Today was Shepherd's riser IEP. The meeting which determines where he will attend kindergarten. He has made huge gains academically, he knows all of his letters, initial letter sounds, can count to 15, signs all the letters, can write his first name independently and his last name when it is spelled for him, etc. My biggest concern for him is his language, speech, and social interactions. Shepherd needs to learn the power of language. The good and the bad. We are having major struggles with him lying. ALOT. And if I hear one more time that it is his age, I am going to scream!!!! It is not his age, it is deeper than that. It is more hurtful than that and it is damaging to himself and those around him. We got over a stealing stage, where he would come home from church and school with cars hidden in his pockets. He would hide stolen objects under his pillow. We had to "frisk" him before he could come home. We got past that and we have had no recent incidences. Thank God! But, the lying is so ingrained it is scary. I hope that when he understands the power of what he is saying (good and bad) than he will understand more of language. I so hope that this can be mediated. He also has other behaviors that I won't outline on the internet. He needs to learn non verbal communication. He needs to learn academic language. Etc, etc, etc.
It was decided that he would attend an Intensive Language class. The school district intially was telling me he would not qualify because he is an ESOL student. I countered that in that he is not a "true" ESOL student as I don't speak any other language other than English at home. Besides that, what does it matter the cause if the end result is that he is not language ready for kindergarten?!?! I was not pushing for regular ed, I feel he needs more support than regular ed can provide. He will spend the first half of the day in a regular education kindergarten and the last 1.5 hours in an IL class with a speech therapist and an ESE teacher. I am so hopeful that he will receive the support he so desperately needs! As his mommy, I hope that when he has a better ability to express his thoughts and feelings that some of the negative, attention seeking behaviors will subside (please, please, pretty please!!) I also desperately want him to have friends. He has little idea of how to interact with children his own age and would rather hang out with adults. His teacher reports that he has improved in this area and I so hope so, I want him to have a friend soooo badly.
The other bonus of this placement is that he will automatically be assigned to the school that houses the IL class. There is only one in our school zone. Only about 3 in the district. I have already gone to school choice to put Regan in the kindergarten lottery and if she receives my first pick they will be in different schools. This may sound odd, but I am requesting they not be in the same school. Because they are the same age there is the possibility they would share alot of specials and lunch time, etc. I do not want them compared to each other (as they already are) and I want them to develop their own unique personalities independent of one another. They already spend so much time together in extra curricular activities because of their identical ages. I hope this is the best decision for Shepherd.