Years ago I attended IEPs as a support person for others in a professional capacity, and so I know they can be contentious meetings. As we told friends and professionals about our upcoming IEP, they advised us to make sure we knew our rights and be prepared to advocate.
I'm happy to report that the meeting went very well and was entirely drama free. What a relief! And they offered to give Quinn everything we'd want him to have (except PT, which they admitted they should have evaluated for, and will be evaluating for asap).
There were, however, a few odd/sad moments.
First, the odd moment. At the very beginning of the meeting, when they asked the school psychologist to report on Quinn's eligibility for services, she seemed tentative as she said, "Quinn has significant global developmental delays which do qualify him for services [pause] which is consistent with [pause] a diagnosis of [pause] mental retardation." Then everyone in the room looked at Zac and me, seemingly wondering, "Are they gonna cry?" So I just said, "Yeah...it's not a surprise." And the meeting continued.
Then a couple of sad moments. The first goal they wrote for Quinn, which he is to accomplish over the next year, is to make a chain consisting of X number (can't remember) of large beads on a thick rope. Quinn has had big beads and a thick rope in his toy collection for about a year (thanks, Grandpa Bill!). He plays with them often, and can sometimes get one bead on. His therapists also use beads like this regularly with him. The sad part is that not too long ago, we had another couple over, and their son, who is several months younger than Quinn, made a long necklace with the same beads in about 15 minutes, after his parents showed him just once how to string the beads. They said he did not have beads like this at home and had probably never played with beads. So, the idea that after a year of instruction Quinn would be able to make a bead necklace successfully on 75% of all trials was a little depressing.
Also, though there were goals related to speech, none of them actually stated that Quinn would, in fact, speak. Again, this is over the next year. The goals were about making pre-speech sounds, improving imitation skills, drinking from a straw (important for mouth control), etc. But no actual talking appears to be expected. I do think Quinn will be talking more in the next year. As noted before in this blog, he does say a few things, (like "moh" for more, and recently animal noises, and he is signing several words now, too). But it's just kinda sad that he's not so far along that it didn't seem appropriate to have a goal stating that he'll speak X number of words over the next year.