After years of of meetings, aggravations, and fighting, AJ finally has the services he should have gotten years ago. He was denied speech services after he aged out of Birth to Three services. In Connecticut the school district then takes over at this point and assign one elementary school to handle these preschool meetings. At this meeting, I was told his speech issues would go away naturally. He was denied OT services numerous times when he was in daycare all through his third and fourth years. They claimed he did not qualify, but gave pages upon pages of activities and resources the daycare teachers could do to help AJ. The daycare was amazing they did all they could, but even they knew AJ needed extra support they could not provide. If he had all those recommendations and needs, why not just give him services? It’s simple really, he wasn’t in their school and wasn’t their issue so they didn’t have to deal with him. When he did start kindergarten he would be at another elementary school in the district so he would never be their problem. It made no difference that I was a special education teacher and reading specialist in NY, they didn’t want to give out resources and time to a kid that would never be their problem. They should all be ashamed of themselves.
Now that he’s in kindergarten that has all changed. I am truly happy with the school and how they have responded to my son’s needs.
First it started with AJ having a 504 plan and getting OT two times a week, then daily breaks and brushing have been added on to his plan. He’s getting speech and reading services to help him with his phonemic and phonological deficits, they will both use a multisensory program to improve his decoding and encoding. He is also going to meet with the school psychologist for a group social skills session once a week. His IEP will begin the rest of this year and continue for 2015-2016 school year. As of right now he is classified as learning disabled since they are not sure if his attention difficulties are due to his sensory issues or ADD. When we go for his annual doctors’ appointment, we can discuss all this with doctor. We will wait and see if the doctor wants to do an assessment for ADD or tell us to wait till September.
I am not crossing dyslexia off the table yet. AJ is very smart and I’m not just saying that because I’m his mother. He understands and expresses vocabulary above his grade level, he loves to read (what do you expect from a mom who is a reading specialist), can answer both literal and inferential comprehension questions, make predictions, describe characters, and summarize text, His deficits are in the areas of phonemic and phonological awareness. What is that you ask. Well HERE is a great explanation.
I know first hand what happens when students are not given the support they need. Students who are given services too late, struggle in the later years and will never catch up to where they are supposed to be academically.
This describes AJ now, he spends all his energy on trying to sound out and write letters, that his amazing stories are getting lost in the frustration. If this is happening now in kindergarten, what will happen when he’s in third and fourth grade and he still can’t properly read the words on the page or write down what he expressed aloud. Now with reading support focusing on a multisensory program, we will see if and how AJ improves.
AJ will also be getting summer services for the month of July, this will effect the time he spends at daycare summer camp. I know he will be upset about missing field trips on Thursdays, but he really needs support over the summer. I will try to get him back to daycare camp in time for swimming and horseback riding. It’s not his fault the previous school did not do their job and give him the services he needed; but AJ needs extra time to catch up. Summer school is only three days a week, three hours each day for four weeks. After that he will have all of August to enjoy summer camp. I’ll make sure I have fun activities planned on the weekends.
What are your kids doing this summer?
I know I’m taking a big risk posting about this. There are people who will judge, tell me what I should have done differently, or just send negativity my way. I say go for it if it makes you happy. Their negative vibes will have no effect on me. I know AJ and I have love and support that outweighs any negativity. Besides, I own the domain, therefore this is my blog and I can post whatever I choose. I want to be honest and open with my readers, I want to share our struggles and joys.
Do your kid(s) receive support services? Was it a battle or did the distinct
provide services immediately?