Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The School Decides on a 504 Accommodation Plan

So, observation after observation went on, and tests, and questionnaires one after another were sent home to us. I felt like it was a little redundant, being that MJ had already been diagnosed by trained professionals and doctors, and yet the school seemed to want to come to their own decision, but I filled them out and sent them back in.

After 2-3 weeks the social worker got back to me and told me MJ didn't really have too many problems with social issues and that he had a lot of friends. This I'm not so sure if I agree totally with because I see MJ as one who thinks he is playing along or kids are playing with him and yet he's not really involved or doesn't realize that the other kids aren't paying attention to him, but oh well, it wasn't a huge deal yet. I was more concerned with the miscommunications and problems that were happening within the academic school setting. She said she had reviewed the tests and previous testing and did see a need that MJ needed some accommodations.

Yay! Finally! I was thinking, yay, he would finally have an I.E.P. But I was wrong. The social worker said she would rather not do an I.E.P. because then he would "have to be labeled as autistic" and they didn't want to "do that to him" (like in a negative tone, like it was leprosy or something). Now, I was thinking. Isn't that what he had? Yes. He has Asperger's. Isn't that a kind of high functioning autism? Or did they not think that and they would think that was wrong? They said it wouldn't be a good idea to put that label on him now, but we might choose to do so when he entered Junior High depending on how things go. OK, so I still don't understand why this would be wrong or not. It's not like we're lying or something, but I guess they felt he shouldn't be put into that category for some reason. I don't think it's like he's going to have a sign around his neck that says "I have autism!", but then again, I guess I am just confused.

Anyway, she tells me they can set up something called a 504 Plan (which I already knew all about and was glad to get it after so long of nothing) that was a way of making up binding accommodations for those with disabilities that don't qualify for special ed services or an I.E.P (Individualized Education Plan).

I was excited to finally have something. She said we would meet later that week with her, the teacher, and the principal to make a list of goals, and objectives to meet those goals.

So this was good! Maybe this would be a start! I spent the week researching and reading up on every legal right that a kid with Asperger's should be allowed in a school setting, and I prepared myself for what I should request when we would meet.

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