Saturday, April 12, 2008

IFSP Week

We arrived home from our weekend trip Monday evening just in time for me to prepare the house and myself for Ava's IFSP. I'm happy to report that Ava had a much nicer trip home, she traveled much better than the previous two days and made our trip as pleasant as one can at age 2.

What is an IFSP you are probably asking?? It is an "Individualized Family Service Plan" that is prepared by Envision, the folks who are contracted to provide Ava with her Part C services. What are Part C services?? Well, it is the first step into the public school system...early intervention services provided to infants and toddlers in their home (ages birth to 3 years). The intention is to better prepare them for the school system, it is a federal law (not lacking a bit of bureaucracy) which covers a whole gambit of kids and issues.

The meeting is usually pretty uneventful, they are held every six months. This however, is possibly Ava's last one since she will be 3 the end of September. In Colorado (and probably everywhere) you get a slingshot right out of home services and into the school system, preschool to be exact. If you are not on top of your game, they just might wait until your child's 3rd birthday to schedule the transition meeting, inevitably delaying services, anything to save a buck.

They have another super acronym for this next step, IEP or the Individualized Education Plan. Oh yes, this is the one you hear about on the news...people litigating with school districts over services they are bound by law to provide while strapped to a financial budget that is pitiful at best. I happen to be a bit worried about this process and for reasons that are entire blogs with in themselves. Ava's speech therapist, bless her advocacy filled heart, was nice enough to explain all the horrible things that "No Child Left Behind" is going to do (or not do) for Ava.

It was definitely sobering, I always figured my kid would just go to school like I did. It is not the end of the world and I'm sure I'll have future blogs that describe this cumbersome process as we move through it. On a good note I feel most people (teachers, therapist, aides) in the classroom setting truly care about the kids and recognize the faults of this legislation. I'm starting to recognize some of the benefits to home schooling not that I plan to be a participant.

My mother is taking Ava for the evening so Joe and I can have a night off. We have no big plans other than relaxing. We are experiencing Spring for once on the Front Range, still getting rain/snow mixes and mighty winds that keep us locked up inside. Hopefully next week I'll have some pictures from the great outdoors to share. As always, I hope all is well with you and yours!

1 comment:

Angy & John said...

Ah, yes. No child left behind...I am all for holding everyone accountable but it is pretty ridiculous. I am glad you are getting services set up and ready for Ava's start of school. It will make everything easier in the long run. You are right, the good thing is that teachers do care and want what is best for your child. The legislators on the other hand, I am not so sure.