Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The awesome school update

School started. It was epic. No really.....after the summer we had, I was extremely nervous about this year. And it is going to be OK!!!!!!!

So hang on tight, get comfortable (get a drink and a snack) since this might take awhile.

Jordan is in 2nd grade. He has Mrs. Rounds, who Trevor had two years ago..... the teacher that made my decision to move Trevor to a new school. I was worried about it. But it has turned out OK  and Jordan seems to like her alot. I have high hopes that things will be much easier this school year for her. He has become quite the social butterfly and spends recess getting chased by girls. So... nothing is new for him really :-)

Josh is settled into preschool as well. He has his same teacher, but he is at a brand new facility they built last school year. It is sooooo nice and I know will be great. He was really apprehensive at first, but I talked to his teacher today and he is settling in well. Yea for Josh!

Now for Trevor. He has been my high stressor for school this year. I felt really good about how the IEP meeting went the last week of school last year. He qualified for more services than he ever has, and it was good to get some accurate testing. He does have several problem areas, but as usual they are all consistent with common areas of autism. I had many concerns about this year and was quite nervous that the school would not follow through with everything we talked about at the end of last year. I had a meeting with his teacher and the resource head, and aids last friday. I am so incredibly pleased with everything. Trevor has an amazing teacher who he really loves. He came home from school the first day saying he loved his teacher. Trevor has NEVER said that about a teacher. So I knew this was a good sign. But at this meeting last friday I really got to sit down and talk to her about all the little problems we have, what he needs, and what we need to do to make this year successful. One of the things we talked about was him using this:

It's called a Neo. He can type instead of having to do so much handwriting. He really struggles from a fine motor standpoint when alot of writing is involved. Last year we talked about this being one of the anxiety issues that was pushing him over the edge. He used it yesterday and today and seemed so much happier in general about his school work.

His teacher also created a break pass for him. They broke the day up into 3 sections... like from beginning to first recess... then that to after lunch... and afternoon or something like that. He has a break pass and he can use it once in each section of the day. We hope that helps with him needing some time to recharge when he has been over-stimulated.

It is also written in his IEP that  homework does not count against him. This year our big push is going to be reading. He is not reading at grade level anymore, and his language comprehension is really not at grade level. So we are going to have his 20 min of reading be the only thing he has to do everynight. And hopefully it will only take an hour to get that 20 min. He will occasionally bring home work he didn't finish during class, but if it doesn't get done it won't be a big deal. This is also one of the biggest stresses I had. Last year was HORRENDOUS when it came to homework. I got hit and bit so much fighting with Trevor over all that and I didn't think I could do that again. I am so glad the school is on board with making our family life easier too.

So that is how things are going with school. Now that the kids are in and I can breathe again, I am starting my new focus......speech with Josh. I know with his Speech Apraxia it can be a long time before he will be able to talk normal (if ever). He has been doing well on the PECS system and of course he still signs, but we are still at a frustration/boiling point. I know what I really want to do, but it's just not a possibility. I have heard/read so much about the iPad apps and what they are doing for special needs kids. I would LOVE to have something that did everything we need, and be portable and small. I was really hoping when the iPad 2 came out the original iPad would go down in price... but it is still way over what we can ever afford with our medical bills, ect. So I have been spending the entire day today trying to find out how I can kind of make my iTouch work. It is really small and not ideal, but I am going to see what I can do about adding it to the PECS binder and making it so I can take everything with me (everytime I go anywhere. yea). We really need him on a device by mid year this year so he can be ready to go for Kindergarten. I am going to get with the speech therapist (she is new this year) and see what we can do. I know that he might be able to qualify for an iPad at school, but it's a long shot and something he can't bring home, or take with him next year since it will belong to the preschool. So we'll see what I can pull out for this year.

iTouch... I would appreciate it so much!!!!! Thanks for sticking with me and listening to my ramblings. :-)


Chantel and Brian said...

It is sooo good to hear they are working so well with Trevor. What a blessing. I sure hope that means this year will go much more smoothly than the past years. Good luck!

Haha, Jordan is such a little ladies man. You better watch out in future years ( :

Good luck with the pecs with Josh, on high tech equipment ( :

Tanya said...

I'm so happy to hear that the school is working so well with Trevor and you this year! I hope that things work out quickly for Josh so that you can accomplish what you are hoping for.
Take care and try to enjoy the time the boys are all in school! :)

Lori said...

oh man melissa. you have your hands full. you are an admirable woman. sending you energy and sanity.

if i had an extra $500 i'd buy an ipad for you!