Michael and I signed Finn’s IEP yesterday morning. We have declined everything except speech therapy.
Last I wrote, we had received the Minutes from the IEP meeting, and the Minutes cast us in a very negative light. We are still dumbfounded as to why the Director found it necessary to throw so much into the Minutes that was opinion; it wasn’t merely a dispassionate documentation of the discussion. After doing some research, we learned that by signing the IEP with those Minutes attached, we would basically be agreeing to everything contained in the Minutes, including the Director’s personal opinions and characterizations of us. So we did type up a Parent Addendum, which included a lot (but not all) of what I wrote in my draft response here. That is now attached to the IEP as well, so at least both sides of the story are documented.
Anyway, Finn will begin speech therapy next week. The main reason we consented to it is because the speech therapist who worked with Daisy (on an informal basis; she had some pretty severe enunciation issues, but no IEP) in preschool has availability to take Finn on. This is not at our home school, but it is at the same school in our town where four of our kids have attended preschool and one has attended middle school. So we’re familiar with the campus and already have a positive rapport with this speech therapist.
I’ll be honest and say that I’m still not completely sold on the idea that speech therapy is going to make a big difference for Finn at this point. At the very least, however, I figure it will allow him an opportunity to get his toes wet in classroom setting, taking instruction from someone other than a family member. The speech therapist called me this morning to set up a schedule for Finn (he will go twice a week beginning next week, one individual session and one small group session, each 30 minutes long), and she remembers our family and Finn as a baby from when she worked with Daisy three years ago. She really put me at ease about the whole thing, so I’m feeling pretty good about it.
So we put the whole IEP drama to rest for the time being. In the Spring, we start the whole process over with new assessments in preparation for placing Finn in preschool in Fall 2012. For now I’m going to enjoy the reprieve.