We haven't had his ARD yet, but they finished his evaluations today. One of the members of the team stopped by my classroom to tell me
*Charlie is adorable and she wishes she could take him home
*Charlie is very busy and must be exhausting
*She saw several indicators of autism and, while it's not official, will agree with the neurologist's diagnosis.
*She definitely sees clear areas of work to be done
*He will need a new placement and agrees with me that it should be PPCD. His teacher is not going to be able to meet his needs and he needs a different environment.
*He's very teachable and we've clearly taught him a lot.
*We cannot know his IQ until his behaviors and focus interfere less with his academics, but she does not have any indication that it will be low.
*That we have done an incredible job working with him. It is rare that she sees a child on the spectrum who does as well as he does, and she is impressed both that we've known what to do with him and that we've done it so well.
*That he definitely needs work on social skills. Its the area in which he's furthest behind. Of course it is--it's the one we simply can't teach at home and couldn't work on when preschools wouldn't take him as a student.
I mentioned that what I would like to see is him finishing this year out in PPCD and then having a second year. My other August born child didn't start school at five, and waiting until six has made all the difference. Since Charlie tends to be about a year and a half to two years behind, waiting that year will compensate for some of those differences. She said that is a possibility, also that they have done half PPCD/half kindergarten years for students that often work well.
They still have a lot of paperwork to do to get it in motion. Their reports are generally 20+ pages long and must be completed before the ARD meeting. The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will be solidified at this meeting. From what she said, they will have it all ready for him to start in his new placement in January.
I cannot tell you how relieved I am. It's not all up to me anymore.