Last week, I attended an IEP workshop at the Center for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing. Whew! Lots of information. The workshop focused on the transition from Birth to Three into IEP/School Education. IEP stands for Individual Education Plan. AJ currently has IFSP Individual Family Service Plans under the Birth to Three Program. IFSP meetings consist of the parent(s), child, Birth to Three service coordinator, and all your child's therapists (through Birth to Three) meeting together and discussing your childs needs, progress, and new goals. AJ's are around every 6 months.
Once he turns 3 (June!) he will transition into the school system. In February of 2009, we will have a transition meeting, to ensure that AJ's move from Birth to Three to the school system is as smooth as possible. We will then have an IEP meeting with the service coordinator for the school, the schools staff (therapists etc that would be providing AJ with PT, OT, Speech, etc.), any of AJ's current therapy team that we the parents want present, and us as parents. Whew!
I would encourage anyone and everyone who's child is going to be transitioning to attend a workshop or class designed to help with this process. It is a lot to digest.
I don't have enough room/time to explain all of the information that was given. However, I wlll share one thing that stands out in my mind. You as a parent are the biggest advocate for your child. Go into that meeting educated, do your research, and don't back down on what you truly want for your child. You may have to fight, but its for a great cause. AMEN!