Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Today was the much anticipated IEP meeting at school. All sorts of people with important looking initials after their names had done a full range of evaluations on Ryan and today was the day that we learned of the results. Or were suppose to, but really I only feel more confused.

Ryan's evaluations show that he has a learning disability. Only I don't really understand what kind of a learning disability he has. Shouldn't that be obvious? Isn't the term "learning disability" a pretty general condition? (See, you're confused now, too, aren't you?)

He struggles in Reading and Math. He has Motor Planning and Sensory Issues. I did pick up on some low scores regarding Auditory Processing. I may have also heard someone say "not related to his hearing loss" at some point during the meeting. They all seemed to rush through their reports or were speaking another language all together, and I had a hard time making sense of it all. The part I did pick up on over and over again? "Bottom line of average. Below average."

This all important meeting is being concluded in two weeks because his Speech Therapist didn't show up today. So I'm pretty sure I'll be on the phone with the person in charge of all of this tomorrow - asking her to go over all of this in English because I want to know what is wrong with my baby!

Bottom line? My son is struggling in school and it's not his fault and I have to force myself to believe that it's not *our* fault. He qualifies for Special Education, Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy and a Hearing Consultant. Their major goal right now is to close the gap from between where he stands right now educationally to where his peers stand. I should be glad they are so proactive, but I just wish I could understand more of what is going on. I wish I knew what to do.

This is where it really hits home that my mother in law isn't with us anymore. I'd give almost anything right now to be able to ask her for help. She was a Speech Pathologist and knew her stuff. We'd always go straight to her and have a pow wow when these meetings were over.

Where in the world do we go from here?


maggie said...

((hugs to you, Lynda)) I do hope you will be able to get some straight talk answers. I'd imagine having that much technical information all at once by all different people would be crazy overwhelming, but when it's explained bit by bit in layman's terms, I bet it will be much easier to absorb and understand. I'm so sorry that your mother in law isn't there to help you sort this out - it's like insult to injury. Still, you are clearly very committed and determined to understand what your baby needs and to make sure he gets whatever that is, and that alone goes a very, very long way. Hang in there.

Mz Diva said...

If you don't get the answers you need I will be more than happy to help you understand some of the terms you may not be unfamiliar with. It is almost like another language! If you need help translating the "acadmeia speak" into English or there is something you want to know, just ask. If I dont know, I will tell you that too but I work with someone who specializes in learning disabilites.

For example,there are people who have auditory processing issues and do not have hearing or speech problems. That may be what you heard the lady saying. The brain picks up messages in many ways, language, sight, senses, movement and others. Sometimes there is a delay between what is being said or seen and what the brain in processing. That is a really simple explanation but different disabilites require different interventions. Even with interventions, sometimes it takes awhile for the child to learn what tricks will work to help them compensate for thier disability.

If I were a mom I would just want to help my kid too. Ryan is lucky to have a mom who is on top of things. I am glad that the schools out there are proactive with learning disabilites.

MamaFlo said...

Take a deep breath and keep asking questions. Write down what you don't understand and tell these Academics that they need to speak to you so that you understand.

Has Ryan himself talked with you about this? Sometimes everyone forgets to ask the child what they see. hear, think.

All you can do is give him love and encouragement, it's Ryan that has the hard work ahead of him (so what he feels really is important).

We're all here for you Lynda, we're here to listen and encourage you.

Grandma is there, and she will ensure that your family makes it through this bump.


Jon & Emily said...

heck, i used to be a teacher & after hearing everyone's different reports in those meetings, i always sat there feeling so sorry for the parents b/c it was even confusing for me to follow. it's even more frustrating that you may know what the problem is...just not sure what to do about it! my advice is to follow your gut on all of this. Em