Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cara's Annual IFSP Review

Today, Cara had her annual IFSP (Individualized Family Service Plan). This is the plan that outlines goals, strengths and weaknesses of each child and family receiving services through the state. Cara receives her physical and speech therapy through Developmental Pathways which is an agency that is contracted by the state to carry-out it's Early Intervention services.

At this review, we set some new goals for Cara in areas of fine and gross motor skills--things that we would like to see Cara doing by the time she turns 3. We listed skills such as independently and consistently feeding herself using a fork or spoon; learning to hold a pencil or crayon correctly; learning to gallop and to ride a tricycle; and for her to have a better sense of self perception and awareness. In addition to identifying these goals, I worked with Cara's service coordinator and physical therapist to think of ways to help Cara meet these goals. We have a lot of hard work on our hands but as long as Cara continues to progress as she has in the past year, we should be able to add these skills to her list! We will be doing the speech and communication part of the review with Cara's speech therapist on Monday.

The other part of the review was the transition plan. When Cara turns 3 in July, she will transition out of Part C of Early Intervention services and into Part B. Services will go from being provided in the home to being provided in a school setting. That being said, we have to start transitioning Cara into preschool and/or Head Start, if she qualifies. We are to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with the school district's early intervention program to see if she'll qualify for their FREE preschool program. Basically, Cara will be thoroughly evaluated by a speech/language pathologist, physical and occupational therapist as well as an development/behavioral specialist. Based upon their findings, we will know whether Cara qualifies. There doesn't seem to be any doubt that she will qualify given that she is behind on several benchmarks for her age. If we qualify, Cara will be eligible to go to preschool 2 days a week for a few hours a day. Therapy will, most likely, also be included in her school time. Whatever therapy she is determined to need, the therapists will provide at the preschool.

In addition, if this evaluation deems that Cara will indeed need supportive therapies in the school setting, an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) will be written for her and a meeting held to develop this plan and inform our family as to how it will be carried out.

I am also to call Creative Options, another service provider, to see about their qualifications for the Head Start program. If Cara meets their qualifications, she may also be able to attend Head Start a few days a week and further benefit from that instruction and socialization.

It seems that time in flying. In 6 months, Cara will be 3 and we'll be sending her to preschool! Where has the time gone? When I look back over the past year and all that Cara has accomplished, I am simply amazed! She has overcome so much and just blossomed. I cannot wait to see what these next 6 months bring!


Anonymous said...

We have to do Violet's IFSP on wednesday, I always dread doing them as it remnds me of how much work there still is to be done. We also have to set GAS Goals aswell which are 8 week goals...which most aren't acheived in those 8 weeks cos it's just not realistic putting a time frame on things!

I have to lodge her paperwork this year for preschool and school, makes me very emotional thinking of sending her to either.

Judy said...

I love that picture - look at how big she's getting!

Those meetings can be so overwhelming, especially with a to-do list...I am with you - it is hard to believe she'll be three soon! WOW!

Mary said...

As I was reading this blog - I was thinking too of how far Cara has come in the past year.

Now she'll continue on and I look forward to reading in six months from now that Cara is ready for pre-school and the success she'll have there with the help and support she'll get. She has grown so much...she is an amazing little girl. You must be proud.


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