Thursday, July 23, 2009

Completing the 504 Plan

So, we met with the Social Worker, the Principal, and MJ's teacher on a Friday to write up a list of goals on the 504 plan. If you aren't familiar with what this is, it is basically a binding contract between the student, parents, and teachers as to what goals are to be met and how each person is going to contribute to making these goals happen. On one side is the goal, and on the other side is what each member of the team will do to aide in this goal.

As we sat together, it was interesting as I realized me as the parent probably knew the most about what was to take place and what should be established. I was impressed that the social worker and the principal had been researching into Asperger's and they had several articles they had pulled up on the internet, and the Principal referred to a book about Asperger's. So it was good to know they were actually interested and wanted to to their best.

Anyway, here is what was established:

They set up 3 main goals.

1-Organization (to help him get more organized, i.e. having teacher sign planner and review that he has actually gotten his stuff in his backpack to go home for homework)

2-Maintaining Personal Space (help him when cued to back up or give people more space)

3-Placement of Written Work on Page (using graph paper, limit written work, more oral type assignments)

So this was it for them, and being a good advocate for my child, I did not sign it, but told them I would take it home to review.

During the meeting the teacher kept saying there was a lot of things that she already incorporated with MJ in the classroom, but I felt that it would be best to have a legally binding document to keep her doing these things, so after a bit of extra researching and studying up on 504 Plans for Asperger's, I added 3 more goals and brought it back to the school. I added:

1-Executive Functioning (saying the teacher must monitor in class work, use direct and literal instructions, and give preferential seating close to the teacher)

2-Speed in Completing Assignments (allowing extra time for any tests or timed tests as needed)

3-Communication (cueing MJ to slow down or talk louder or softer depending on the given situation)

So, in the end, we had 6 goals for MJ and we all signed it and I was pretty happy with it being that they accepted everything I requested.

I was excited to see how this would make things more smoother for MJ and us. Hopefully now he wouldn't be coming home everyday with homework assignments, but not the homework. And hopefully he wouldn't be failing assingments because of these timed tests that were too fast for his processing delay. Hopefully he would be understanding more instructions that were literally directed to him and he was going to have a happier year.

Of course the only problem was that this was the middle of May, and school was basically over for the year, so we would only hope that starting out next fall that things would go smoothly. MJ was going to have the same teacher next fall for 4th grade (he's in a full time gifted program that joins every 2 grades together), and hopefully this year would be better.


Natalie said...

I have asperger's and ADHD and I am going to highschool next year. I know I'm a lot older than your son, but I'm highly intelligent and have always compensated for my issues, so I have only recently been diagnosed (about a year ago). I am looking into a 504 plan, especially for high school, so your blog post was very helpful!

awsome-kid9898 said...

mj your just like me. so don't feel like your the only one with asperger's because your not.

nick sawman