Monday, April 14, 2014

DSR Episode #26: 321Foundation & IEPs!

Just a catchup episode here to keep you up to date.
First we did a quick wrap up on World Down Syndrome Day (March 21).  Then we jumped into the newest and coolest Ds Organization – the 321Foundation.  This new organization was started by a group of families in Delaware – One of which was our very own Rick Kosmalski!  Go Rick and friends!  Check them out at their site and go and like them on Facebook.  Check out the pictures of their kickoff gala on WDSD and while you are there, buy a T-shirt!

Then we simply gave a ‘kid by kid’ update on the IEP process.
  • Dexter (~3yrs) is just entering the school system.  Jason had their IEP but they are already in a private preschool and getting some private therapy so it was pretty low key.
  • Luke (5 yrs) is ready to go to Kindergarten.  Mark is worried about inclusion and the fact that there is only one teacher for ~25 kids. Luke will likely need some in-class support (an aide).  When you want more than they are willing to give – that is when IEP meetings are tense.  Our plan – bring food! (we actually give more advice in the episode – you should listen…)
  • Kayla (7 yrs) is in second grade – To Rick, the whole thing is dependent on the teacher – a good teacher means Kayla will have good year.  At this point the IEP is really a update from the previous year with improvements based on lessons learned.
Here are some lessons learned:
  • In general as husbands, we take on the role of ‘bad cop.’
  • It is best to ‘go in with a plan’ – in other words, know what services you want in advance.
  • The teacher is crucial.
  • If you feel that the situation/services set up is not working for your child, intervene IMMEDIATELY.  A ‘wait and see’ or ‘just give it a few months’ is just a bad idea.  You can quickly miss a half a year this way…
If you are looking for a good cause, our first ever DSR guest from waaay back in Episode 3, Dan Moreno, is running a 50K (that’s 31 miles!) in the mountains and desert(!) this weekend.  Show him some love and donate a few bucks to support Research Down Syndrome.
Sorry we haven’t had an episode in a while.  We have two great guests lined up, but we have had bad luck coordinating schedules.  We will keep the episodes coming – don’t worry…
Download Down Syndrome Radio, Episode #26.
Better yet…subscribe, rate us and leave a comment on iTunes!

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