A productive IEP meeting tracks my son’s amazing progress in school

The first year of kindergarten was a success for this columnist's 6-year-old

Keara Engle avatar

by Keara Engle |

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Last week, I sat down with the folks who assisted my 6-year-old son, Cayden, during this past school year. The team included a learning support teacher, his kindergarten teacher, and his three therapists — an occupational therapist, physical therapist, and speech therapist. The purpose of the meeting was to go over Cayden’s individualized education program (IEP).

While I’m no stranger to IEP meetings for Cayden, this one felt different. Because it was his first year in elementary school, not pre-K, his IEP was way more in-depth. The school district made sure that Cayden had all the support he needed in school, which made me proud.

Some of the things in Cayden’s IEP for the past school year included allowing him to be pulled out of class for therapies, toileting, and tube feeding. Because he has infantile-onset Pompe disease, he also has a nurse who attends school with him every day. The district did a great job listening to any concerns his nurse and I had over the school year and quickly addressed them.

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One of the major things that stood out to me in his IEP was the fact that they installed an accessible swing for Cayden on the playground so that he could enjoy playtime with his peers. They also bought a chair for him to use in the classroom that allowed him to sit lower to the ground to reach the tiny, kindergarten-sized tables. His wheelchair had been sitting too high and prevented him from sitting with his friends. I’m happy they were able to find a solution for that so quickly.

My other favorite part of the IEP meeting was learning about all of the progress Cayden has made during the year. I was able to view some of the tests they had performed on him, and to my surprise, Cayden has been academically right on track with his peers.

He can read and spell sight words appropriate for his age, and he’s getting really good with addition in math. He still needs to work on some areas such as subtraction and recognizing rhyming words, but that’s something we can practice at home.

I was so worried that Cayden would have trouble in kindergarten because he has extra needs and is pulled out of the classroom more often than other kids. But I realized that it doesn’t affect him too much. Being able to receive therapy services at school is just as important as education, because each therapy session serves its own purpose and helps him in the classroom in some way.

This year has shown me and the members of his team at school that Cayden is excelling. He is perfectly fine in a general education classroom, and I’m glad we decided to place him in one. I’m eager to see what the next school year brings and what progress I will see at the next IEP meeting. I’m sure it will be just as great as this one, if not better.

Note: Pompe Disease News is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Pompe Disease News or its parent company, Bionews, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to Pompe disease.


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