day 12 and the IEP

I'm a little behind with my posts, but I'm trying hard to catch up. Tuesday was one of my favorite days that we've had so far. Today during morning circle time, Lucas got to be the teacher's helper. I think it's his favorite time. He certainly enjoys the attention. We started the day with support group and a lively discussion about the film that we saw yesterday and the meaning of the word "deaf" to various families.

Then we were off to participate in a school age panel of two successfully mainstreamed boys and JTC grads. This was the highlight of my day. My tears flowed, and I again hung on their every word. What struck me most was the sense of normalcy that these boys have. These early years are so full of wonder, doubt and simply the unknown. The boys were articulate, smart, funny, and oh so normal. Don't take that word the wrong way. I just mean that their hearing loss is just a part of who they are, what they do, what they like. It no longer drives everything they do, like it seems to when they're young. The one boy even said (when introducing himself): "Basically I lead a normal life and I carry my own weight." One interesting tidbit of information I learned was that the one boy shared that he doesn't know how loud he's being when he talks, so sometimes he has a little cue with his mom (that he came up with) to tell him to turn it down a little bit. They talked about their experiences with FM systems - one likes using it, and one doesn't. It was also interesting to hear that when they listen, they have to try to concentrate on one voice so that other sounds don't become too distracting. I thoroughly enjoyed the panel.

We checked in on Lucas before our afternoon sessions started, and but 1 of the six kiddos decided to take a nap for the second day in a row. I hope it's not a foreshadowing of the rest of the week! The topics for the afternoon were US laws and deafness and the IEP, both of particular interest to us as we embark on our first IEP adventure in the next few months. We were given resources and websites to reference and even saw a role play of what not to do. We got to see examples of binders that parents put together about their children for the IEP meeting. My wheels are turning as we speak and I prepare for this next journey. We learned lots of acronyms, my favorite being PLOP, Present Level Of Performance. That is one of the reasons why we're here, to determine his PLOP, so that we can move forward with plans.

We finished the day with a meeting with his SLT. We figured out that Lucas will work better if he's in a room with no distractions and has a snack to munch on. So, this session went much better.

Tonight we decided to head to Santa Monica again. We didn't hit the beach, but walked along the promenade and out to the pier. He enjoyed some of the little rides. We got to watch the sunset too.