At precisely 8:30 the four Carlins drove this morning into the parking lot of Mictchell School, 3100 Harvard, for our transitional meeting with the school district.
"How may we help you?"
"Yes, we're here for a transitional meeting...we're the Carlins."
"You must be in room 39. Down the hall, take a left, follow the white line up the ramp."
Following the painted white line took us out of the scarily ill-constucted, temporary construction company trailor like "building", around a mac truck and into another equally badly fashioned structure. We met our Regional Center contact upon opening the door and sat ourselves down at a child's play table.
We were joined shortly by the transitional meeting coordinator and speech professional for the district.
All those that I've spoken to regarding these meetings with the school district strongly
suggest taping each and every contact with them. When I suggested we tape, they said this would mean they would have to tape to, although no one moved to get a tape recorder and glared at me like I had a tooth growing from my nose, so I didn't press it.
So then we began. Basically the coordinator listed a series of additional assessments (going into the teens at least for the number of assessments Luke has had to undergo since we received his diagnosis last year) .
It was then explained to us that the very school in which we were meeting, children with various needs are eductated. They accomodated
down syndrome children, those that are medically fragile, ADD, those with ortheopeadic problems, autistic children and others. All in one school.
I felt suddenly like I was hurling back through time into the dark ages wherein those with less than "typical" behaivors and conditions were all placed together in one big facility. Didn't matter what the individual actually required for the particular challenge they were facing. Just so long as they weren't with the rest of the "typical" people.
But alas, this wasn't the dark ages at all. It is today. Autistic, down syndrome, add, medically fragile children and yes even those with ortheopedic problems all learn differently.
At last we were given a tentative date for the dreaded but necessary IEP (Individualized Educational Program) meeting. December 6. There will be at least 10 people present to decide the education of my little boy. We will have our attorney and the supervisor of his ABA program and hopefully that will be enough. I'll be thrilled to have it behind us.
In the stupor of baby daze fatigue last night, I managed a relatively active game of livingroom-soccer with Luke. Encouraged by the fact that he actually kicked the ball to me -- a huge development since he doesn't usually reciprocate. "Playing" is not something Luke knows by instinct but he is learning. We've had a good four days in a row. Better days may be ahead.