We just recently had Sammy's IEP (Individual Education Plan) meeting. I was dreading it. It normally isn't that big of a deal, but I've been in a funk, and kind of emotional, and the last thing I was prepared for was sitting down in a meeting surrounded by professionals who, though they really do love Samantha and I feel that, would fulfill their job of telling me that she hadn't reached her goals for the year. We've sung that tune every IEP and I went in with a bad attitude.
I entered the meeting smiling, but I was feeling weak.
Yes, she didn't accomplish any of the goals that were set for her. But there was so much love in the meeting, I was finding myself feeling better, even though I had come to the meeting predetermined to be sad. It clearly wasn't working out because I found myself getting happier and happier. And then, they shared something with me that just delighted me.
"Sammy is, by far, the most talkative member of our class."
This didn't surprise me. She can be very vocal. But they used the word talkative.
The teacher continued. She told me how Sammy will call out students' names. She will repeat what is said, often, and she even has quite a high opinion of herself and shared it. Last week they were at the table doing a craft. The teacher was across the table from her and she said, "You can do it Sammy!" and Sammy yelled her reply, "I CAN!!!"
Sammy no longer gets speech in school because she wasn't progressing, but this new speech therapist is keeping a close eye on her, constantly consulting with the teacher and sharing ideas. I do believe that Sammy has a lot she wants to say and will one day get it out.
Her teacher sent me this picture today. I asked that we add a goal that she can drink on her own. I don't care if it's an open cup. Who cares? I want her to have more independence and if she's thirsty...that she can take care of that. How liberating would that feel for her? I suggested a water bottle since she has a hard time holding onto a cup, and it would spill if it was dropped. Sippy cups are difficult for her to suck from at times. And straws are hit or miss. She's good with them, but then sometimes she just chews.
From this picture, it sure looks like she's getting the hang of it, and I couldn't be happier about it.
Our little girl is such a gift. She reminds me daily to not take things for granted.
Each small step forward is a success...no matter how small.