Disclaimer: if this is a confusing post it is because I had very little sleep last night and I have a baby that is finally sleeping in my in my arms.
We had Evan's first IEP meeting in preparation for Kindergarten on Wednesday. It was a very interesting process to get to the meeting and the meeting it's self was also rather eye opening. The preschool folks that did the evaluations were amazing. I think they did a great job with the IEP and if it is followed Evan should have a great school year.
Sometimes I wish that I could go back in time to the first time I was chatted with the neurologist about the effects of Evan's stroke. I would dope slap that man on the back of his head for telling me that Evan would show no signs of the stroke after a year. Maybe physically it could have been possible with a more mild stroke but Evan's stroke was not a tiny minor stroke. It took out a full third of his right hemisphere and that part of the brain controls more than just muscles.
This was really driven home when I was listening to everyone talk at the IEP meeting. The stroke affects how he sees things. He has trouble seeing things that come at him from the left. It has also hindered his ability to draw and write. Evan will not draw anything beyond lines and wonky circles when his peers are able to do a lot more. Evan writing his name is problematical for the same reason as the drawing.
Evan's language comprehension skills have also been hindered by his stroke. In novel situations where he is easily distracted he is less likely to be able to use different language skills that his peers can. He can do better when he is at home and in familiar surroundings but he would be lost in school if there were not going to be accommodations for him.
One of the biggest things that could hinder him is his easily distractible nature (another stroke issue). It can be hard for Evan to concentrate on what he is doing with out someone to help redirect him. We are hoping that we can easily get him a helper to sit with him in the classroom and keep him on task as well as helping him with physical tasks he needs assistance with. The budget crunch being what it is we may get some resistance with it but I am going to fight for that should they try and refuse. It would also help ease the pressure on the Kindergarten teacher who will also have other kids to deal with in the class.
I think the best part about the meeting was having my feelings confirmed about Evan's potential. He has the ability to be a smart kid that can catch up with his peers and learn to adapt to his brain injuries, we just have to get him the support he needs so that he is not forgotten and frustrated. It also confirmed my decision to send him to public schools. The services he will be getting are much more than I could even attempt at home and the specialists are much more trained to deal with them than I am.