Thursday, October 10, 2013

Physical Therapy and IEP

Alex "graduated" from Physical Therapy to Adaptive PE in first grade, I think. It was the year that everything went wrong. The year I found out he wasn't getting APE when it was already in his IEP, the year he got less than half of his speech minutes because she was following the ESY schedule, the year that OT wasn't doing sensory things because his IEP didn't say what sensory things she was supposed to do (or something like that) and she needed to do her own evaluation, the year they were trying to force him into a harness on the bus when a harness wasn't in his IEP, the year his teacher didn't read his IEP at all. It was his first year in the regular school. It was also the year I started throwing a fit, demanding a special school and threatening to yank him out of the fucking district by any means necessary- honest or dishonest- because they were beyond incompetent- and then visiting other schools to find out how to get him there because there "were no" special schools in this county. It's the year the principal made sure there were no lawyers in the IEP room before she went to do something else and the year I found out advocates were worthless because they don't even talk.

But, he graduated from Physical Therapy because he didn't need it anymore. I never thought to question that until this year. I've been thinking about asking for evaluation lately because things change and I think enough have changed to warrant checking out but then in one of my too many stormings  of the principal's office this year, the physical therapist was there to help us out. She said she doesn't know Alex very well because he doesn't need physical therapy. Oh. he doesn't need it. ok. That answers that, right? But then a few days later, I wonder if she meant he doesn't need it or doesn't have it. I wonder if maybe she picked the wrong word (I do that a lot).

Then comes the realization that I'm going to have to walk Alex down 16 (sorry, I was wrong yesterday, the girl made me count them again this morning) concrete steps at the middle school. Usually, I'd be fine with that, I'd only have to make sure one kid doesn't fall- or try to fix it to where when he knocks me off my feet, I land on the bottom- but the girl was supposed to go with us and she's not too steady, either, and even with Walter taking her and me taking Alex, I'm going to worry about her and have my attention split. Thankfully, T2 said he'd keep her at home. but it never hurts to ask. The worst they can do is say no.

So, when I *cough* went visiting Tuesday, I asked how to get a physical therapy evaluation. He says according to special ed law, they should work on things that Alex will need for his home school- which would be the middle school- and there are many stairs there. The way it was phrased at first had my heart racing, I thought he was going to end up back in the middle school! Why else would they have to work on getting him ready for it? right? heart attack. Do you have any idea what it took to get him out of the regular school!? And now you want to send him back!? Thank God he cleared that up. whew. that was scary.  I explain that there is also trouble with the bus steps. At the beginning of the year, I was carrying him down, now he walks down with verbal prompts and then usually falls down the last few or jumps at me. so, "simple!" he says. "Get a prescription from the doctor and we will do the evaluation," he says.

Except... not so simple.

It has to be part of his IEP. which means we need to have a new IEP meeting. quick as that, I've got a death grip on his current IEP and I don't want physical therapy. Back away from the IEP before someone gets hurt. This is the perfect IEP. I love this IEP. Everything I want is in this IEP. We're keeping it. *defiant glare*

But.... Alex's teacher this year is perfect. I love her almost as much as I love this IEP. She gets Alex. Everything I've thrown a fit about she is already doing right or has already said herself. She understands. Don't tell Teacher#2, but I think this one might be the best teacher ever. and since she really gets him and she's freaking brilliant in her practical and effective solutions, maybe she might have a better IEP. The timing is scary because it's October, which means his IEP will be due in October and if his entire team changes again (Good Lord, please...) then they are going to have to come up with a new IEP based on a kid with horrible behaviors who refuses to work with them. With it being in March right now, and his behaviors calming down after Christmas break, they have a slight idea of who they are making the IEP for.

This is the decision I made... close my eyes and jump. Trust her, trust the principal (yes, I know, but eventually that gamble will pay off) and just go. So, I agreed and sent her my list from last year.


  1. I'm glad things are going better this year for you guys. One of the hardest things that we found was putting all the negatives behind us. We try to keep in mind that even though teachers may be experienced in dealing with ASD kids, that all kids are different. And often enough, different strategies must be implemented.