Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Payton's IEP and School Placement

A couple weeks ago, we had Payton's IEP meeting. I'm not sure why, but I've never been one to get my panties in a bunch, so to speak, over IEP meetings. I'm not really sure why I don't get worked up over them, but I'm sure I will once my girls are older. We are lucky to have had an amazing teacher for Payton this past school year, who worked on much, much more than what was on the IEP. But I know we won't always be that lucky.



Here is bits and pieces of their version of Payton's present level of functioning ...

Payton demonstrates significant delays in the areas of cognitive, expressive and receptive language, and fine motor skills. Her gross motor, adaptive and social skills are within normal limits.

Payton's cognitive skills are at the 18-24 month level with scatter skills to the 30 month level. She listens attentively to stories read by adults. She requests favorite books and songs using pictures at circle time and home visits. She completes toys requiring two steps such as a cash register (coins into slots and pushing buttons) and a lock/shape box (turning key to open toy to remove shapes and putting shapes into correct openings). Payton matches objects to pictures, identical objects and like objects. She demonstrates use of common objects such as a brush, tea pot and cup. She has good pretend play skills which she initiates and includes peers to extend the play. She does not consistently sort by color.

Payton's expressive language skills are at the 12-18 month level. She will point and gesture to attract attention and to request items within view. At times she will use a combination of verbal words and signs such as signing and saying "mo" for more, signing "fish" and "please" to request more fish please at snack time. She is not consistent with her use of signs at circle time to participate with familiar songs ... she sometimes signs duck, dog, cow, train, boat and helicopter. She will verbally say "I" or "me" to request bubbles but will not spontaneously initiate bubbles. At times she will imitate bubbles with "bubu" and "boo" for book. At times she will greet adults with "hi" and "bye". She does not yet name familiar adults on sight.

Payton's receptive language skills are at the 18-24 month level with scatter skills to the 36 month level. She points to body parts on dolls. She follows two step related directions. She demonstrates verbs such as feed, bathe, throw, roll, push and pull upon request. She enjoys simple games and demonstrates an understanding of taking turns. She associates names to family members and familiar school staff. She is not yet showing an understanding of prepositions.

Payton's fine motor skills are at the 24-30 month level with scatter skills to the 36 month level. She uses refined bilateral patterns (each hand doing a different motion), she will put coins in with one hand and turn the handle with the other. She uses wrist rotation to twist lids off and to turn keys. She turns single pages of a book. She strings beads and stacks blocks. She scribbles spontaneously but does not consistently imitate horizontal or vertical lines. She is starting to close scissors to snip when given assistance with holding the scissors.


Here are Payton's new goals going into this next school year ...

Cognitive ...
During structured activities, Payton will sort by color, four different colors, four items of each color, on four occasions. Note: We are working on this and I think she will have this mastered by the time school starts.

Expressive language ...
During school and home visit activities, using her mode of communication (words, signs, pictures), Payton will name three different familiar adults on four occasions. Note: She has already accomplished this goal. She can name me, her dad and her brother and she has done it for awhile now. I guess they want her to go outside of that ... I mean I do too, but I just had to say she has technically met this goal.

Receptive language ...
During structured play opportunities, Payton will show an understanding of four different prepositions (in, on, under, on top of, beside) on four occasions. Note: I think she already knows this in a general sense, but because she hasn't consistently shown us that she knows it when prompted, it has made it on her IEP.


Fine motor ...
During structured activities, using scissors, Payton will cut a piece of four inch length paper in half on six occasions. Note: She is so close to mastering this goal, too!

Articulation ...
During direct instruction, Payton will imitate the product of bilabials (/p/, /b/ and /m/) and produce them in the context of CVC (consonant/vowel/consonant) words with 80% accuracy on three observed occasions. Note: We hate speech. LOL.

Oral motor ...
During structured activities, Payton will imitate oral motor movements which facilitate strengthening and increased movement in the lips, tongue, and increased intra-oral pressure, on three to five occasions.

Pragmatics ...
In a structured opportunity, Payton will give and receive targeted toys to a peer or adult upon request four of five times on three observed occasions. Note: Umm ... I think she can do this? Seriously, where did this goal come from?

Expressive language ...
During structured activities, Payton will request 50 desired items or activities, each on five observed occasions, utilizing her preferred mode of communication. Note: Now, this is a real goal!


This past year, Payton received six hours (two days) of classroom based services a week, in addition to a 45-minute home visit by her teacher. This next school year, she will get 15 hours (five days) of classroom based services a week, in addition to two 45-minute home visits per month. She also will be receiving 180 minutes per month of one-on-one speech therapy. Man, that was a battle to get!

I have sort of been stressed out about her school placement, as I really wanted her to attend the same school she attended this past year. That placement, however, was a specially approved placement based on my request. I requested it for logistical reasons, however more importantly because I had heard such great things about the school ... and such not so great things about the school she had originally been assigned to.

This year, I also requested that she be placed in a classroom that had typical peer modeling. Both her teacher and I actually requested it, even though you technically are not allowed to request a placement. Whatever.

So yesterday I randomly found out about Payton's placement while I was at the Child Find Office for Nika's IEP. They told me the notice had been mailed to me weeks prior, but I told them I never received anything.

Anyway ... I got my wish. Payton has been placed in a 6/6 classroom, which means there will be six kids with special needs and six typical children. Woot! The bad thing is that the classroom is at the less than desirable school ... so we will see how that goes.

But ... Mama Bear ain't scared.


  1. Sounds pretty good for me not knowing Payton but I hate that we have to state all of the negative stuff in IEPs drives me nuts as an SLP and a parent!

  2. awesome about the 6/6 classroom - hopefully the less than desirable school will surprise you :)

  3. That 6/6 classroom sounds great!

    And that girl is gorgeous! What a great pic of her.

  4. Love that pic of sweet Payton.
    Aden and Payton are much the same in all area’s, except of cause find and gross motor lol
    Aden is still not walking and Payton loves to run. Aden has wonderful fine motor skills, so I’m told.
    Reading about Payton’s school, makes me want that for Aden sigh. All we have here is a Daycare/ Kindy centre, that if I’m nice is average. I still haven’t booked Aden in, but do drive 2hours to a special school where all he does is have a sing a long eat and outside play. Hardly worth the stress of it.
    |I know what you mean out, Payton knowing “in, on under and over” Aden knows these, but doesn’t consistently show he can when the ST is here (we just started ST we seem to have an evaluation every 6 to 12 months then never see them again sigh)

    Sounds like Payton is doing as well as I thought lol. Great blog post and photo

  5. sounds like she's doing pretty fine!

    well, im sure miss payton will do more than ok, go payton and impress everyone ;)

  6. Great post Bethany, thanks for sharing. I like the 6/6 classroom. I was asked if I wanted to do that with Taylor, but unfortunatley couldn't swing the transportation arrangements.

    Keep up the good work Payton!

  7. Thank you for sharing this, Bethany. I think being able to read other people's IEPs is so very helpful in being able to shape and model goals for our own children. Samantha already had her IEP meeting a couple of months ago, but I know where my resources lie for next year. The classroom Payton's going into sounds wonderful! Good job, Bethany!

  8. that is such a beautiful picture!!

    Sounds like she's going to need new goals already! LOL Hope the placement all works out.