We had our IEP meeting for Matthew today, which I considered great practice for when we have Nolan's in a year and a half or so. Matt only qualifies on the basis of articulation at this point in time, so we weren't too worried about the quantity of therapy sessions when we went in. On the other hand, we wanted to see exactly what we could get, since we'll be going through this again in a while and will be requesting expensive equipment (no, a sound field is not enough. We want that expensive FM system, thank you very much)!
IEP meetings are quite different than the cozy IFSP meetings we've had through early intervention. First off, the meeting is held at the middle school of our school district. Walking through the cafeteria-scented hallways with my little ones gave me a glimpse of our future- slouching adolescent boys with mullets. Yes, mullets. Have those become cool again? I shudder to think so.
There were about seven people in the room, including the school secretary. Everything was recorded and there were several forms to fill out. They had all of Matt's paperwork and his cognitive evaluation set out on the table. They say he has "superior" intelligence. Really? I mean, he does this and this . I'm just sayin'.
After talking about his history and test results, we had to come up with therapy recommendations. Once children transition to the school district, they typically get less speech therapy time (the typical is 30 minutes per week). We asked for 2 days per week, 45 minutes per session. They didn't blink an eye and granted our request- I think Nolan's recently soiled diaper may have persuaded them to make a quick decision.
He will stay in EI until December 31, then transition to the school district for services. We will have a lapse in service because the school board doesn't meet until January 13, but a 2 week break will be good for all of us. Except our wonderful speech therapist, of course- who doesn't get paid when she's not working.
Most things will stay the same as when we were in EI, but there are some important differences:
- Matt now follows the school calendar. That means if therapy falls on a holiday, he gets no services. This also means no services over the summer, during winter break, or spring break.
- Our speech therapist now gets paid less, even though she's doing the same thing.
- We have annual reviews rather than semi-annual.
Matt will probably graduate from CPSE services in the spring, just in time for us to start the process with Nolan.