As I expected it would be, this month has been filled with meetings. We have just one more big meeting (hopefully) coming up on the 20th, and the others have really been preparation for that.
This week, we had Moe's annual Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), which also served as his official exist from Early Start services. This is the meeting where we discussed the results of his latest assessments, reviewed our team's recommendations for ongoing services and discussed the transition to the school district. He will continue to receive services through his birthday, but the day after memorial day, he's cut off from his current set of services. I'm jumping for joy and trembling with fear at the same time.
As I've discussed before, it is tough to quantify a kid's level of ability based on standardized tests, especially when you're dealing with an autistic kid who may or may not feel like performing for you on any given day. So I'm trying hard to take the results with a grain of salt. That said, our team, especially our SLP and OT who see Moe every week, know him well. Their written reports are pretty accurate views of where he is now, and have given the school district (in addition to their own assessments) a good picture of where he is. In a future post, I'll try to paint that picture here.
On May 20, we have our Individualized Education Plan (IEP), which will spell out the services provided to us by the school district. That document, and the goals within it, is our contract with the school and is critical to how we move forward with Moe. All parties, including us, have to agree on what is in it, and it isn't binding until signed. Unfortunately, this can become quite a contentious process, often involving advocates and/or lawyers. So far, however, our school district has been very responsive and thorough in their evaluations. The psychologist has spent five hours with Moe, including one parent interview, two assessments and two ABA observations. Although she hasn't given me any details of their proposed plan, she indicated to me this week that her assessment of Moe is very much in line with what she read in the IFSP, as well as Dr S's latest report.
Incidentally, Moe also qualified for ongoing regional center services. They no longer provide the ABA or speech services, but do offer some assistance with things like respite care, day care, diapers after the age of 5 (Lord help me if Moe is still in diapers at 5), and behavioral consultation for specific problems that may come up over time. I hope we never have to use them.