Spring is here, and certain parents know what that means: IEP season has arrived. For those that don't know what an "IEP" is, it is an "individualized educational plan" written for children who need educational supports or other specialized education.
For Nolan, the IEP is put in place because of his hearing loss. This is an interesting dynamic, because Nolan's language tests as age-appropriate, and he has no delays. If he were older, we would consider placing him on a 504 plan (this provides physical accommodations for children with physical handicaps).
Nolan is, however, only three years old. We want him to have a "running start" into kindergarten, to strengthen pre-literacy skills, and to have coping skills for situations where his hearing will inevitably be impacted by background noise.
His IEP meeting is on May 25, and we have to hash out some goals for the little guy. There are some areas which need some work, so we have come up with the following goals:
- Nolan will initiate peer interactions. Currently, Nolan will only initiate interactions with adults. In the classroom, he will only partake in parallel play unless aided by another adult. He will never initiate social contact with another child. He's come a l-o-n-g way, but socialization is very important, so we will place this goal into his IEP.
- Proper use of pronouns. Everyone is a "he" or a "him," which makes sense. Our household is almost entirely male! For some reason, Nolan has also reverted back to referring to himself in the third person nearly all of the time. I'm not quite sure where "my," "me," and "I" have gone!
- Articulation. Most of Nolan's articulation errors are age-appropriate (like fronting: using a /t/ for /k/and his use of /w/ for /l/), but he has some related to his hearing loss (confusing M and N). Most of the time, he is intelligible to a stranger, like any other child his age. Occasionally, the articulation errors compound in a single word. "Nilt" is "milk" - a stranger may not understand this word out of context.