Over the past week we had IEP meetings for each boy for the next school year. Brady's meeting went as expected. He'll continue speech every day with the availability of his iPad for communication breakdowns. He's had the most one-year-improvement since turning 6, so we have a lot of hope for him to overcome this speech disorder. He still has a long road, but he's really doing well. We couldn't be prouder at his reading and math scores, so speech is really his only area of 'need' so far at this level of academics. I hear school starts to really speed up in the next few years so I hope we can stay on top of it!
Jax's IEP meeting went pretty good, but he's still having a really difficult time with focus and attention. He will still require the same level of aide when performing anything with fine motor skills. Most specifically writing and art-based projects. He will still get "preferential seating" throughout the day for most activities - meaning he'll always be seated near the teacher or aide since he stays on task when re-directed.
The special-ed director and the Occupational therapist came up with a really great game-plan for him that I think will create some success for him. Since kids are expected to do much more writing in first grade, the plan is to pull Jax out for 10 minutes before his daily writing time to review technique and practice the letters for more confidence and a better chance at success. He'll also receive Occupational therapy (OT) twice a week for 15 minutes at a time to help strengthen his fine motor delay and low muscle tone.
He'll continue his speech therapy as well as have his medical-pass in case he has trouble with eating and has reflux. By law, a child has to go home if they vomit at school unless they have a medical-pass. He's also allowed to have his feeding therapist come in once a week to help with lunch and he'll have his formula in-take monitored.
The special-ed director is going to talk with the phy-ed teacher to make sure he feels Jax is keeping up with his peers since we took him out of specialized phy-ed this year and removed his braces. Jax seems to be doing well with gross-motor skills, but we have noted a lot of accidents over the year. But he does have attention issues, so that's most likely the culprit.
We talked about how Jax functions at home, and I had mentioned that we have to stay on top of Jax through every single step each morning to get out the door, which can be daunting sometimes. They asked if the boys were competitive to make it more of a game, and for this in particular, we wish they were! But they're not unless it were a sport, and even then they cheer each other on. We may start a chart with steps, but really, this is just an area that Jax struggles with. Eating and getting dressed are not fan favorites of his!
I asked the staff if they felt Jax's obvious attention and focus issues could possibly be more of a clinical problem, like ADHD. They had a discussion with each other about it, and so far they're leaning toward Jax having an attention/focus issue mainly with areas of his delays. In other words, he's extremely un-interested in fine motor projects and tends to try and find other things to focus on. Add that to an insanely outgoing talkative kid hopped up on daily asthma meds and we have a common scenario of Jax turned around, looking around at other's projects or striking up a convo even with the aide instead of looking down and working on his writing!
Since he can focus on some things, they don't see it across the board for him. They also said it's not typical to see a child with ADHD without any behavior issues and it's typically seen more across the board. There are so many varying degrees of the disorder, but there's almost always some form of behavior associated with it and he just doesn't fit it. But they do agree he has a "clinical issue" meaning he struggles with focus beyond his control, but so far it hasn't impeded his learning or the learning of others, so they believe that with all the planned interventions and help, he may be able to remain on his successful path. Because so far he's successful with scoring at the top level for math and reading. (But writing gets scored next year, so we need this plan in place, eek!)
It was nice to hear such nice things said about each boy. Some of the descriptions overlapped, but the ones that were different were that Brady was considered super sweet, very helpful and extremely hard working. They are so impressed to see him as outgoing as he is with the obvious disability, and they love how well he handles his own frustration when not understood. I'm sure I'd be MUCH more annoyed then he is, he amazes me!
Jax was noted to be THE MOST excited and happy child who wanted to please all the teachers and therapists. The special-ed director said she's never in her entire career met a child who finds every single task through the day to be exciting. The kindergarten teacher finds him to be charming beyond his years. It's so nice to hear these things since Jax was so miserable as a baby and I always worried so much about him not being a happy child with the lack of cuddles and lack of food for development for cognition - we are so grateful for his chipper little dude.
I'm excited to see what first grade brings for them with growth. I feel better knowing there's a solid plan in place to help Jax with his fine motor skills. We'll be receiving summer homework to use each day from the OT, so that also gives me a little relief as well. We try to remain positive with meetings that are based solely on our children's weaknesses, so it's nice to not feel down about it all. I love their school!
|I will miss times like this of their age. They're negotiating with each other which prizes to get and share to add up to the number of tickets they won.|
|The boys loving the mini-track.|
|Jax and Jason cut from the same cloth after we finished dinner. A long day at the water park left everyone a bit tired!|
|Brady kickin' like mom on our side!|
|The boys loved the whirlpool in the condo - they used it after the park and had a blast.|
|Brady glovin'up for a little batting in the back yard on Sunday.|