Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time For Work

Well, Rachel's next IEP meeting has been scheduled -- we're having it on October 18 in the morning. Now I need to prepare myself for what's coming.

The first thing I need to consider is "What can I expect the IEP Goals to incorporate?" I was surprised at the last meeting to see so many basic "life skills" making up much of the goals, so I'm working under the assumption that we can continue to include those. That being said, we need to work on FOOD.

Rachel is, well, let's be "politically correct" and call her "determined". What that means (in reality) is that she's STUBBORN (just like her mother). She STILL refuses to drink milk from an open cup (but will gladly have milk from a sippy cup, or juice from an open cup, so it's not like she's not capable of handling a regular cup). She REFUSES water in any container. This behavior isn't limited to just drinks. If there is a food she doesn't desire, she won't touch it. At dinner, the only things she will eat are hot dogs, peanut butter on crackers (but she won't eat the cracker), and, well, lately, THAT'S IT!!!!! Sometimes we'll give her some cheese, but normally she has that for lunch. This is unacceptable. She won't eat any meat (other than Nathan's or Hebrew National All-Beef Hot Dogs [yes, my daughter is a hot dog snob and will only have those specific brands]). She won't eat any vegetables. She's even starting to get picky about fruit. We know she's hungry because she will voraciously eat a preferred fruit when it's put in front of her (after we give up on dinner "proper") and she will gladly accept a reward of a goldfish cracker or two (when we shove a piece of chicken or fish into her mouth). On the plus side, she won't spit out undesired food. But the only way she'll eat it is if we shove it in her mouth and wait there until she chews and swallows. This isn't the right way to treat a child. But we've done everything else we can think of. We have to consider her nutritional needs. We need help.

I'm going to visit her at school on Thursday, and while I'm there, I'll stay for lunch. This will do two things for me -- first, it will show me how cooperative she is during school lunch times (since lunch is the one meal she will consistently eat, even for us at home). Second, it will allow me to see what the other kids are doing and what the teachers/paras are doing to ensure they are eating properly, and maybe I'll get to see how FAR they will go. I don't know if it will give me solutions, but it may help me shape the goals I intend to add to her IEP next month.

I would also like to work on her imaginative play and social skills. She will do something during a task if she's asked to, but I don't know if she is actually engaging in "pretend play". It's also hard to judge what she does when she gets home from school. She's so tired after a long day that she is no longer willing to "work". I'd really like to see this skill begin to take shape, even if I don't see much of it at home.

At this point, I'm not so worried about her learning her letters or her numbers. She knows those already and can recite the alphabet both forwards and backwards. She can also spell (approximately) 15 words on her own (but she likes to have each letter repeated back to her). She is constantly asking how to spell words she isn't familiar with the spelling and that number continues to rise. I also suspect she can read many words, but I don't have any proof of this.

I know I've said this before, but I'll say it again. Rachel needs to remain in CAPP. I'm hoping that, since she's been so successful in this program, this will be a non-issue. Why would they change something that is working so well? I'm hoping they don't take the "less is more" philosophy too literally.

I just suppose I need to get my research hat on. I need to learn exactly what is expected at these meetings so I can come in fully prepared and be the best advocate I can. Hopefully, by the time we have Simon's meeting in November, this will be easy since I'll already be a bit more prepared. And, since I hope to include some of these things in his list of goals, I'll have a better idea as to how this should be done.


  1. it sounds like she's doing well---- she CAN handle an open cup (more than I can say for MY twins-- *lol*) and it sounds like she consistently eats lunch--- I'd say monopolize on that...... if she's hungry and willing to eat at lunch, make sure she's getting all her food groups at lunch and make breakfast and dinner less of an issue---- hey a few pieces of hot dog at dinner is ok if she ate bread/protein/fruit/veggies at lunch--- time to pick the battles! :) I've noticed with my twins that one is more hungry at dinner and one is more hungry at lunch (so pickier at dinner). Maybe a sticker chart might be fun for her---- she gets a sticker for each food she takes 3 bites of and her dinner challenge is to get 3 stickers and stickers lead to prizes.... ? You could try being "out" of hot dogs and peanut butter too and let her know she doesn't have to eat what you're eating but here are some other choices of what you do have in stock.....

    So what's the secret for getting a 3 year old to DRINK from an open cup and not put her hand in it or pour it on the table? :)

  2. oh also, I eat really yummy, healthy foods in front of my kids and don't offer them any... when I know they're probably hungry. They come asking and I say SURE!. If they don't sit down at a table to eat a salad, but they'll take 5 bites of MY salad, hey it's the same thing! :)