Squeaky Wheel gets Results

I sent the letter to the Director of Special Education for Elementary age kids in our district, to encourage there to be a full day program at the school Joshua attends.  I was happy to hear back from her this week, when I followed up with a phone call, that the program at both sites is going to be revamped so kids at either site can get a tailor made program.  This means that Joshua will get more treatment next school year, most likely, involving the utilization of ABA (Applied Behavior Analysis) to his IEP.   He may have a full day on certain days of the week, and a partial day on others, depending upon what he needs.   They certainly want both sites to be equitable for any child with autism to get the treatment they need.

What surprised me, however, is the Director did not know that Joshua needed a full day program.  I feel I dropped the ball on that one, as I should have written the letter sooner.  I did express the desire for him to have a full day program, (even though I would miss him terribly if he was gone the entire day) when we first started him, per Seattle Children’s Autism Center’s recommendation.  However, after giving the paperwork to the psychologist, I guess I made the assumption they knew that.  I should have made the formal request, but since the school didn’t have  a full day program, despite wanting one, I wasn’t sure what to do.  It is so important to let the district know what you want to see for your special needs child.  If they can accommodate, they will.  They also will not know of your child, by name, unless you make him/her known.  Most likely, I should have written that letter when I was first encouraged to.   There was a lot of adjustment for us, however.  And, to be honest, I didn’t want Joshua to be switched from one class to another when he was just starting out.   His teacher has become like another mother to him as she is caring for him and teaching him, and me, how to learn the skills he needs to learn.  This year, has been a transition for all of us, with all the treatments he is going to, etc.  So, by the fall, we may be ready for the next step.  I just don’t want any opportunities to go to waste as this time of brain development is so vital!

The district folks are meeting with the staff at Joshua’s school on Friday to discuss how the program will look different for next year.  I couldn’t be more thrilled.  I hope Ms. Katie gets heard as to what would truly help our kids.  She is such a gem, as well as the rest of the staff that work with the kids!

I also heard back about the Extended School Year Program.  On that front, I didn’t get the answer I wanted.  However, I understand the reasoning behind it.  There were deadlines (which I didn’t know about) that the appeal needed to be made by.  I will let it slide if the district wouldn’t mind changing something about their policy to let parents know there are deadlines to begin with.  I had heard, as I said on my earlier post, that since Joshua was not starting at the start of the school year, he would not be eligible for the ESY.  We are given a booklet of parental rights but it wasn’t complete, in my opinion.  I want a booklet with all the WACs related to Special Education.  Parent’s don’t typically know what their rights are unless they are explained.  I did have the opportunity presented to me to attend parental support groups, and informational meetings, but it was at times I couldn’t go.  However, I would like to encourage other parents to go or at least, contact the person who runs them to see if there are parents to get hooked up with as a mentor of sorts.  I’m sure there are.  I need to learn not to think I can do it all on my own.  It’s a life lesson I am still working on in all the areas of my life.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 26th, 2010 at 3:46 am and is filed under Autism Resources, Autism Treatment, General Autism Info. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

 

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