Pandemics, Special Ed, and Rolling With the Punches

Generally, I would say I’m pretty good at rolling with the punches. Fifteen-plus years of parenthood has taught me to make good plans. It’s also taught me to be flexible, because plans usually get shredded. But simply having one allows me to know the parameters and priorities, which, when plans do get shredded, leaves me…

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Testing (or: when a morale-booster ends up being demoralizing)

This past week, we got the results of Julianna’s “re-eval.” Now, for those of you who are not immersed in the world of special education, part of the process is that every three years a child must be re-evaluated to make sure they still qualify for special ed. There’s a whole battery of tests, and…

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Fun With IEPs

Fun fact: I spent 2 1/2 years as a music ed major before deciding all I really wanted to do was play my flute, and I universally hated every one of my education classes. The class that broke me and caused me to switch? Special Education For Non-Special Educators. It took me until Julianna was…

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On Julianna, at the end of Grade 2

Every so often, I like to share some of Julianna’s school work and progress. I need to be clear: this is not a total picture of Down syndrome. It’s not even a total picture of “what a person with Down syndrome can do in the second grade.” There’s a vast range of ability among people with…

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The pros of repeating first grade

At the end of last school year, Christian suggested to me that perhaps we should have Julianna repeat kindergarten. I told him no way; why would we do that? She’s basically with all her peers. He shrugged and said, “Okay,” and that was the end of that. By the time I attended the Down Syndrome…

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A Snapshot of a First Grader With Down Syndrome

It’s been a month of Tuesdays with Julianna in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and I thought I would wrap up by giving you a snapshot of her academic skills two months into the first grade. Bear in mind this is only a snapshot of one child, a single individual; I know of children…

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Julianna (a 7QT post)

___1___ The decision was made at the end of last week: Julianna will remain in public schools. I would like to say we made it, but the truth is that the Catholic school decided they simply couldn’t serve her. I was relieved, because for quite some time I’ve been moving toward the conclusion that she…

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What I Learned From A Kindergarten SpEd Re-Eval

About a month ago, Julianna’s school finished her “re-evaluation.” This is required every three years under the IDEA, presumably to ensure that kids who are receiving expensive special ed services still need them. Julianna entered the mid-kindergarten eval with a diagnosis of “young child with developmental delay,” a dx that does not carry into the…

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A Regular Kid

She’s a charmer, my girl. Adults everywhere within her sphere of influence fall obediently like dominoes into line behind her, excusing her foibles and focusing on her angelic qualities. She knows it, and she knows how to use it. I can’t tell you how many times people have come to me literally hand to heart,…

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