Sunday, October 23, 2011

IEP, Part II

Met last week with James' Services Coordinator to continue and wrap up James' IEP. She'd had time to meet with his aide and teacher before our sit down. There was that pesky behaviour report  to sort through and distill into goals and measurables, remember.

The meeting started with a recap of behviours covered in the outside therapist's report that had also been observed in the classroom (which was almost all of them). Basically, when left with unstructured (and unsupervised) time, James responds by wandering, bumping, and misusing common objects to get attention from others. A related issue is that it can be difficult to keep James focused on a task that does not involve computers, although once he starts a worksheet or a reading assignment, he will work steadily, but with constant prompting.

One of the goals we discussed looks like they will be for James to remain seated through tasks with a minimum of prompting 80% of the time. The other will probably be for James to choose from a selection of activities or items from a sensory box to self-regulate during unstructured time.

Great schedulers from
Tools and visual aids mentioned in the report were then reviewed and weighed. The visual scheduler has been helpful in the past, but has been difficult to integrate in this year's classroom setting. The countdown clock, on the other hand, has been extremely effective for James. The Behavioural Therapist suggested coming up with a clipboard of activities that James can choose from for unstructured time. I like this idea for both home and school, and hope it will be another useful tool.

We discussed how James was doing with his classwork.  Pretty well, it turns out. He's aced three spelling tests and knows his numbers up to at least 100. He is in the lowest reading group in the class, but is one of the better readers in that group. His writing has improved enormously over the summer and he can now use the classroom paper instead of a blank or specially ruled sheet. He is extremely motivated to work with his class and is getting very good about asking for what he needs to keep up with the pace of the day.

Grade 1 math
"More" and "less" are pretty confusing for him, and I am working to get him to recognize plus and minus signs, and what they mean in math. James' teacher has sent home a math workbook so I continue to work on math with him at home. She checks in with me almost every week via email, letting me know the good and needs work highlights as they come up.

Every time I talk with someone on James' support team, I learn new things. That morning, I learned that it was unusual for a teacher to take on a full inclusion student as one of her regular kids and follow along with his goals and progress so closely as James' teacher is doing this year. We've been fortunate to have had teachers for James who observed and included him as much as possible in the classroom setting that I guess I took it a bit for granted, even though I was happy it was happening.

I lost track of how much time we met -- easily a half hour and probably over that. There's still more -- now comes my review and final comments before signing off. Almost there!
Countdown clock from

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