I woke up at 4 o'clock this morning with knots in my stomach. The anticipation of Payton's eligibility meeting for her kindergarten transition was killing me. The transition meetings are two-fold... first there is eligibility to deem her eligible for special education services and to reassign her a label... and then there is her IEP meeting... during which the dreaded placement is determined.
Several weeks ago... I consented to a full battery of psychological testing on Payton. I was not exactly sure I did the right thing in consenting to the cognitive piece, as I do not necessarily agree that performing an IQ test on a 5 year old with Down syndrome is a reliable thing to do. Nonetheless... I consented because I was confident in Payton and her abilities.
Payton and her amazing teacher of two years
Going into today's eligibility meeting, I was so afraid that they were going to throw this unreliable IQ number across the table and claim that she automatically fell into an ID (intellectually disabled) label... which is the new MR (mentally retarded) label. Currently, Payton has a DD (developmentally delayed) label... as does every other preschool child with special needs.
Long story short... the time constraints did not allow the psychologist to conduct the cognitive testing. I was freakin elated... normally time constraints would not fly with me, but for this... I'll take it since I was not sure I really wanted it. So the outcomes were completely based on reporting of Payton's teacher, the social worker, me and the bits and pieces that the psychologist has seen Payton.
Payton and one of her classroom aides of two years
The psychologist handed me her report and began speaking. She went through the scores and went on and on about how well Payton has done. Her scores average out just slightly below average... and whew... open the freakin flood gates! I covered my face with the report and couldn't keep it in... I was ecstatic. I brought the paper away from my face and the psychologist asked me, "Are those happy tears or sad tears?" Happy tears, of course! And then the social worker started crying... and then Payton's teacher started crying.
How did we get so freakin lucky!?! I freakin love them. I love that they see the Payton that I see.
Payton and one of her classroom aides of two years
Based on all of this, the social worker said, "We cannot even consider the ID label. Payton's scores are way too high." Oh.my.goodness those words were music to my ears. Not because I am in denial over Payton's progress or her diagnosis... but because I do not want her tagged with a bulls eye on her forehead. It should not be that way... but sadly, it often is.
So we remain with a DD label and we will reevaluate before she turns 7 years old. Good by me! Next up: reconvene next week to set IEP goals and determine placement.
I didn't even know there was a difference in 'labels' (ID and DD). Lauren has her next IEP meeting in October, I will have to find out.ReplyDelete
Also, WAY TO GO PAYTON!
That is such wonderful news, way to go Payton. Kuddos to the team that decided they would go off of what everyone that knows her thinks of her abilities :-)ReplyDelete
This is completely off topic from your post, but I have to make the comment that Payton has THE most beautiful eyes. I don't know if its the lighting or just Payton, but her eyes just sparkle in the 3rd picture.ReplyDelete
You got my crying. Soooo happy for you and Payton.ReplyDelete
Crying at work again... I should have known. You get me everytime. So happy that everything went Payton's way today. I am still trying to get used to the idea that Payton is going to be a Kindergarter this year. Which also brought to the realization that I will miss all of her performances... more tears. Ugh! I just love that smile!ReplyDelete
Bethany, I am just thrilled for you (AND PAYTON!). We have 2 years to get Micah there and we have our work cut out for us.ReplyDelete
That is GREAT news!!! Way to go Payton!! This made me cry too! It is so nice to have such a nice team that roots for Payton!!!ReplyDelete
what an amazing set of teachers..how lucky to have people that believe so much in her...ReplyDelete
and way to make me cry...
She is a smarty pants just like her Mommy!!! Go Payton!! Such great news. Not that her abilities were "news" to you, but to hear someone else say it must have been just amazing. I had some happy tears in Evie's IEP meeting today also :)ReplyDelete
OH I can only imagine what you felt! All you knew that was Payton and your hard work, it came together. I am so happy for you! It all gives me such hope:)ReplyDelete
I'm crying too! What an awesome meeting and it really gives me hope that although my stomach might be in knots, there also might be times where people "get" my child and see him the way I do. I love the pictures of Payton with her teacher and aides- you can really see the love they all have for her!! oxoxReplyDelete
"I love that they see the Payton that I see."ReplyDelete
This post warms my heart! Payton is such a lovely little girl. Congrats on your wonderful news!
Such a beautiful post. The photos, the words.....honey to my heart. So glad I can follow along!ReplyDelete
I'm happy that you're happy! It reminds me of your own story earlier this week...you will teach people how to see your beautiful daughter!ReplyDelete
Ahhh,tearing up right with you. I had to fight it back in Asa's IEP meeting last week too. All his teachers love him and it made me feel so happy from head to toe that these lovely ladies loved my child almost as much as I do!ReplyDelete
WahoOO. What an experience. I love hearing about IEPs and such. My Julian is 1 year old and I'm going to be looking to you guys for advice when our time comes!ReplyDelete
Great news! I am your Moms childhood friend Debbie, and my son has Tourettes Syndrome. He is 16 now and a Jr this year (how did that happen so fast?!) Just wanted to say, we have been through many, many dreaded, and not so dreaded IEP meetings, since the 2nd grade with Evan. Always know what you want for her in detail, pray, and make sure that they get a good idea of who your child is at home, as well as what they see at school. Our system has been wonderful until this year. And in spite of my saying that, Evan is surprising me with much better grades than I ever would have dreamed in the 10th grade. Celebrate the victories big and small, and try not to worry. Peyton will find her own way! :) DebbieReplyDelete
That is great news that she is doing so well. As you know from our brief email exchange, our little girl probably has FAS and I have mixed feelings about labels too. On the one hand, I don't share this information freely and get bristled when someone tries to put a label on her (she has had only a speech delay so far but some behavioral issues and she is on the left side of the bell curve for achieving milestones). On the other hand, I am nervous that she will not receive the attention she needs to help her to keep on succeeding.ReplyDelete
AWESOME news :) so happy for payton and for her parents that the meeting went SO WELL!!! yeah!ReplyDelete