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  • Writer's pictureKatie Vahey Gaebler

First annual school support team meeting

Updated: Jan 28, 2021

I want to do a brief write up here to note a meeting I had this morning with Bryson’s school support team. Since B’s last IEP meeting was December 2018 and these meetings are typically called by the school either annually or every 3 years (depending), it wasn’t yet officially his time, but I have a right to request these meetings at any time. I had requested this to his ASD classroom director, and she coordinated to assure the school team was present.

I had been prompted to ask for this meeting after a conversation with B’s new ABA BCBA, our Clinical Supervisor, Leigh. She had asked about the plan for B’s “push-in” a lingo I hadn’t been familiar with until then, which was essentially the plan to integrate him into the mainstream classroom. It was that conversation with Leigh that I realized while I thought I knew a fair amount, I was humbled by how much I didn’t. I also realized I knew nothing at that point about any plan to support his Gifted & Talented (GT) assessment, which had been determined last October when he was still at Mitchell school. He was just started 1st grade after all, and I didn’t want to be pushy, but I’m curious how he will supported in this way.

There were 7 of us present for this meeting, besides myself and his ABA director, participates included his assigned mainstream 1st grade teacher, our ABA CS, the district OT for his grade level, the school psychologist, and the school speech pathologist. I started with thanking everyone for being present and offering my agenda of primary questions. What followed in the next hour was a bit of a world-wind, a lot of the common language (clinical verbage) in praxis for Bryson’s needs are still a bit of a stretch for me to totally understand, but I got the context and was comfortable asking clarifying questions when I needed too.

In essence, on the positive his language ability and conceptual understanding are exceptional. His excitement about science and his draw of everything he does back to his interests is highly motivating, and his plans include harnessing that interest as motivating agents for everything else. On the other hand, his confidence and anxiety can sometimes hinder him from making progress in areas that need work, namely he uses an over-pronounced writing grip (full fisted grasp) with any utensil and he flat out refuses to read-aloud without high external motivation. It’s hard for me to see how much his anxiety hinders him, and of anything about my son I can empathize with his social reservations.

The good news is this team is all about working with Brys where he is at. I am grateful to work with such competent and compassionate people, and I believe the combination of team members (including myself and our CS) can ask the right questions and assure Bryson is both supported and challenged appropriately. This will be reflected in both his “push-in” plan and GT plan, which have yet to be determines but has incrementally started and this meeting especially accelerated firming the GT plan. This makes me feel like so far the school year is off to a good start, and I am hopeful for the progress we’ll see in the year to come.

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