So one of the goals that I referred to in my first post was that I wanted to get Joshua back into general education, and out of a center based program. (If you are a parent new to this click here please!) Well, I have some great news on that front. I'm happy to report that I spoke with the school social worker for our home district. (Josh is currently in a county wide program so he is bused to a neighboring district to the center.) We had an IEP (Individualized Education Program) meeting back in February and I told the staff that I would like for Joshua to be moved to an ASD program if there was an appropriate program available for him. So 2 of the people who will be helping me in picking the right program and reintegrating him to general ed have already been in to observe him in his current class, and they also think that he is ready to move. Yay! I can't tell you how happy I am to hear that! So the next step is to meet with a couple of teachers for one of the programs, and have Joshua visit the class room and participate in some of the activities. This meeting has been set up for early next week and I am excited to post about that next week because I'm expecting great news!!
***If you are a parent of an autistic child and are new to this kind of information DO NOT take this statement at face value!! You need to understand the school system where you live. We lived in a county with little resource, but also fewer special ed children to serve. They had some special ed support in the general ed school, which was where Joshua spent most of his time. But then he needed more support and the ASD program was in a center based school that he would have to be moved to. Only special needs children there. Lots of severe mental and physical handicaps. We moved to a new county, more people, more special needs and more services. Here the center based schools don't have ASD programs, the general ed schools handle that. So that's a better placement for him. However... the IEP (Individualized Education Program) we had done from the previous county stated that he was to be placed in a center based school. He had regressed badly by that time and I did allow him to be placed in a more intensive intervention program. Now that we have stabilized from the regression from that year, and have even regained many skills, I think it's best for him to be reintroduced to general ed, with the support of the local ASD program. I hope this helps you, and if you have more questions by all means, leave a comment.