Monday, May 16, 2011
Kindergarten IEP implementation
Last week, Cara & I met with her current therapists from preschool along with the therapists at the elementary that she will be attending in the fall to discuss implementation of her IEP in the elementary setting.
I was so pleased to find out that Cara will be getting more services this fall than she ever has before. Physical & occupational therapy will be increasing to twice a week for 45 minutes and speech therapy will be up to 180 hours/month. Cara will also be doing pull outs into the special education classrooms for several hours a few times a week. In addition to therapy services, Cara will also be sharing a special ed para-pro with one other student in her classroom. This is wonderful for her as she really needs that help and support in order to fully participate in classroom activities.
A few things that have changed on her IEP are that she needs more monitoring when using the restroom (she will not wipe unless told to, etc) and that she will be watched carefully on the playground since Cara still does not have the greatest balance in the world and she requires a larger base of support than other kids.
The subject of busing was also brought up. I mentioned that I kind of feared for Cara's safety on the bus that Caitlin currently rides because it is a full & rowdy bus even though the driver does the best that she can. Oftentimes, there are 3 kids to a seat which could make a difficult task out of Cara finding a seat herself and really put a spotlight on her. The bus stop is also about 8 blocks away from our house, which can be a bit much for Cara as she still suffers from muscle fatigue due to her cerebral palsy. Currently, Cara rides a bus to preschool that only has maybe 20 kids on it with an aide who helps the children to & from their car seats. I have to help Cara up the steps most days as well. Her bus stop is right outside of our complex and not a long distance for her to walk. So, when I voiced my concerns, the special education coordinator said that it wouldn't be a problem to line up special transportation for Cara. The bus will most likely stop in the same location as the preschool bus did and their will be an aide on the bus to help Cara into her seat. Caitlin will also be able to ride the bus with Cara, if she wants to do so. I do worry that Caitlin may be embarrassed to ride the special ed bus, but we will see how it goes. RIght now, Caitlin says she'd love to ride with Cara.
We have not found out whether Cara will be in morning or afternoon Kindergarten nor who her teacher will be. They still have to do staffing and wait until all new students to the district have registered. I have requested that Cara be kept in morning Kindergarten as that is what she's used to and it would be less of a disruption to the routine that Cara thrives on. Hopefully, her therapists and school personnel will take that into account when they make their decision.
All in all, I feel that Cara will be in good hands this coming school year and will be getting the services and help in the classroom that she needs to succeed. Cara, of course, is very excited to be going to "Sissy's school". It will be nice having both girls at the same school.