The Early Intervention Programs, First
Step and Head Start
prepared us for his school years ahead. Yet, we all realized my
grandson has a different way of learning. When it was time for kindergarten, someone
suggested that "children
like this cannot be taught in a normal classroom setting". They recommended
my grandson be transferred out of our school district to a special educational
We learned to advocate
We researched his condition further, focusing on how it affected
his learning. We also studied the Blue
Book to review his educational rights. Knowing he had a right to the least restrictive
environment, and having a success plan, we gathered up
a team of
advocates consisting of members of Metropolitan Family Services
and The Parent Resource Center.
We asked for a meeting with the Director of Special Education.
The IEP Team reconsidered
IEP team quickly re-convened and changed their decision, placing him in the
least restrictive setting for Kindergarten. He was in a normal classroom with an
aid, and support services (speech and occupational therapy). We sent a journal back and forth each day, they sent home
behavioral slips indicating if/when he had trouble, and they took time
to talk to me as often as necessary.
Yet, we realized (and I admitted) he needed more
support for First Grade. We agreed on the multi-age/multi-needs special
education classroom in his home school. The teacher is awesome. She has
a knack for recognizing and creatively meeting the needs of all the
children in the class. She also uses praise and their special
talents/interests as motivational tools.