Friday, May 18, 2012

It's Friday- Time for Special Needs Ryan Gosling

Once again it's Friday and I am participating in the Special needs Ryan Gosling meme started by Sunday Stillwell at -Adventures in Extreme Parenthood.  You can find more of these on her blog.

It's so great to not have to go through those IEP meetings anymore.  I was clueless during most of the IEP years because The Boy wasn't diagnosed with Asperger's until almost high school.   During the beginning years I was just grateful for ANYTHING the school offered him, including speech therapy before he even started kindergarten.

Mrs. F, The Boy's speech therapist in elementary school was a blessing to us.  The Boy started speech therapy with her when he was just 3 years old, after his preschool teachers were concerned about his speech.

These first teachers actually thought he had a hearing problem which we quickly ruled out through testing.  They also were the ones who told me to contact the school because he might be eligible for free speech therapy even though he was two years away from going to kindergarten.

We were so lucky to get him in with Mrs. F, the speech therapist.  By the time he started kindergarten he was already familiar with the elementary school (after going there 2 or 3 time a week for two years) and he was in speech with Mrs. F from age 3 until third grade.

During the elementary school years,  she recommended the teachers she thought would work best with The Boy and so every year I didn't worry.   He was always placed with teachers that he liked and worked well with.  That didn't always happen during middle and high schools when he had to change classes and had a different teacher for every subject.

It wasn't necessarily the IEP meetings that were the worst.  I actually only remember two IEP meetings when I didn't agree with what the school.  One was his Junior year when they were going to take away one of his accommodations which let him turn work in late.

 He was going to loose this accommodation starting his Senior year, which they said would help "prepare" him for college.  I sucked it up and decided not to try to fight it and in the end, The Boy didn't need it anyway.  He was pretty motivated his Senior year to get out of that place.

The worst meetings were the parent/teacher meetings that I had to schedule when one or more of the teachers weren't following the IEP or were just clueless about The Boy's differences.  It seemed like EVERY year during middle school that there was at least one teacher who was completely inflexible and was just going to stay that way no matter what.

Most of the other teachers were very accommodating and almost all of his special ed teachers were extremely helpful, but limited on what they could do since during middle school he was just diagnosed with ADD, which basically didn't get you much back then.  Having an Asperger's diagnosis changed everything for The Boy when he made it to high school.

However, during 6th grade I had at least twelve of these parent/teacher meetings throughout the year and The Boy ended up having to go to summer school anyway.  The Boy actually liked summer school and did well there.  He had to attend summer school after his Freshman and Sophomore years too.

Having less classes to focus on was very beneficial to him during the summer.  During a normal semester of school, he struggled trying to keep up with 5 or 6 classes.  I always thought he would have done better if the semesters were shorter with 3 or 4 during a normal school year instead of 2 and each semester having only 2 or 3 classes at a time.

Who knows.  I'm just glad he's out of high school.  He is too!


  1. We've got an IEP meeting coming up next week! Wanna loan me Ryan?

    1. He's yours! Good luck with the IEP meeting!

  2. IEP meetings want to make me crawl into a fetal position too.

  3. I'm so glad we've had great teachers to guide me through IEPs because I am clueless when it comes to them. Love your memes. :)

  4. Thanks! Having a teacher or someone "on the inside" to help guide you through makes all the difference in the world.