Our full-term Preemie

A Note from School

  • Tommie-

    First, hugs! I never liked getting these kinds of notes, emails, or calls. When I read this, it launched me right back to our own school situation as there are many similarities. Okay, I'm going to throw some stuff out there and as always, take and toss some or all of it.

    If she has speech minutes on her IEP, O is at school that day, and the SLP(A) is also present, then she MUST have speech that day! Speech is not contingent on whether or not she attempts or completes any given lesson when it's time to go to the speech room. Now, some kiddos have that need to finish before moving onto the next task/thing. I get that. As far as following directions, I'm sure that she understood them, but copying something from a board onto a paper involves so many steps and executive functioning skills. That's an area where a whole bunch of teachers are simply unaware. Does she have OT? That's definitely something that can be addressed there, but if not, you can request that ALL of the teachers' examples (or whatever written junk the teacher is having students work on) be printed out for Olivia. Oh yes!

    Schools love to use that LRE against the student, but if she could benefit from an aide, then request one. Now, the school will most likely refuse that request, so you want to then request an OT eval (if she's already had one and been denied, then request an IEE which is an independent eval on the school's dollar). If she hasn't yet had an FBA (Functional Behavior Assessment), then request one of those too and all of these requests should be in writing with a date and ready to go at your next IEP meeting. The idea of an aide is to provide supports to the student in and outside of the classroom as needed, then slowly phased out with time. Schools will always provide the minimum, so if you want more, you've got to prove it on paper with assessments and document.

    You are doing an amazing job! You've got this!  I've heard some parents say that they were able to get whatever they wanted in school for their kiddo. Some parents have had to battle for what their kid needed in order to be successful. I've learned that things look one way on paper to keep it nice and legal and in reality, the classroom looks just the opposite and the kiddo suffers. I know that you have toiled with mainstream vs. Spec Ed. Been there too. Obviously, I've never met O, but I feel like I know her through your posts:) I believe that general ed. is the BEST place for her and with supports, she can be successful each and every day. I'm finding that there just aren't enough options for high-functioning kiddos. Fight, hold them accountable, and make them listen to you. Once schools get a whiff that a parent is privy to their rights, things get very interesting.

    Keep us posted,


  • I feel your frustration!  I have no idea what is available in your district or at the girls' school specifically, but I have seen public schools in our area who assign an aide to a student full time when seen as beneficial to the student, peers and teachers. It enables the student who is capable of doing the work of the mainstream classroom to stay in it, so their education can stay on track with their academic abilities, even if their social/developmental/executive functions aren't quite the same as their peers yet. I so understand the wishing for things to be different; like when the emails for volunteers keep circling and I keep deleting while my kid keeps asking why I don't come in to school and help at lunch "like the other mommies." Hitting the lottery is the best solution I can offer......

    Love and Hugs


  • You are doing a great job! Being a teacher, let me say Speech trumps classwork. If it is in her IEP then it is required, not a reward or consequence system. My daughter is in speech as well and I would be up there in a heartbeat if she was denied it because of classwork. As for the Spec Ed vs Reg Ed, request testing. If you write a note, the school has so many days to do that testing,  keep on them. If she qualifies for any services they will start immediately.  There are many different types of Spec Ed classrooms.  It doesn't seem like she needs  Life Skills but perhaps a pull out for extra help or maybe an aide. Hope this helps.

  • Oh my gosh, everyone has such amazing suggestions.  I got nothing except I love you and you are doing an amazing job.