Monday, January 7, 2013

Getting Tested for Special Education Services

Due to the length of this post I have decided to break in into different blog post. You can follow my blog on the right hand column so you don't miss anything.

One of the reasons I removed Yang from public school last January and began homeschooling her was because I felt there was something "wrong". I knew she understood what was going on in school yet she was failing 1st grade miserably. I called the school just before Thanksgiving break and asked to have her tested. When I spoke with the principle he told me he would call me back after the holidays as there was no time currently to set things up. When Christmas break came I still had not heard anything back from the principle and I began talking to hubby about homeschooling her. He asked that I wait until after Christmas break to see what would happen. When report cards came out mid January I made my mind up. There was a note inside basically stating that there was no way possible Yang could pass first grade. I still had not heard back from the school so I began the process to enroll her with our K12 school Owlet was already using. Once she was enrolled I received a call from the special education department since Yang had a speech only I.E.P. I quickly advised that her speech was the least of my worries at the moment and went into detail about my concerns. The Intervention Specialist was very understanding, caring and took down lots of great notes. We quickly put into action getting Yang a full evaluation. Since I was asking for her E.T.R. to be reopened it was going to take a little longer as they had to attend to the ones that where expiring first. I understood and was okay with it. It was April before we went for testing and early June before we had our meeting. Yang's I.E.P. meeting was 2 1/2 hours of waves of emotions. Happy to have results, curious as to what some of it meant, anxious to get things put into effect. What is sensory processing disorder? Low muscle tone? Generalized learning disabilities? Visual processing? Dysgraphia

Since the school was ending a week later there was no real time to see how things would play out, but I was anxious to start the new school year out on the right foot for once.

With the hard work we put in Yang was not retained last year. We still had some 1st grade work to complete at the beginning of the year, but at least she was promoted to second grade.

Since Yang was already receiving speech services all we had to do was get OT underway at the start of the school year. When Yang was granted OT at the end of the school year I sent the school a name and number for a local OT since I knew they did not already have an OT contract established in our area. Six weeks into the school year we had to have Yang's annual E.T.R. evaluation. Since we had not really had anytime to put anything into effect it was a simple one of signing our names since nothing was changing. I had been asking Yang's Intervention Specialist (IS) about getting OT set up and she would relay to me what her boss was telling her, "We are working on it." During an E.T.R. meeting there is the parent, General Education (GenED) teacher, Intervention Specialist and someone higher up from the Special Education Department (SED). I took this time to ask AGAIN if there was any progress with getting Yang OT and if the OT I had recommended had been called (a question everyone kept avoiding). Since the lady from the SED was not directly related to Yang's IS she was unsure. That evening I received a call from a lady wanting to set up virtual (online) OT. I said I would TRY it and advised openly to our wonderful Intervention Specialist that I was not happy about it. She asked that I try it since they (our K12 school) was unable to find an OT office in our area. The office they had found was over an hour drive one way. With the cost of gas, living off one income and the distance I knew there was no way we would be able to do it, so I gave virtual OT a try.

Up next:
What happens next? How does virtual OT work out for us?

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