In my last post, I discussed how an "earnings chart" can help children with special needs. This week, I want to tackle our "communication log," which is directly linked to our son's earnings chart.
Do any of you use some sort of "earnings chart" for your child on the autism spectrum?
Back when our child received DTT services 14 hours a week in our home, his DTT supervisor encouraged us to begin to use a behavioral earnings chart. During this time, our child was having too many tantrums and/or issues with compliance. Often, he would have these problems in relation to not getting a preferred item.
My son marched in his first parade this past weekend. The Montrose/Glendale area in California hosts an annual Holiday/Christmas parade in their "old town" section. It is generally a "local" event that features high school bands, local community service groups, and even a politician or two. Santa flies over the parade in a helicopter (Santa's a big hit!).
"Appropriate." This is a big word in the autism community.
We learned about this word years ago. We also learned why it is considered an important word. One big reason why the word "appropriate" is so important to us is that it is often applied during conversations with regional centers (in the state of California) and especially during IEPs. Therefore, I'd like to stress the importance of this word, "appropriate."
Why is it so important?
Is it ever possible to thank all of the autism people who have been involved in your child's life?
We had a party on the day of our child's first birthday. A friend mentioned something to us on that very day. Imagine your child's very first birthday party, your only child. You're so excited for that day. You've planned and worked hard so everything will be perfect. And, the day ends with you and your spouse pouring over autism-related websites wondering, "Is this my child?"
That friend was the first in a long line of friends we've had to thank. But, how?
You do not have to sign your IEP immediately at the end of the IEP meeting!
IEP meetings are exhausting. They can last as long as three hours, or longer! I have heard of ones that lasted six hours. I'm sure there are ones that have lasted even longer than that and have covered more than one day.
Last week, I received this question from a fellow autism mom:
"Is there any legal precedent for expediting our IEP meeting?"
What do you do if you disagree with your child's school district? Here's what we did when we found ourselves in our first school district disagreement.
When our child turned four, he finished up the year in his inclusion class at the school district pre-school. The class had a mixture of four-year-olds and three-year-olds. Around his birthday, we had our second IEP meeting and for the most part nothing was going to change with his services. He would continue to receive speech, OT, and remain in an inclusion class.
Now that your child's IEP is complete, what happens next?
Your child now attends a public pre-school, kindergarten, or elementary school. The school knows you child has an IEP. Now, you need to be sure that your child is receiving his or her services since those services will no longer take place in your home (where you know they're happening). You need to make sure the school is following ALL of the requirements of your child's IEP.
What can you do? How can you check up on your child's services?
Even if you're just starting out in the world of autism (or your child is somewhere on the spectrum), you may have heard these three initials... IEP. The Individualized Education Program (IEP) is an educational program designed specifically for your child by your school district.