Posted By admin on May 6, 2009
From the very beginning of this whole process, I’ve known that our biggest challenge would be getting the school district to teach Lyra Braille. I very quickly learned just how big that challenge was going to be.
On Lyra’s first day attending the preschool for her transition, I dropped her off at her classroom and went to meet with one of the IEP team members from the school district. This would be one of the “heated conversations” that I referred to in an earlier post. The purpose of our meeting was just to go over some questions I had, but somewhere in the middle of my questions, we got onto the subject of braille. During our discussion, this “education professional” said to me,
“We don’t have kids in this district who learn braille…kids who require braille in our district go to the state school for the blind.”
“I really think you should go back and do some more research about the braille before you make any decision.”
Another thing this person said to me, unrelated to braille was in response to my statement that I appreciate that they have experience with children with albinism, but Lyra’s needs are unique to her. Her response was, “Well no, actually her needs are not really unique…” going on to say that Lyra’s visual acuity and orientation and mobility needs were very similar to other kids with albinism.
I was beyond outraged! I could not believe this person had the nerve to say these things to me. However, I’m not one to hold a grudge and staying mad was not going to accomplish anything. So I moved on and focused my energy on Lyra and preparing for her IEP meeting.
I was able to get copies of the results for all of the school districts evaluations of Lyra, on the Friday before the first IEP meeting. They also gave me a copy of the first 4 pages of their “draft” IEP. Had I not written a letter formally requesting that, I don’t think they would have given them to me. results the Friday before the Monday IEP meeting. Thank goodness I was able to get those because after seeing them, I CLEARLY had my work cut out for me! Here are links to the documents I received. The Learning Media Assessment (LMA) was so far off base it was almost comical. The draft IEP is what they had put together without ANY input from me. They basically took bits and pieces of the FVA and O&M report out of context and inserted them into the IEP to make it suit their opinion and objectives. If you compare the two together, the LMA totally contradicts the LMA.