To paraphrase The Who, “the new IEP, same as the old IEP.” Rather, in this case, we hope not. Namine’s IEP meeting was on Monday, and we came away from it feeling good. As always, though, time will tell.
We were more than a little apprehensive about this IEP because up to this point, everyone whom we’ve talked to at the school has declared their desire to put Namine in a special needs class. This is undesirable for Namine because she would then be the most talkative child in class. The other kids are all mentally challenged, and none physically; Namine is physically challenged, but not mentally. She needs to be pushed, educationally speaking, and being put in the special needs class would not do that for her.
So in preparation, along with our own rebuttals, we brought backup: Namine’s PT and OT therapists, as well as her special needs coordinator at Children’s Hospital. We hoped their combined experience and expertise in not just their fields but also their personal knowledge of Namine would, we hoped, suffice to change the school’s mind in Namine’s placement.
As it turned out, after reviewing all of Namine’s performances in testing, everyone from the school concluded that while she does still need assistance physically, mentally she is just as normal as any other child. She has strengths and weaknesses, as does any child, and she will continue to receive therapy from outside of school as well as inside.
One of the major complaints voiced by one of the testers from the school was that Namine is still unintelligible about 70-80% of the time when she speaks. As her parents, of course Jessica and I can understand her more, but I can see where she’s coming from. I just wonder if they take into account (or if they care at all) that Namine is tongue-tied. Her tongue, you see, is tethered to the bottom of her mouth. Clipping that webbing would be disastrous, given her smaller jaw, so she must do her best.
To that end, I give you this: Namine pronouncing the letter L. (I’m sorry about the external link business; for some reason the YouTube upload failed, so here it is in a Picasa album.)
The letter L is one of those things that they said would be impossible (not hard, impossible) for her to do. It could be argued that she’s not making a true L because she can’t curl her tongue upwards, but… it sounds like an L to me.