Preschool, Food Allergies and IEP's "OH MY"!

Let me take a moment to introduce myself. My name is Lara and I am a single mother by choice to 3.5 year old twin boys, Clay and Reese. I have been following HDYDI for a couple of years now and I am very excited to be a contributor. I really enjoy blogging but due to my schedule recently my blog has been ignored. I am hoping that writing here will re-ignite my blog writing, the boy’s being in preschool again will also help.

The countdown has begun! As of right now there are 13 days left until preschool starts this year, I can vividly remember one of the back to school commercials with the parents singing “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. We had a taste of it last year from January-June and everyone benefited, but it didn’t come without some work. They attended two 1/2 day sessions a week. This year they are going 4 full days.  We are blessed enough to have a wonderful public school system in a very small community. When my son Reese was aging out of early intervention and still needed services the next place was the public preschool. Initially I was told that only he was going to be admitted mid-year but I put my foot down, insisted that I was not sending one without the other, and suddenly they had spots for both boys. I got that news in September. The boy’s turned 3 years old in December and Reese’s services at that point would be the school’s responsibility. There was a lot of meetings and planning.

In September, I met with the principal, speech therapist, occupational therapist, school nurse, preschool teacher and his current therapist’s, to decide what his “needs” were and if further testing would be required prior to writing his IEP (Individual  Educational Plan).  It was decided that no further testing was needed but that a plan was needed to address his severe peanut allergy in the classroom and seizure disorder. I did my research and came back with a plan in October when we sat down to write the plan.

Thankfully, his peanut allergy is by ingestion only so he can be near peanut products. I was so afraid he was going to be ostracized because of the school’s fears. But a plan was developed that they felt safe with and that I could live with. Of course we need to revisit the plan this year since he will be eating lunch there. As for the seizures, again it was the education of the staff but in this case it was my feeling safe with the plan.

The IEP was like a foreign language to me, luckily a good friend of mine is a special education teacher and reviewed it prior to me signing it. He receives 30 minutes of Speech and OT a week right now, which will be re-evaluated in October.  I have noticed a difference in his speech intelligibility and his confidence. My concerns have now shifted to his emotional regulation, inattentiveness and impulsiveness, all of these will be discussed.

Clay had some trouble adjusting to Reese being pulled for his services, but they were great in the beginning and just let him go also. I have found the structure, activities and time away from home to be very positive for both boys’. With that said it had been a lot of work, letting go and trusting other’s to keep my children safe and just watching them grow up.

3 thoughts on “Preschool, Food Allergies and IEP's "OH MY"!

  1. I’m glad to hear you’ve got a great team to support your children. We’ve had some speech delays to deal with (I’ll post about it tomorrow), and knowing that people are working together with a common goal of helping a child is great. Especially when they can talk to each other in the same language rather than relying on you to relay messages back and forth.

  2. Pingback: Come visit me over at HDYDI.. | Me and My Guys

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