Once More With Feeling

Yet another IEP meeting today.

This was the circle-back after we’d requested the evaluation to see if the Monster was eligible for a one-on-one aide, what Baltimore City calls a TAS – temporary adult support (with emphasis on ‘temporary’).  Basically, this meeting started off with a person-by-person recitation of how the Monster has to be constantly redirected in class, to the point that they’re not sure that he’s learning anything at the moment.

Needless to say, a TAS has been approved, and will start before the end of the week, as soon as they can get someone to fill the position.  There was a lot of discussion about what the TAS would be tasked with doing – which points needed to be emphasized to this person – and there was a brief conversation on the fact that we’re not allowed to directly contact the TAS (which, to me, makes sense – the TAS is their employee, and unlike the teacher, not legally required to talk to us).  I’m very pleased with the turn-around on that, and I’m hoping that having a TAS will get his progress back on track.

We’ve also ordered a few more evaluations. There was discussion about Adaptive PE for him – something to use PE as a mechanism to increase his socialization – but I’m myself not quite convinced that they’ve really got the best idea here.  I’m more in the mode to see if perhaps he needs some physical therapy goals added back in.. and this might be a route towards getting it.  We’ve also started to look at the idea of adding more technology to the classroom, as his specialists have noticed he’s more responsive to a tablet than he is to other media.  All of these, though, require more evaluations, so we’re going to have to sign off on getting those done.

I think what’s reverberating most with me, still, is the part where we digressed into a conversation about another program that might be more suitable for the Monster in the long run.  Apparently, Baltimore City has started a program for high-functioning children with Autism in the middle school years, and they’re talking about extending it down to elementary school next year.  I’m not myself convinced – not after having pushed so hard for returning to MWS – that it’s what we want to be considering with the Monster… but on the other hand, we do want him to be at a place where he’ll learn best and be a fully-productive member of society when he grows up.  And that’s the end goal of everyone in that room.

The last recommendation of the afternoon was to organize regular IEP meetings to ensure we’re staying atop his progress.  That, at least, won’t be a problem…

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