Where to begin?... Today we had Mary's big IEP meeting at school. However, on Tuesday I received a phone call that things may need to change regarding Mary's "label". Apparently, when they started going through all of Mary's scores form the different tests they had given her, the numbers didn't jive. Mary has always had a large gap in her scoring due to her ability to read and comprehend so well, but having difficulty in math, this we knew from the previous evaluations we have had. We did not, nor did the school realize that she would not qualify for the SLD label, which is "Specific Learning Disabled". It doesn't even qualify her for the Intellectual disability. So, of course there is another category we can put her under, OHI, which is "Other Health Initiative". This will state that Mary needs extra services due to her health issues, seizure disorder, anxiety, add, etc. So, could I possibly get the Dr to fill out a form verifying her health issues, before we meet on Thursday? Thankfully, my husband is friends with the Pediatrician, and called his cell phone right away. I did not want to drag this on any longer! By Wednesday, I dropped the form off at school, and they had time to add it all into the IEP.
After going over all the scores, some as high as 97, others as low as 35, all 6 of the school professionals taking part in this meeting all determined that Mary does not have a "learning disability", and it must be the medical issues that are inhibiting her abilities. This, by the way, makes her eligible for even more educational services through the State of Florida! If they see there is a learning disability, that means it can be worked through one way or another. Medical issues on the other hand cannot be retrained. I guess the State of Florida is not so clueless after all. I am perfectly fine with all of this, they can do or say whatever they need to to make sure she gets everything she needs to succeed in school and in life. Along with the speech therapy that she now receives at school, they are requesting, physical and occupational therapy, as well as having a counselor come and work with her, which also happens to include family therapy. Believe me, we can all use some of that around here. None of us know what to do sometimes when it comes to Mary. Oh, and did I mention, it's all at no cost to us? I believe the therapy has to go through our insurance, but hey, it's worth it to have it all done at school, and I don't have to make a million appointments every week.
All of this does not come without some serious decision making on our part. We were somewhat, off the record, given the option to retain her for another year. Mary has made so much progress academically this year, we can keep her in 5th grade for another year to ensure success next year as well. This is a tough one. I would be more than happy to postpone middle school, but she will be 12 years old, and 5'4" in the 5th grade. Or maybe she'll stay 5'1? I don't know how this will affect her, even though she has expressed distress over leaving Kaley after this year. At least if we do keep her back, and then see in the middle of the next school year that she needs to move on, we would have already been in the public school system long enough to qualify for the McKay Scholarship, and we can send her to a private middle school. The public middle school that we are zoned for will still never be an option as far as I'm concerned. As I said, decisions.
Stay tuned, there is more to this. Upon discussing Mary's behavior at home as well as school, all 6, again, agreed that Mary may have Asperger's Syndrome. Along with the school psychologists report, we were given a booklet of questions to answer on Mary's behavior. This was also given to her teachers as well. If all of our numbers agree, guess what? Mary gets the Asperger's label, which in turn, qualifies her for even more! And that's not all folks, the teacher had to call DCF for something Mary told her, which was a total jumbling of events on Mary's part. I'll fill you in tomorrow!