Monday, April 27, 2009

New Development: Andy

So we are preparing for Andy to enter kindergarden. Andy is not autistic, but he has some definite sensory issues that need to be addressed. He can't deal with noise. He needs movement. And we're not even addressing his speech at this point- the school SLP keeps saying he's fine, but then I hear him next to other kids his age. And even by ourselves, he can be difficult to understand.

We had him evaluated, and it was determined he did not require special education. Well, OK, not even speech? Hmmmm. Stay tuned on that front.

Our OT put together a nice little letter about his needs and methods that might be effective. I sent it to the school. Today, I got a nice email asking me to make an appointment... not with the special ed coordinator/vice principal, but with the principal. I called and set it up with the principal's secretary right away.

I'm a little nervous. First, I'm leary of meeting with someone whom I was unaware of being part of special ed services loop. This was higher than I thought was necessary to discuss my child's placement. This could be a good thing, perhaps she needs to sign off on a 504, or I need to ask for one from her, as part of the process. Or it could be a railroading tactic- getting in there and being told there is no such thing as sensory integration dysfunction and I should shut up and go away. That happened when we noted the school OT wasn't doing sensory integration for Joey, and we had to go to the Special Education Director. I have to think of a plan in case this is a railroading- like putting the new special ed director on speed dial on my cell phone (and remember, I don't usually carry around my cell phone.)

Second, should I be prepping for this just as I would for an eligibility meeting, if I am going to go in and ask for a formal 504? I don't have a lot of time. The appointment is Thursday. What paper do I need to bring with me? Should I have Andy's notebook in order? I suspect it would be a good idea to be prepared. Perhaps having some statement from Joey's teacher- who has at least glimpsed Andy and his issues- might be a good idea. Or not. We don't want to get her in trouble.

Finally, what if I am told something like, we'll do this, but we don't do 504s?


kristi said...

Hmmmmmm.......just meet with her and be sure and take questions with you.

My son's principal is VERY involved, thankfully!

farmwifetwo said...

Have you ever had him tested for Non-verbal learning disorder. I had no idea it existed when we were told. Now, his paperwork reads "a mild form of ASD" which with the S/L delay it was. B/c without "autism" we couldn't get OT for more than consult and only fine motor. No sensory. Like all dx's... this one is not "engraved in stone" b/c we don't have all of the points either nor all severe or mild... but an FYI.

What is NLD? Nonverbal learning disorders (NLD) is a neurological syndrome consisting of specific assets and deficits. The assets include early speech and vocabulary development, remarkable rote memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development and excellent spelling skills. In addition, these individuals have the verbal ability to express themselves eloquently. Moreover, persons with NLD have strong auditory retention. Four major categories of deficits and dysfunction also present themselves:

•motoric (lack of coordination, severe balance problems, and difficulties with graphomotor skills).

•visual-spatial-organizational (lack of image, poor visual recall, faulty spatial perceptions, difficulties with executive function* and problems with spatial relations).

•social (lack of ability to comprehend nonverbal communication, difficulties adjusting to transitions and novel situations, and deficits in social judgment and social interaction).

•sensory (sensitivity in any of the sensory modes: visual, auditory, tactile, taste or olfactory)

*definition of executive function: Neuropsychological functions including, but perhaps not limited to, decision making, planning, initiative, assigning priority, sequencing, motor control, emotional regulation, inhibition, problem solving, planning, impulse control, establishing goals, monitoring results of action, self-correcting. From

Joeymom said...

It doesn't sound like Andy has this, but I am definitely going to pass this along to some other families, and keep it in mind as we look at the evals and issues with Andy. (After all, I didn't think Joey had sensory issues until his OT specifically pointed them out and demonstrated the problems he was having because of them...)

Stimey said...

I would go in prepared for the worst, but hoping for the best. Get the notebook up to date and review why he needs a 504, plus look through his documentation for things that back it up. You know your stuff; I don't believe you will let them bulldoze you. Good luck!