Sunday, May 15, 2011


The end of the school year is always getting busy! Extra school activities are happening right and left before the school doors are closing for the year.

At the same time as we're busy with Sarah's school activities. We're busy working with the school district on finding the right solution for Jacob in the fall.

A team of a social worker, school psychologist, nurse, occupational therapist, and speech therapist have all met with Jacob at Bal Swan and at home. They were going into the meeting with the view that Jacob could simply go to public kindergarten with a para. It didn't take more than one meeting for them to completely change their mind, and the whole team recommended that Jacob should simply stay at Bal Swan. We have the best school solution for Jacob right now, so why change it? They were very impressed with what he is offered at Bal Swan, and they were overwhelmed by Jacob's medical care. In one meeting, Jacob needed help breathing, needed suctioning, and yes had a seizure.

The Director of Special Education didn't like the team's recommendation. She now wants an IEP meeting where the team should find a way to bring Jacob to public kindergarten and/or offer Jacob homebound school services. Our wish to stay at Bal Swan will also be discussed.

Mama Bear is wide awake! Having two kids in our school district struggling with financial budget cuts right and left, this doesn't make sense! The team knows that they can't offer as good medical care as we currently have at Bal Swan. Secondly, our current solution for a whole school year will probably not pay for more then 1-2 weeks of public kindergarten when you start talking transportation, private nurse, school equipment and therapies for Jacob. And they want to offer us that despite us not even wanting it???

It pissed me off that I was told that the IEP meeting has to happen before the end of the school year, so I have the summer to appeal. So, a decision has already been made that we won't like???

Mama Bear is on high alert. I am preparing numbers and my own business case for the meeting. I am bringing Papa Bear, Jacob's teacher, and our ARC advocate to the IEP meeting that will at least have 10+ people in the room. I was getting a whole laundry list of people who will attend - including the assistant director of Special Education.

At the same time as I am not happy to have to start fighting with the school district, I couldn't help to love Sarah and her friend being Jacob's teachers on Friday afternoon. They wanted to help Jacob to learn his letters. They sang the alphabet song - over and over again - to help Jacob memorize his letters. Each time Jacob moved his lips, they both interpreted what letter Jacob was trying to say. It was amazing, and that made me smile, and realize that all of this politcal stuff doesn't truly matter. We will still do what is right for Jacob - with or without the Director of Special Education.

Have a great week! - Maria.

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