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OT—How To Incorporate Independence/Transition

Rau Bruner

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I am a mom who has an amazing daughter with the dx Down Syndrome. I live in Magnolia Tx. We are in Magnolia ISD.  Zoe has a cognitive along with intellectual disability. Zoe is a sophomore in highschool who loves music and loves to dance. I have had to fight my whole life to get the school to help teach her to read. She had OT but we have a therapist who doesn’t want to do her job. She wants Zoe’s OT to focus on her making a grocery list even though she is t reading. She has fine motor issues. How can we make grocery lists when she is still reading at Kinder lever. Her comprehension is at a 6th grade level. The school uses her intellectual disability as an excuse not to teach her to read. She will be a junior so how do I incorporate Transition/Independence goals in her IEP?

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I specialize in specific learning disabilities and so will leave the transition/independence goals for a student with Down Syndrome to others with more expertise in that area.  However, although reading could be addressed in transition goals, I believe it also needs to be addressed as a separate issue in her IEP.  Students with Down Syndrome can learn  to read, but may need a different technique than what is used in the general education setting.  You need an evaluation showing she has the capability to read, along with suggested programs.  If you don't have such an evaluation, ask for an IEE in the area of academic achievement (assuming the school has done one).  You could also ask your pediatrician and see what he/she recommends - an evaluation might be covered under your insurance.  Unless the school has data showing she cannot learn to read above a Kindergarten level, they have an obligation to teach her to read up to her capability.  And to find the methodology that works for her.  She needs specific goals in her IEP for reading - and instruction should NOT come by way of OT.

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