New IEP or no (and at the moment, it is ‘no’), the Monster’s doing alright in school on an academic level.
The Monster’s program is a reverse inclusion classroom. There are twelve kids total, six of whom are on IEP and six are (theoretically) NT, with the goal of having ‘normal’ children at an age-appropriate level for our children to model. As I mentioned yesterday, this doesn’t necessarily mean it works the right way most of the time, but it’s a good goal on the social level.
Academically, the class follows the city-wide pre-K/kindergarten curriculum – this means that at his age, they’re teaching reading and writing. When the Monster joined the class, he already knew all of his letters, both upper and lower case, and could recognize numbers. (He has problems with figuring out that 27 is ‘twenty-seven’ as an example, and sometimes just spits out the numbers independently.) His academic concentration then has been on sight-reading words and on learning to write.
This means he has homework every night that he has to complete. The problem is that he’s sometimes given assignments that he can’t complete without close guidance due to his deficiencies – for instance, asking him to draw a picture based on a book we read. Part of what we brought up at the IEP meeting on Tuesday afternoon was that there are portions of the homework assignments that exceed his abilities, and we’ve been given discretion to adapt it to his level. (Granted, in theory, the teacher should already be doing this, per the IEP, but hey…)
So last night was another one of these ‘read the book and draw a picture’ assignments, with this month’s unit being “What do I want to be when I grow up/Neighborhood helpers”. I already know that the Monster’s not quite there on doing it himself, so I coaxed him through it. “[Monster],” said I, “draw a picture of a person.” Down goes the crayon, and he starts drawing a circle – presumably the head.
“Okay, now draw the body,” I coached, and the crayon goes around and around a few more times. Hmm.
“Where are the arms and legs?” I asked him. Out come a few squiggly lines – they look arm-and-leg-like enough for me.
“[Monster],” I reminded him, “a person has a head.” Uh-oh. The crayon goes back to the original circle and re-draws it again. Okay, so apparently this person has just a head, arms and legs…
So the wife came home about three hours later, and I just had to show her.
I think that the teacher’s going to be happy he did this much, but Monet my child is not…