Making Progress

I recently had Bryce’s IEP meeting at his school.  For those of you not involved in the special education world, IEP stands for Individualized Educational Plan and is just a series of goals to be worked toward for your child specifically.  This meeting is very important as it determines what services Bryce will receive for the year.  I was happy to hear that he is very polite and well-mannered in class and loves to work hard.  He is testing at or above grade level in math and reading.  This is according to standard testing they do in class.  Yes, he has to have standard testing, even though he’s in special education.  Can you believe it?  No wonder test scores get dragged down overall.  Anyway, he was given the tests with a “help” from the teacher.  She had to help him understand what they were asking for.  When she did, he was able to perform all the tasks given.  He just doesn’t understand the initial directions unless shown an example.  So, long story short, he’s doing well in rote academic areas (reads like you wouldn’t believe and is doing 1st grade math) but he’s way behind in the comprehension areas.  He is unable to answer “wh” questions about any given topic.  This is one of his goals, however, and we are seeing some progress in this area.  The abstract concepts are just not there for him.  But, he has a GREAT therapist that works with him every day after school, and boy does she make him work!  He’s exhausted when he gets home, but it’s helped so much with keeping his brain active and on task.  I see far less “stimming” (that’s repetitive actions that help to calm him or block out the world around the world-he mostly engages in verbal stimming) and get more eye contact out of him than ever before.  As an example, on Sunday, Bryce was down the hall in church by himself and Jamie came in the door.  Unprompted, he said, “Hi, Aunt Jamie.”  Jamie said hello and asked, How are you?  Bryce replied, “I’m fine, thank you.”  All unprompted.  All scripted, but he is learning to take the scripts he’s taught and generalize them in the proper settings.  Not a big deal to your typical kid’s parent, but a blessing to me! :)