Questions inspired by the questions! So- with the modifications- do you suggest them? Does the Reg Ed , the Resource teacher or the therapists? How specifically are they written in the IEP? Have you had to come up with them on your own? Accomodations vs goals- do you have many academic goals or do you focus on accomodations first and if those don’t work move on to a goal? I was told here that the math and reading taught in resource is not the same curriculum as what is being learned in Gen ed. So that if the child is pulled for math resource even during the math time in class, they aren’t getting one on one attention assisting with what they are being pulled from. They work on “resource math which come from SRA.” Which it seems would then put them at a disadvantage come testing times. I’ve also been told to be weary here about taking the option of the alternative testing because it means that then they are no longer on a regular diploma track.
Modifications to the curriculum should be a team decision, and you, as the parent, should be part of that process. Kennedy's special ed teacher and I met this year about a week before her IEP meeting and talked about different goals she would have for 3rd grade, different modifications she would need to meet those goals, and what we could do to make her year a successful one. That really helped both of us so when we got to the IEP meeting there were no surprises and everything went smoothly. :) Kennedy does have academic goals. I can't remember off the top of my head how many right now, but there are 3 or 4 for each academic subject (except for science and social studies because she pretty much does what the rest of the class does in those subjects). We did the goals first and then put in any modifications needed for her to reach those goals. Kennedy does some math and reading with her class and then she does some in the resource room to reinforce what she's learning and help keep her going forward, but even when she's in resource she's still working on a modified version of what her classmates are doing. They're just adjusting to her pace. I hope that makes sense. As far as the testing goes, I've heard the same thing. I don't know HOW they can say a child in 3rd grade is off the diploma track. OR if they do alternative testing one year, does that stop them from taking the regular state testing the next year? AND by me opting Kennedy out completely throw her off the diploma track as well?? I asked at her IEP meeting too and they weren't sure but said they'd check into it. Most importantly, do I care if she gets a regular diploma? I mean, realistically, she'd have to pass algebra to get a diploma and then what? I'll be able to say, "She got a diploma! YAY!" But at what cost? I don't know. I still feel like 3rd grade is too early for me to have to make that decision, and maybe she needs to make that decision for herself when the time comes. It's a lot to think about, for all of us as parents of kids with special needs, I know.
i need to chat with you to find out how you opted out of the state test, I just found out last week the my other kids could opt out too....just wonder how difficult it is. as for William we still have a few more years but something Im thinking about doing research on:)
For now, I just said in her IEP meeting, "She's not doing it." and they said ok. No fights. When the time comes, I don't know if there will be forms to sign or what... I guess we'll see. One of my other friends left this link in the comment section after your comment though, hopefully this will help!! "To the pp... this website may be helpful. You can search information by state. Hope that helps! :)"
If you can opt Kass and Kam out of the state test, what's the point of the test? I understand opting someone with an IEP out of the test, but it seems kinda unfair that the test is optional if your parents don't want you to have to take it.
Well, I personally have a lot of issues with state testing. I think it's terrible that teachers are forced to "teach to the test" sometimes starting as early as kindergarten. I think it's unfair that in many states teachers' jobs and pay depend on these test scores which puts undue stress on them especially when some kids blow the test on purpose by making designs with their bubbles or filling in all "A"s all the way down because they know it doesn't affect them. I also think it's unfair that in some states it DOES affect the students' grades to a large degree because some students simply don't test well and are otherwise excellent students. I don't know if I believe that state testing gives an accurate picture of where your student or your child's school falls in the grand scheme. There have been stories of teachers helping students cheat and more. That being said, I have never and probably will never opt Kass and Kam out, even though I DO like the fact that I can. (I very much like having a say in my child's education even when I do "go with the flow".) It does teach them to deal with stress and hopefully will prepare them for SATs. Of course it doesn't stress Kameron out at all and he just breezes right through it. Kassidy does kind of fret about it but always does really well in the end. I just tell them to do their very best and take their time. I personally only know one other family who has opted their typical children out of the test, for many of the same issues that I stated above, and that's their choice. Does it skew the results of the school as a whole? Maybe. But what matters more? The child's individual test scores and progress or the school's cumulative test scores? I guess it depends on how you look at it.
I'm just curious about a couple of things. Were you able to see Kellsey one last time before you finalized the plans? I didn't know if that would have helped you with the closure of it all. Also, I know you won't be sharing details with us, but will you be able to continue to keep up with her progress through the years? I hope that one day down the road that you will have contact with her and see the impact your decisions made on her for the good. I look forward to continuing to read about the adventures of you and your Special Ks! :)
We actually weren't able to... part of it was location issues and we didn't want to confuse Kellsey. Her new family is keeping us in touch through mail, phone calls (with them, not with Kellsey since she's still not talking) and pictures. They promise to keep in touch throughout the years so we will know how she's doing, and they've generously offered to house us any time we would like to visit. Down the road, that might be something we will do... We'll see.
will you and/or your mom have contact with the family to keep up on her and is she staying in TN?
First question answered up above :). She is not in TN.
I was curious how one goes about finding such a wonderful RAD experienced family like you did for Kellsey? Also, since they apparently know what to do to help Kellsey thrive so well, couldn't they have taught your family or your mom what to do that would have worked best for you too?
If you are an adoptive family dealing with RAD and need some help, feel free to email me. We have been very fortunate to have connected with a network of families walking all different paths in this adoption journey who are there to support and lift each other up in whatever ways necessary.
As for Kellsey specifically, we needed to take into consideration the unique needs of ALL 5 children and as I said in my original post, I will not continue to defend our decision, so I guess you'll have to trust that Frank, my mom and I know what we were doing and what is best for Kellsey and the rest of our family.
I've been checking in to see if there was any news about Kellsey. I hope that her family will let us know what she is doing and how things are for her. I know you have done what was best for your family but I am attached to Kellsey too and this seems like a death. We are all mourning.
I have really been debating how to respond to this question. Honestly, I find it a little bizarre. Kellsey is not dead. She's fine. In fact, she's better than she's ever been in her entire life because she's finally in an environment that can meet her very unique needs. So it seems like instead of mourning for her, you would be happy that she has the best advantage at life. We didn't put her back on a plane to Ukraine, she's not rotting in an institution there where she'll never see sunlight. She will have a good life full of love where she will be able to live to her full potential and be the very best Kellsey she can be. Unfortunately her new family does not blog and is very private, so I'm sorry that you're sad about not getting anymore updates on her. Since I really haven't done many updates on her here in the past year, it shouldn't make much of a difference. We DID do what was best for our family AND what was best for Kellsey. I'm so sorry you (and apparently many others) are sad about our decision and I thank you for your care and concern for Kellsey. She's very obviously loved by many.