We really deliberated on the best way to get Joey his schooling. Do we just let him go to second grade and hope they can do enough to help him catch up? Do we insist on first? Do we insist on first and then let the school do the long, drawn-out assessment they usually do for new students? OR
Do we turn in the horrendously outdated FIE from Fort Worth ISD and hope it can get him the help he needs without him getting put into a box?
Well, after reading the FIE (Full Individual Evaluation) and the ARD paperwork we have from when Joey was tested at 3, we decided to take the third option, of insisting on first and then letting the school do the long, drawn-out assessment they usually do for new students. That FIE and related paperwork has some of the most ridiculous conclusions we've ever seen. This child is not oppositionally defiant or any of the other things they (Fort Worth and some psychologist over there) diagnosed him with. We were afraid that if we handed this paperwork to the school, they would assume Joey is incapable and wouldn't push him hard enough.
Then I got a call this afternoon from the speech pathologist at the school. This woman is a gem. I had spoken with her today, and just after a brief look at Joey's speech eval from our therapy agency, she didn't think he would qualify for speech. But then after fully reading it and taking the time to do some research into what I talked to her about, she called to tell me to fight for Joey and that the best way to do it is to turn in the FIE. She assured me that if we turn that paperwork in, no one will take it at face value, that they recognize the difference between a child in foster care and a child who's three years past adoption, that they will retest him, but that by turning this in, we ensure that he will get the services he needs immediately. She had such kind words to say about us and about our boys.
So, we decided to give them this information so that Joey can get some SPED services right away, instead of waiting for the long, drawn-out evaluation period to be done.
We're confident this is the right choice, especially given that they will immediately do a new FIE so that this one won't be used other than to qualify him as a SPED student.
I am relieved about this. I was going to be worried about him having a hard time in his class, but now I am sure he will get the help he needs to succeed.