I really lucked out and got all five appointments for mid January. My son would have speech and audio testing and be seen by a neuro developmental pediatrician.
December 28th, 1998 I filled out the questionnaire for the center. There were a list of concerns, “ speech delays, fearless, hearing, and possible behavioral issues.” I also described how my son would become frustrated, bite himself, hit his parents but not other children, throw toys, hated to eat with utensils, and could not stand certain clothing. We had actually had incidents where he’d rip his clothes off screaming as if he was on pain. My son also continued to chew on hard objects and put small items in his mouth although he knew better then to swallow them. He just needed to have something in his mouth to chew on. Included on the questionnaire I also described my loving son that I knew. He was very affectionate, always shared his toys, and loved the outdoors.
The evaluations began. During the process my husband I were sometimes included but most of the testing was done without our presence.
During this same period (February 2, 1999 to be exact) I requested that the school also evaluate my son. I let them know what evaluations had been done already by the Hackensack Medical Center and promised to provide them with copies of the reports as soon as I had them in my possession.
The following month we received the reports from the center . Looking back it did not give me the answers I was seeking. My son was diagnosed with a moderate phonological disorder with aggressive manipulative and oppositional behaviors. They recommended individual speech therapy, a behavior modification program, and for the parents to seek counseling and education on these issues.
Shortly after the school evaluations began. Interestingly, the school reports provided me with a more informative piece of my son. It noted that my son avoided fine motor play. He could not grade his hand pressure accurately, cross the body midline, and was noted to have multiple sensory issues impacting his fine motor skills and behavior. He also had difficulty with touch sensations and his arousal and or alert levels. It was also noted that he had difficulties after movement activities and transitioning.
There we had it. My son’s developmental impairments put him at risk for future learning difficulties. What I did not know at the time was the struggles and battles that laid ahead in my future.
On April 7th, 1999 I had my initial eligibility meeting to classify my son for special education services. There I sat in a room full of strangers. I was to put my trust in the hands of these strangers because they were the experts and knew what would help my son. I sat and listened. I added my input. We developed this thing called an IEP. The initials IEP stood for Individual Education Plan. This was the start of all the alphabet soup lingo that I would soon learn.
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT