! All programs goals are for children to be in a general education classroom (inclusive education) most of the school day. Specialist or special services are offered based on need. You son might only need therapy outside of school (which should be paid for with federal or state money). Therapy or counseling can help him feel more comfortable in social situations. It might be all that is needed at this point. As he grows he might need extra help organizing, making relationships, knowing when projects are due, ect.... He is entitled to many services free of charge. You shouldn't worry about labeling, only about getting the best education for your son. The best education includes all groups working together to ensure he get's the proper educational instruction.
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