Monday, August 20, 2012

Back to School...

For a while now I keep hearing the words IEP in conjunction with Logan and school. My mother-in-law is a special education teacher and I know she has to write these things all the time. I have been advised to try and have an IEP set for Logan...however, what exactly is an IEP??? I decided to educate myself in this area:

An IEP stands for Individualized Education Program. An IEP is put into place to allow teachers, parents, and the administrators to work together to come up with a customized education so that the child can perform to the best of his ability with his disability. This helps the teachers/parents to come up with a program that will allow the student to progress in the general curriculum (if that makes sense).

During Logan's therapy session this morning we discussed what his teachers current classroom goals are for Logan. This is what Mrs.Q (his teacher) came up with: following directions from adults the first time, waiting his turn, active listening, staying on task, and keeping hands/feet/objects to himself. I agree wholeheartedly that these things definitely need worked on and addressed.

His therapist recommended today that when I left her office I needed to head to the school and try setting up a meeting with whomever is in charge of setting up an IEP. She said it would be in the best interest for Logan because if he keeps having issues and there isn't an IEP set up they can just send him home as a behavioral nuisance and he will be missing out on vital learning. She started handing me paperwork and phone numbers and said I needed to call said number to get an "advocate." I was slightly confused because I thought I am supposed to be Logan's advocate. I am his advocate.

So after I left her office I went over to the school and actually met with the principal. Super nice set of staff and teachers at our school. I don't think we could have gotten any luckier! I was asking him what I needed to do because I felt kind of awkward going in there and demanding a meeting I know very little about. We talked and he set up a meeting with the school psychologist, himself (the principal), Logan's teacher, and Neil and I. I asked him if I should call that number and have this advocate thing started... He recommended that if I wanted to I could, but said I could come to this first meeting, see how I think it goes, and decide from there if I feel we are getting to where we want to be.

Needless to say this is NOT how I thought I was going to be spending my Monday morning! I will let you all know how it goes...keep us in your thoughts as we keep pushing forward...into what seems like the unknown.

Hope you all have a fabulous week! :)


Friday, August 17, 2012

"Maybe You'll Be Surprised..."

I know each and every single one of my readers genuinely care for Logan and our family. I really, really do appreciate that and thank each of you for your support!

As you all know I was extremely anxious to send Logan off to Kindergarten - with his history it was just super overwhelming for me. I kept telling everyone "I just don't know how this is going to work." or "There is no way he is going to be able to do this unless something changes." 99% of the time my friends, family, husband, acquaintances, and whomever would respond "Maybe you'll be surprised!" with an optimistic attitude. I honestly wanted nothing more than to be pleasantly surprised, however, that is NOT the case. I know my boy all too well, I know his triggers, I know his struggles, I know pretty much anything and everything he is going to feel before he feels it. I JUST KNOW HIM.

Day 1 (Wed) of Kindergarten: He is in great spirits and excited to go to school. We get there and there are lots of other kids and parents waiting in the hallway for the bell to ring so that we can all walk our babies to their classrooms. He gets extremely anxious in the hallway - starts pulling his hair and grumbling. Asks me not to touch him. I know he has hit his breaking point. As the bell rings and the hallways clear - he calms down - hugs me and has a smile on his face. I drop him off and pray. Later on I pick him up. He is all smiles and said he had a great day! I call his teacher as soon as I can - and she says that she thinks he had a great first day. He had to take a few timeouts for getting up without permission and interupting the teacher while she was talking to other children, but he kept his hands and feet to himself for the most part. We left it that we would e-mail on Thurs and talk over the phone on Fri.

Day 2 (Thurs): As Logan settles into the car I ask him how his day went and he responds with "Well I sat in timeout like 4 or 5 or 6 or maybe 2 times today." Hmmm. Okay... So I e-mail his teacher asking what she observed, if he had a good day/bad day, and how he managed to do in a class with 20+ kids. I didn't hear from her until almost 9 p.m. last night and she ended up calling me. His behavior was night and day from the first day. He was really out of sorts and would shut down when she tried to talk with him. She said he was unable to be still - his hands and feet were going all day. He had no self-control. He was caught poking another child with a fork at the lunch table. He was a wild man on the playground (BUT in his defense there were 55 kids to 2 teachers). On one hand I wanted to break down and cry and on the other hand I was totally okay that they were actually seeing it first hand.

Today is day 3 and he is currently in school. I have tried staying busy but he is all I can think about. Logan is a sweet boy and has a great heart, however, he gets overstimulated sooooo easy. His current diagnosis' are Impulse Control Disorder w/ Agression and ADHD. I shouldn't dwell on the label, but dang it - it isn't right yet - and we haven't found a way to manage his behavior. There is something more to this story... Something that we are missing and I KNOW IT. I am not by any means blaming our doctors or therapists, they are a God send. Amazing people - but he is just a hard case to crack. Today I have been contemplating if I should call up Dr. Walsh  (the neurogeneticist) in Indy - he had said that if we were unable to get results that he would further investigate.

What connects developmental delay, right sided motor weakness, drooling, bundle branch block of the heart, a horseshoe kidney, impulse disorder, easily overstimulated, and lack of self control? There has to be something. I am struggling with what direction I need to go. I am his advocate and I have to speak up for his sake...because he can't!

So if you don't mind keeping all of us in your prayers once again I will be forever grateful. Also, if you have ANY suggestions what-so-ever please let me know!!! I am open to any suggestions.

Thanks guys!!!

First Day of School 2012!

Miss Emily - An official 6th grade "Middle-Schooler"

So proud of the young lady she has become!

First day of 3rd for Gracie and Kindergarten for my Logan!

Love them holding hands...

Had to have one with the school sign! :)

Daddy and his babies waiting until the bell rings to head to class!

Logan found his seat and was excited for the BIG DAY!

Gracie found hers, too! She absolutely LOVES her classroom!

To be completely honest - I think is going to be the best school year yet. We are in an excellent school district and the teachers are AMAZING. Each of their teachers have THE BEST attitudes, genuine smiles on their faces, and you can tell they really love their job - which makes a HUGE difference as we all know!