Public Service Announcement

Today when I was waiting for the lift to lower Charlie’s wheelchair off the bus, a man in a Cadillac tried to speed past us. We both shook our heads for a minute and then she said to me, “Did you know that there are parents at school that complain to the principal that it takes to long to unload the special needs bus?”

So here’s my public service announcement for all the people out there that think it’s a drag waiting around for the handicap kids to get off of their school bus:

Take that time, and any other time that you’re inconvenienced by someone with a disability and use to thank the Lord you don’t need those services.

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You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

IEP Drama Comes to an End

In case you are too busy to read to the very end of this story, I’ll give you the moral up front: talk, talk, talk to the people who are in charge of your kid.

The End.

Just kidding–you didn’t think I was going to let you off that easy, didja?

So here’s what happened:

Two days before Charlie’s IEP, I stopped by his class–I can’t even remember why–and his teacher sat me down and just asked me what I wanted the most for Charlie. I told her all about how I wanted him to be in classes with typical students more often. I told her that that was probably teh most important thing of all. She listened to me and we talked some more the next day.

We showed up for the IEP and the principal was there, a representative from special education, and the usual cast and crew (teacher, therapists, etc.).  I’m always really impressed by how many people come to the IEPs. I actually taught special ed for a few years and I NEVER saw that kind of attendance at an IEP. Usually it was just me and maybe one or two other people. This is not the point of this story, though! The point: Charlie’s IEP–after a lot of discussion about goals, the principal presented us with the following, very special, she-obviously-got-really-creative solution for my Charlie.

Here’s what we’re doing: We’re holding Charlie back and he’s going to do another year in Early Intervention Preschool. For reasons I don’t completely understand, this is NEVER done, but they’re are opting to do it because of my intense desire to see Charlie spend time with his typical peers. The past three years he’s been in a self-contained class most of the day with about fifteen minutes in a regular class. Next year he will be enrolled full-time in a “combo class.” This is a class where half the students are typical and the other half are special education students. How cool is that? He’s also going to do morning routine in a class called “transitional first,” which is a class for kids who are old enough for first grade, but who are mature enough. In the afternoons, we will still give Charlie the option of going back to the self-contained class for rest or a nap since he does still get very worn out by the school day routine.

Basically, I’m getting everything I wanted. We will still have to find a place for him for actual first grade, but I think that doing next year this way will open up a lot more opportunities for him.

All this because I said exactly what I wanted. And his teacher moved the earth to get it for us. We are so blessed.

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Too Many Thoughts

Howdy! I’m been off in Dallas, TX attending a blogging conference, but now I’m home and ready to jump back into things with both feet. If you follow Bird on the Street on Facebook then you knew where I went, but if you don’t I apologize. Here are a couple of little updates:

  1. I am bringing an advocate with me to Charlie’s IEP. I talked to her while I was in a cab to the airport, so I haven’t notified the school or worked out the details, but it’s nice to know that I won’t be alone. I’ve outlined my preferences for his placement–the first is that he be accommodated at his home school (this seems unlikely, but it never hurts to ask!). The second is that he attend a school that feeds into his home Junior High and High School and that they provide transportation to that school. Again, I’m not sure what our chances are, but I’m willing to try.
  2. This blog needs some work. The template that Bird on the Street is built on started acting up sometime this summer and I’ve been steadfastly ignoring that for about nine months now. It’s time to clean things up–get my fonts straight, figure out what the heck happened to my background color, etc. I also repeatedly have people tell me that they get a virus warning when they visit my site. I’ve reviewed the site myself, have security measure installed and have had it reviewed by a computer programmer. It’s also been cleared by Google. I think the issue is actually my hosting company and I’ll be working on that as well–can’t have people turning away because of a hosting glitch.
  3. Nothing inspires content ideas like a blogging conference. I had so many ideas I wonder how many I can squeeze into this space. I also have some people contacting me about collaborating on some ideas, so that’s in the mix too. I did want to ask how you guys feel about iPad apps–are you interested in reviews or spotlights? Like maybe just one “this app worked for me” post? I’ve read a bunch of websites dedicated solely to apps, but I struggled with all the choices. Let me know. I won’t ever do big lists of good apps, but have considered reviewing and sharing a few that we really like. Any interest?
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My Blissdom roommate Ellen from Love That Max. She lovely and she gives me wonderful advice. She’s also going to hate me for posting this picture.

 

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