Todd, Bronson and I sat through a 3.5 hour IEP meeting on Friday. Yup.
THREE AND A HALF HOURS.
I think the ten of us were all starving by the time we got out of there. No one had eaten lunch and we went from noon to around 3:30. It was during Garrett's school time, so he was in class. Bronson did very well playing in the room and going to his friend, the principal, when he needed something. She even had him go into the auditorium for the holiday assembly for a little while. He loved it.
Garrett has an entirely new IEP now. We even changed his IEP category. His last IEP was classified as Developmental Delay and while that is one of his diagnoses, it doesn't entirely encompass what his needs are. He is now classified under the Autism category, which we all think is a better fit.
His last IEP noted delays in fine and gross motor skill, but he did not have services for either of those in his IEP. He has been evaluated at his new school and now has some new goals and new services being provided. They'll be addressing his sensory and safety issues as well as his motor skills.
The school's Speech-Language Pathologist will be working on some augmentative communication devices for Garrett to use during school, like a "one-step communicator". We spoke about sign language since his private speech therapists and his ABA team had been working on that for the past year. I feel like he is too prompt-dependent and the sign language has become frustrating for all of us. The SLP feels that sign language often increases prompt-dependency, making it ineffective.
The team feels that being in an inclusive environment is working well for Garrett. In just a few weeks, he has made some great progress in transitioning and in playing with his peers.
It was a long meeting, but honestly, I didn't mind because we got a lot done. I feel like this IEP is more thorough and that this team actually cares about Garrett.