3.14.2006

Adios, Iron Gate!

Yesterday was Leelo's last day at Iron Gate. Woo hoo!

I will miss Sage, and the kids, and the very cool parents, and Teacher P. I will not miss being the parent of the outlier kid who needs all the special attention and is always causing a disruption, and whose classmates do not invite him over for playdates (though their parents, especially those who are family friends, have been very thoughtful).

The exception is his classmate Navidad, who adores Leelo and could care less about his odd behavior, and who is now his facilitated playgroup partner on Fridays. I just love that girl.

I am going to one final class meeting tonight, as it is the all-school evaluation and it is the responsible thing to do--my input is expected. However, after that I am cut loose! No more night classes, maintenance work, fundraising, any of that shit, until Mali goes in next year. Woooo dawgie.

I don't know how all those other Iron Gate families keep it together. I am exhausted. Beyond exhausted. I wanted to quit months ago but, of course, will do anything for my little guy--and so stuck it out.

Yesterday was also Leelo's final day of independent Occupational Therapy (OT). Thursday will be his final speech therapy session with Therapist A, who did his first ever intake when he'd just turned two, taught his infant-toddler language class, and basically has been the only person who's seen Leelo through his entire delayed development arc.

Oh well. ALSO, his new school, costs not a whole lot more for 9 hours of instruction per week (including an hour of OT) than 1.5 hours of speech and OT did at the same facility. I think it's a good swap.

This morning I went to check out the local Deadwood School District autism preschool. The special ed folks wanted me to see it because if they are able to create an autism kinder class next year, these are the kids and that is pretty much the setup said class will have.

It was a great class. It was also shockingly similar to the ALSO preschool. I mentioned this to The Head, and she concurred. Apparently the two programs swap teachers frequently, and so were developed along similar tracks.

The Head and I agreed that Leelo will need a kinder placement for next year, and that placement should be in a special ed class--ideally the autism kinder class if it does in fact happen. She said that it was too bad we didn't get Leelo in the autism preschool at the beginning of the year, as now it was too late. I said that we really did think Iron Gate was going to work out this year, and that's why we never investigated the school district class.

She also said that they could start offering him speech and OT as soon as we get things squared via the IEP. Which she will call me to schedule within the week. And about which she told me to not be afraid, that they're fairly easy people to work with and that I don't have to agree to everything proposed in the first meeting.

We're finally moving along. I knew we'd be in IEP land one day, and here we are. Should be interesting. I hope hope hope we never ever have to end up bringing a lawyer on board.

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