Mixed feelings

by Jen Reeves on January 7, 2009 · 1 comment

in 2009, jordan, Therapy

I had a big meeting with the public school district yesterday to decide if she would qualify for their Individualized Education Program or IEP. It’s a specialized plan for a child with disabilities in a learning environment. I had mixed feelings about the process since I don’t consider Jordan disabled… But I kind of wanted an IEP so I could continue to get assistance in the expenses needed to keep Jordan in occupational and physical therapy.

The school district spent HOURS working on her case. And their conclusion: She’s not disabled. To hear them say that is wonderful. I’m proud of all the hard work we’ve done to make sure Jordan is self-able and confident. She’s a take charge kind of girl and we’ve worked very hard to keep her from falling behind in any type of physical skills. At the same time I’m bummed because her therapy becomes an out-of-pocket expense. Interestingly, the school district said they plan to monitor Jordan to see if she ever needs more analysis and assistance. My guess is that I’ll never let her fall behind enough to have that happen.

So I’m in a mixed place… I’m honored to know they consider Jordan so well adjusted and able. They complimented us on our parenting and advocacy. It’s just kind of hard knowing all of the resources out there that can help her — but we can’t tap into them because we’ve worked so hard to get where we are. It’s kind of funny. They will only help kids that are behind in skills… And I want to work hard to make sure Jordan never falls behind. Shouldn’t our system have that same attitude? Prevention first?

Today I had another really cool moment with Jordan. I was working on dinner when Jordan pulled out her tricycle. I keep it in the house… I figured why not. Anyway… She pulled it out and ASKED for her bike arm. Wow. She’s never done that before. But that’s the whole point to her prosthetic — wear it when she needs it. Not only did she want to put on her arm… She wanted to do it. She didn’t put it on perfectly… but she did both steps of rolling on the arm gel sleep and clicking her arm on. She’s so amazingly independent. She didn’t ride her tricycle very long — She needs her seat moved further back so the bike arm is easier to use. That lack of an elbow really makes this a challenge. But as Jordan proves every second, she’ll find a way.

In the meantime, we’ll deal with the normal challenges: moodiness, demanding everything at the drop of a hat… You know, traditional three year old stuff. She’s got us working very hard these days!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

therextras January 10, 2009 at 4:22 pm

Explore or inquire about a 504 plan – intended for children in regular education but possibly in need of accommodations for a physical disability.

“Shouldn’t our system have that same attitude? Prevention first?” Whether they should or not, they don’t. I have years experience working in public schools and special education. They meet the letter of the law, first. More than that is particular to the individual child/parent.

Prevention is a healthcare term. But like medicine (used to be) treat when sick, one has to fail in education before services can be applied, even if failure is anticipated.

Despite my dire opinions, I think your daughter will do fine, and you will find other ways (than via an IEP) to influence the school. Barbara

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