Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Ellie Update: Finally! An IEP Is In Place!

Well ... two weeks came and went pretty quick, as well as these last two months! :-) What can I say? The holidays came and time got away from me. We are back on schedule now - between work and home - so I thought it a good time to catch everyone up.

We did have an initial S-Team meeting on Nov. 11. All usual staff was there: Ellie's teacher, principal, behavioral specialist that had been trying to work with Ellie since the October meeting and the school psychologist. At that time the behavioral specialist had been conducting periodic evaluations and had implemented some rewards systems. She went over her findings of those evaluations as well as how the rewards were affecting Ellie's behavior. She did seems to be improving, but at a slow climb. The school psychologist just listened in.

At the end of it all, the principal, teacher and BS agreed that Ellie displayed some "emotional disturbances." The psychologist agreed that it "sounded" like most of her behaviors were emotionally driven." (Without having evaluated Ellie herself she couldn't be certain.)

At that time no real recommendations were made. The BS said that we could keep going with the rewards system, however the team of ladies did make me aware of my rights to request a psych eval. (I think maybe that was their way of dropping a hint to please request one.) No worries; I wanted an extensive evaluation done anyway, so I did make the request.

Side note: When the school psychologist does this evaluation it's actually done over a couple of different examinations in different settings. Ellie received one in a classroom setting as well as in a one-on-one session.

For the remainder of November and December Ellie greatly improved; she brought home stickers nearly every day. Before Christmas break we all agreed to meet again this Jan. 6.

Without going into great detail or all that psych jargon, we did have our final S-team meeting last week, and it was determined that Ellie does qualify for Special Education services, and in her particular case an IEP (Individual Education Program) was recommended. FINALLY!

Ellie now has two 30-minute "pull-outs" each day as well as a 45-minute "push-in." What that means is that for an hour each day she is pulled out of her classroom to go work one-on-one with a Special Education teacher or Spec. Ed. teacher aide. Those two pull-out sessions focus on improving Ellie's language, reading and math skills. The push-in time is when a Spec. Ed. teacher (or Spec. Ed. teacher's aide) comes to work with Ellie in her classroom setting. In Ellie's particular case, this person also attends lunch with her because that is usually the place where Ellie tends to display her worst behaviors. So it's like she has her own personal lunch buddy now.

I couldn't be happier! They implemented this IEP the very next day, so it's only been a week. It's probably too early to see how well it's working, but I am so pleased that we are finally getting somewhere with her.

Now yesterday was a hard day for her - first one in over a month! So, because of that I didn't spank her when we got home, but I did take away the TV, the computer and Monk Monk for the night.

Thank you all for your prayers and for loving my baby girl. She is finally getting the help she needs. Please keep praying for her - that she continues to do well.