It's been quite the morning, between the rain and the IEP meeting out at teach and picking up Julien early. I'm still kind of processing it all and feeling a fair amount of trepidation but also excitement about Victor and school.

This morning we had an IEP meeting with his current teachers and therapists out at his school. The topic of the meeting was to review his individual goals and how well he's meeting them. He has met all but two and is making significant strides on the two that he hasn't met yet. A new set of goals will be written as a result of this meeting.

What that also leads into is that Vic, after only 6-7 months in the TEACH program is ready to transition /out/ of the TEACH program. I felt some trepidation about this news when I heard his teacher suggest it on her voice mail inviting us to the IEP meeting, but after the meeting I feel a lot better and mostly confident about his transition. Initially I'd thought that they meant for him to transition back into the school district and that was something that I really didn't feel comfortable about at all.

He's made huge strides, yes, but Sabs and I both feel that he needs another year of support to really hone the skills he's learned for managing his emotions before he'll be able to flourish in the mainstream environment even with on-site support. Thankfully, they had other options to offer us and we're considering two of those, either the Learning Support classroom or the Emotional Support classroom at the CDC which is the same building/school as his current program, it's just that he wouldn't have mental health services integrated into the school day. A number of his friends from the program are also transitioning out into these two classes and he's really bonded with his classmates apparently, so we feel that either of these options would probably work for Vic, especially given that we now have a framework for his mental health needs through Wraparound services.

We'll have someone coming to the house weekly now to work with him on his behaviors and helping us to learn to support him better. We did a little bit of an orientation to some of the TEACH program methods after the IEP and we're going to set up a similar color chart for Vic as he's had at school, to help keep him on target since the color levels and keeping up on the top of the chart really helps to motivate him to modify his behavior. This is important because in the Learning Support classroom, which is the one we're leaning towards, they don't have the same chart system as in TEACH. The Emotional Support classroom does use that system, but is a larger class and doesn't focus as much on some of the academic areas that Vic might need support with.

So right now the plan is to have him go into the Learning Support program at the CDC and to do more of his behavioral support coming from home. I actually feel really good about this and really happy with how far Vic has come in so little time. His abilities and real personality are starting to really come out from behind all the issues he's had and it's just wonderful to see him /happy/ at last.

As we left the school in the rain, the kids were all out playing for field day. Vic saw us and ran over happily, arms spread wide for hugs, beaming huge smiles at us. "I love you mom, I love you dad," he said as he threw himself into our arms. We kissed him good-bye and said 'See you later' and he just turned right back around and ran off to re-join his classmates in the games.

His therapist said that he's probably one of their students who's changed the most in a short period of time, improved the most in a short period of time in the five years that she's worked in the program. It made me cry a little, happy tears, hopeful tears, for all the great things that Vic will be able to do gong forward.


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