Posted By admin on February 24, 2009
In my last post about Lyra’s IFSP-IEP transition, I said I would post the answers to my questions, in my next post. I apologize for keeping you all waiting for so long. I had intended to write that post before Lyra’s transition meeting on February 6th. We have already had that meeting, so I have twice as much information to share…well kind of. The actual “transition meeting” was rather uneventful. More on that later.
From our pre-“transition meeting” meeting we had back in January, I learned that our district has 4 Teachers of the Visually Impaired on staff. I was VERY pleasantly surprised about that! At least one of their TVI’s is also a Certified Orientation and Mobility Specialist. She happens to be the TVI assigned to Lyra’s IEP team. I learned our district also has at least one Occupational Therapist and 2 Speech and Language Pathologists.
Services can be direct, consultative, or both, depending on the type of service and Lyra’s needs. Children attend the preschool 2, 3, or 4 days per week, either mornings or afternoons. They told me it varies depending on the child’s needs and we wouldn’t know how often Lyra would attend until after her evaluation period.
The Early Childhood Special Education teachers that will be working with Lyra all have some experience with children who are blind or visually impaired, but not with a child with albinism. The seem to be very accepting of any information I can provide to help them be fully prepared to have Lyra as their student.
The teacher/child ratio concerns me a bit, but I may have misunderstood the information the gave. For every 1 teacher, they expect to have 20 students… so a 1 to 20 ratio. Yikes! They mentioned that there would also be paraprofessionals in the classroom, but I don’t remember how many or how often. I need to get clarification before our next meeting.
Regarding all the needed evaluations and assessments…what a crazy confusing process! Lyra’s Functional Vision Assessment(FVA) and Orientation and Mobility Assessment(O&M) will be completed by her current IFSP team and are both scheduled for March 12th. Her last FVA was when she was 19 months old and hr O&M assessment was when she was 16 months old. They definitely need updated. I’m not sure about the Learning Media Assessment and how/when it will take place. I will know more after her FVA. I still haven’t scheduled her an appointment to receive a Low Vision Evaluation. It’s on my “to do” list.
In addition to the results of those assessments, and the doctor/medical eye reports I will provide, the transition team will use at least 2 other evaluations/screening tests. One is called the Battelle Developmental Inventory and the other is called the Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System for Infants and Children (AEPS®). I know very little about either one of them.
The evaluations will be completed primarily through observation. Beginning on April 7th, Lyra will actually attend the preschool on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:15PM to 3:15PM. The evaluation period continues through the end of the school year which is May 20th. The person doing the evaluating will be the school psychologist and in consultation with a TVI. I’m not sure how I feel about this. As it seems, on April 7th she will basically be thrown into this preschool classroom that she has only seen ONCE and with 19 children she’s never met. From my “mommy point of view,” that is really scary. Let’s just put her in there and let her wing it. She may be able to fake it and get by for a while, but that will ultimately result in a lot of frustration and very little learning. Hopefully, as I get more information, I will learn that it’s not as bad as it seems.
A few weeks ago, Lyra and I were given a tour of the building and classrooms. Lyra had fun and I liked the indoor playground. However I was a little disappointed with classrooms. I know this is a state funded public preschool, so I can’t expect everything to be perfect. Overall, based on my observations, the classrooms didn’t seem to be designed with children with special needs in mind. For your average preschool child without any special needs…the classrooms were great!
But I’m Mom…and I’m picky and protective. Maybe I’m being a little too critical. For now we just have to wait and see. I’m hoping I will have the opportunity to observe an actual preschool class prior to April 7th. I really want to see what a typical preschool day looks like and look for anything that could potentially be challenging for Lyra.
Summer services, aka Extended School Year services are provided on a case by case basis. It will be up to the IEP team to determine whether or not Lyra can/should receive them. That can only be decided at her first IEP meeting which will not take place until after the evaluation period.
I’m EXHAUSTED! This is all so confusing and a little overwhelming at times. Please let me know if need to provide a better explanation regarding any of the information above.