The Continuing Adventures of SuperPreemie

Updates ahoy!

Posted on: October 19, 2009

Lots of things to report, most of them school-related.

On Friday we had what I’ve been calling Shoshanna’s “not-an-IEP meeting”.  Because Shoshanna is identified as only needing physical therapy services, she doesn’t qualify for an IEP (individual education plan).  In my phone conversations with the coordinator, there had been discussion of her maybe getting services through Section 504 but it really did sound like a maybe.

This was my first such meeting; Matthew went to her IEP meeting when they started preschool services.  He’d pretty much told me what to expect.  After some hilarity with the previous meeting running long, the tape recorder refusing to work, etc. we got started.

  • I gave Shoshanna’s early history (the very short version) and current issues (including the verbal report from her recent private OT evaluation – more on that later).
  • Her classroom teacher gave a report on how she is in the classroom – which can be summarized as very bright but often unfocused.  She has trouble waiting her turn to talk, etc.  Mrs. S is dealing with this in part by being selective about where Shoshanna sits.  She is also, as her teacher puts it, a doodler, with possibly diminished fine motor skills (not so much skills as stamina, really).  Her work starts out neat but gets messy.  We discussed whether this was a function of personality or a function of her hand getting tired from extended writing; it’s hard to tell which at this point.  It’s something we will keep an eye on.
  • The school psychology intern reported on her observations of Shoshanna in the classroom – that she’s very verbal and personable, obviously bright.  And that once while she was in the classroom she witnessed Shoshanna crawl across the table to get something she needed on the other end rather than asking someone to pass it to her or walking around the table to get it.  The actual school psychologist hadn’t seen her because there’s no concern about her academically.
  • Then the coordinator read into the record the assessment of the PT who had looked at her records.  Recommendation of individual physical therapy two times per six-day “week” (her school is on a six-day schedule… it’s confusing for everyone involved) to work on skills such as stairs and gross-motor stamina.

I was shocked; we were SURE that they were going to deny services because she’s able to function effectively in the classroom.  So she’ll get PT at school!  After the main meeting, I chatted with the district’s 504 coordinator and the special ed teacher who oversees 504 at the school and we put down in writing the following accommodations or her:

  • Being near an adult on stairs, should be holding a handrail.
  • Supervision on the playground.
  • Being encouraged to not be “done” in PE class (when she gets tired, she will decide that she’s “done”).
  • Keeping her &#$* SureSteps on at school (twice she has decided to take them off).

And they are going to keep an eye on the fine motor stuff to try to figure out if it’s personality/maturity or a strength/endurance issue.  I need to forward the report from her OT eval and her old PT’s contact information to the 504 coordinator so it can make it into her file.

On Friday afternoon, she brought home her five-week progress report.  She is doing very well in everything academic, but got “needs improvement” in areas like “completes work neatly”, “stays in her seat” and … there was one other related area.  Mrs. S’s comment was that “her behavior is sometimes a distraction to those around her.”  She got good reports from art, music, and PE.

Based on all of this, we have two new descriptions of our girl:

Hermione Granger with ADD*
She’ll problem-solve her way into trouble any day.

Finally, the OT report.  Tuesday of last week Ms. Helene put her through her paces particularly focusing on her left arm.  She noted diminished strength and range of motion on the left side and will be recommending a specific type of stretching and therapy as well as the use of kinesio-tape to strengthen the affected muscles.  We will be pursuing this in addition to the in-school PT.

We also went to the dentist on Thursday.  S is a great dental patient, and her teeth look good.  She wasn’t able to hold the x-ray plate in her mouth so we’ll try that again in 6 months.  The “wear” on her incisors doesn’t appear to be increasing, so we’re just watching it and assuming that her adult teeth won’t be affected.

*No, she’s not formally diagnosed, nor are we going to make any motion towards any diagnosis anytime soon.  Could she have it?  Genetics ain’t on our side in this one.  But where’s the line between being just-turned-five and having ADD?  Impossible to tell, as far as we’re concerned.

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5 Responses to "Updates ahoy!"

Sounds like Shoshanna’s doing great and that this kindergarten will really attend to her needs! Awesome! Good luck with the distraction to other bits–I often had that trouble in my classes, usually because I was bored and loved attention. It can be really fun to deal with 😉

She doesn’t sound all that different from her mother at the same age with the kindergarten behavior.;-)

Or her father… we verified with Grandma that her progress report really only needed a name and date change to match M’s in kindergarten. In chatting with one the 2nd grade G&T teacher (who we happened to run into at an MoD fundraiser Monday night… and is also married to one of S’s pediatricians) we learned that this is typical of just about every kid in the G&T program.

sarah,

this sounds EXACTLY like Helene…

but then her social environment is probably quite similar too.. 🙂

T

What, you mean “when academics have babies”? 😉

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