Tuesday, October 4, 2011

First report card of the year

Pumpkin's first report card of the year came home in her backpack. Literally, I'm beyond words. So, in an effort to see if any of my readers are familiar with special needs kids and their IEPs, I'm just going to post some of her progresses.

GOAL: In 36 instructional weeks, using check for understanding and frequent breaks, Pumpkin will understand how English is written and printed. Success will be measured using daily work and teacher observations at a rate of 7 out of 10 times.

OBJECTIVE: Pumpkin will identify upper- and lower-case letters.

RESULT as of 9/30/11: Based on current progress, Pumpkin is on target to master this objective by the next annual review. Pumpkin traces upper and lower case letters during our daily routine. She listens to the phonics song from the Sing, Spell, Read and Write program.

OBJECTIVE: Pumpkin will recognize that spoken words are represented in written English by specific sequences of letters.

RESULT: Based on current progress, Pumpkin is on target to master this objective by the next annual review. Pumpkin reviews printed words accompanied by a picture. She repeats the printed word when spoken to her.

OBJECTIVE: Pumpkin will sequence the letters of the alphabet.

RESULT: Based on current progress, Pumpkin is on target to master this objective by the next annual review. Pumpkin completes puzzles that require her to order the letters of the alphabet with support from her teacher.

I could go on and on. They are making it sound like Pumpkin can do oh so much more than she can. According to her IEP she can measure length, capacity and weight of objects using nonstandard units. She can apply grade level mathematics to solve problems connected to everyday experiences and activities in and outside of school. They also say she can understand the origins of customs, holidays and celebrations. (They say she mastered this goal because she colored a picture of the World Trade Center in remembrance of September 11.)

I'm absolutely beside myself!!

As a quick refresher I suppose I should let all my readers know that
Pumpkin DOESN'T TALK.

Granted, Pumpkin will occasionally choose between two things when asked to. Of course both items have to be physically in front of her. And she doesn't name the item that she wants by name. She simply points to it and says, "this one". By and large she is not capable of answering questions. Pumpkin mimics some language. Sometimes, and boy this is rare, Pumpkin will say something with meaning all on her own. But honestly, this happens so infrequently we celebrate when it does. For Pete's sake...Pumpkin will sit in her own shit for hours if I don't check her frequently!

So to say that Pumpkin recognizes printed words is absolutely insane! To count putting a puzzle together with help as sequencing the letters of the alphabet is nothing short of crazy!

Along with this report card came a letter stating the Pumpkin's teacher will be done as of this week. They hope to have a new teacher in place within a couple weeks. I'm left to assume that the aides will be running the classroom in the meantime.

I feel like my hands are tied. The goals in Pumpkin's IEP are not written in a developmentally appropriate manner. However, I'm just the foster parent. It's my place to advocate for Pumpkin -- but to what level?! I really don't want the hassle of trying to open enroll Pumpkin to a different school. I would have to involve her CPS worker, CASA and her guardian ad litem I'm sure. I know that her mother (should Pumpkin be reunified again) won't do anything more than the bare minimum (ie. enroll Pumpkin in the school closest to their home). What do I do?

Most likely I'm just going to leave things as is. I'm not up for rocking this particular boat. I hate confrontation. Especially against all those people that think they know so much more about special education than I do. Especially when I'm the temporary parent that has almost no legal rights to do anything major. Especially since I have no idea how long Pumpkin will be here and it might not be worth it to rock said boat due to the time line alone.

I will probably have a conference with the new teacher should they get one hired while Pumpkin is still in my care. Not to rock the boat per se. But at least to find out if she's as big of a nutcase as Pumpkin's old teacher.

3 comments:

MamaFoster said...

personally, i would write a letter to the school and make copies of the letter and report card and give it to the social worker.

my letter would say something to the effect of:


To Whom It May Concern,

I appreciate the positive remarks on the recent report card I receive. I have some concerns that I am not going to peruse myself because I am not a profession, but I would like it on record that I did let the professionals know what my concerns are so that they are aware and can make the best decision they can for "pumpkin".

#1 Putting a puzzle together does not mean that pumpkin can write out the letters of the alphabet in order. I am well aware she CANNOT do this as of yet.

#2 Coloring a picture of a Christmas Tree does not mean "Pumpkin" understands AT ALL what "Christmas" is. I have never seen her indicate that she understands what any holiday is or that it is different from any other day.

Ect ect ect.

Please do not take this a criticism, I just wanted it in writing that I brought this to your attention and am trusting the professionals to do what they see fit with this information. I will not be bothering anyone again about this matter.

Thank you.

Cheryl said...

I like MamaFoster's idea. No, it probably won't change anything but it will put on record that you are not in agreement with what is being said on IEP.

r. said...

I forgot what it's called, but where I live someone can be appointed to be a child's non-parent representative for IEP purposes. I've been told that in some cases (where the foster situation isn't too short term, where the foster parent seems to really know the kid well enough and to care), the foster parent can be that person. The idea is to prevent just what you seem to be worried about--the school getting by on the cheap with the kid because they know there is nobody to advocate for her.

Does Pumpkin have an ad litem/CASA? If so, I'd contact them. If the GAL is a volunteer (such as a CASA) and they say they have never heard of this, direct an email both to the CASA and to the CASA supervisor. Where I live there is paid full-time staff that can act as a resource when the CASA doesn't have the knowledge or experience.