Monday, August 25, 2008
Today was the first big meeting of the year with Connor's school. I have been preparing for a couple of weeks. I have read several inclusion books and even a few blogs. I went in to the meeting more organized and with more concrete plans than ever in my life. I wanted to not only give great ideas for what to do this year to strengthen Connor's social skills, but give concrete plans and strategies on how to implement them.
We are doing data this year for the first time ever. This is going to be new for the school and very new for me. When I home schooled Connor in the beginning while doing ABA, I hired a BCBA (board certified behavior analysis) to come in a couple of times to train me on ABA and to design his programs (what to teach). She would always tell me that data was key to any good program. Since I was doing the program myself, I couldn't teach and take data. Plus, I could see with my own eyes if things were improving. Data didn't work then, but now it is crucial. Connor has several different teachers (regular teacher, special ed, lunch buddy teacher, etc..) and we need to see empirical data to know if he is improving in the skills we are teaching. The school is on board with data, it is just so new to them, they need to figure out the logistics of it. I also feel that keeping data will keep them consistent. They dropped several great programs last year simply because no one was watching.
I am pessimistically optimistic about the year. I know more this year than any other year, and I feel more organized. Connor seems happy this year with the teachers and kids. I just hope with the new structures in place, he will only blossom socially.