Luisa Posted April 21 Share Posted April 21 I live in Bellport NY. I am an the special education teacher in an inclusion Math class for a local high school. My general education co-teacher and I have been a duo for 18 years. My oldest son, Lorenzo, is currently 11. He has severe weakness in spelling( sight word, transferring words ) and handwriting (spacing of letters and words, incorrect formation of letters) . Since first grade, I have tried getting him help. RTI, school evualation, outside evaluation, outside vision evaltuion, and because his scores come out average or above average he never qualifies. Then covid hit. Fast forward to summer after 4th grade, he received a 1 in spelling and I called the school again asking what can be done so that he can improve in this area. They said they dont offer RTI for spelling and/or handwriting. They did another school evaluation. Since it occurred during the summer, I was able to meet with the evaluators. He qualified for OT which is improving his handwriting and legibility. Not sure what if anything we can do about spelling. Win for him!!! My youngest son, Mario, is currently 5. From a very young age, probably 6 months, I noticed he was not very social. He didn´t interact with us when we talked to him and played with him. No smiles, no acknowledging, no babbling, no noises. I had his hearing checked, everything was fine. We were doing early intervention for PT because of toricollis and asked for speech therapy. He qualified and they also gave him SEIT services. All of this was home based. As he got older (one - one and a half) there were still no words, no sounds, but he was able to understand what we were saying. We went to a developmental pediatrician. Ultimately at 2, he did an ADOS and was diagnosed with Level 1 Autism. He was also having frequent ear infections, and were visiting ENT´s to find out if TUBES was an option. The first ENT said that even after 8 ear infections tubes were not necessary and that most boys were behind in speech. I got a second opinion, and she agreed that tubes were the way to go. He had this done when he was one in October. By December, sounds were coming!!! At 2, early intervention agreed to a school based program. We started did summer school and a school year. Tremendous progress with speech. Then the school district took over. They approved the same school based program for UPK. He was still in a half day program, small class size, three adults in the room, receiving speech and PT services. His weaknesses were still transitioning from one activity to the next, away from preferred activities, away from current activities. When determining if he continued to qualify for special education services in kindergarden, the teacher said she was recommending he be discontinued. I relayed my disagreement and reasoning and she relayed her and basically said although the data supported declassification, it was more the school distraction asking for more students to be declassified. During our first meeting, which lasted 2 hours, I disagreed with their findings. I fought that he had an Autism diagnosis and they said his Autism was not impacting his academics. I fought that he is currently doing well because he was in a class with a small amount of students and a large amount of adults. I fought that he was going to a new building, with new teachers, for a full day program. They just kept re-assuring me that all could be handled through building level supports. I kept mentioning all of the social, emotional, and management needs that came with his diagnosis and still they pursued. I asked to stop the meeting and have another meeting where I could bring an advocate. At our next meeting, 2 months later, another 2 hours meeting with my advocate, the decision was that his autism diagnosis or needs did not qualify him for an IEP. One of the main reasons I was fighting for an IEP, more specially an inclusion class, was that if his placement was to be inclusion (whether for K or in the future) all of the inclusion classes were not in our home building. He would be on a mini bus and going to a different placement. I was ok with that if that was were he was going to start. But I didn´t want him to get used to his building and routines and then if things didn´t work out to be switched to a new building. I tried going the lawyer route but since the Pre-K teacher was agreeing with the recommendation and had data that supported he was making progress, there was really nothing I could do. After this meeting, we had kindergarden orientation. I did not know what to expect and could not prepare my child with specifics and if he was now a typical child who only needed building level supports, I just went with the flow. My son would not separate from me even though there were older kids helping out that he knew, other incoming kindergarden kids that he knew. I asked for assistance from the school psychologist (as she was on our orginal meeting) so that not only could she see what he was experiencing but to also see if she could get him to participate, (which she could not). They did allow me to go into the room with him and he did not interact with the other students or teachers, or activities. Needless to say, this made me worry more about entering Kindergarden and being in a general education with very little support and without other adults in the room to support him. I was very, very blessed that we are having a wonder year in kindergarden. The general education teacher that was on our 2 CSE meetings and the 504 meeting also happened to be my older son´s third grade teacher two years ago. She was his favorite teacher. She asked the principal if my son could be in her class. She reached out to me over the summer, we met with her several times over the summer. She has been great in keeping his moods and behaviors in check and can usually help him regulate when he is having difficulty. THANKS FOR READING MY STORY! Mario, 5 diagnosed with Autism Level 1 at age 2 Currently with 504 Lorenzo, 11 diagnosed with ADHD inattentive type, Anxiety, ASD currently with IEP receiving PT class accommodation Employed as the special education teacher in an inclusion Math class at a local high school. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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