Springtime at the Bissell’s means annual IEP time. IEP stands for Individualized Education Program (or Plan). Children who receives special education services must have an IEP. At least once a year we meet with educators and therapists to review the IEPs for each of the boys. Every 3 years they have to have a complete evaluation. This is often a very stressful time for parents. However, I’m thankful to live in a state with a good public school system and a district that really cares about children with special needs. This is not usually the case and why we will not move out of our town.
This year will be a big transition for Anthony as he moves from Middle School to High School. It is also time for his 3 year evaluations, which works out well. Yes, time sure does fly! Anthony attends a special needs collaborative for kids with severe disabilities. A Collaborative is an educational program that combines resources from several different regional school districts in order to provide services for kids with exceptional needs more efficiently and economically. This is done through a “collaborative” effort. Many school districts don’t have enough students with significant needs to put together their own specialized program. While inclusion in the local school should always be considered, it’s not always the best fit for all children.
Anthony has made minimal gains in most developmental areas, and has had a few setbacks due to his big surgery last October. Most notably, he has less range of motion and less tolerance for his stander. But he has an excellent physical therapist who is working hard to get Anthony back to his base-line.
We were excited to hear that the Collaborative will be starting a new program for high school students that will be closer to home and also some of Anthony’s current therapists will be going to the new program, including his physical therapist. This will make the transition much easier for Anthony.