I (Mom) am making this post today. Yesterday we attended an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) meeting with school personnel to get things settled concerning Ammon's return to school on Monday. A nurse has been hired to ride the bus to and from school and stay with Ammon all day long. The nurse, Richard Anderson, has worked with Ammon several times at our house so he knows what's going on. He went to the meeting with us. The educational issues were not discussed nor changed. The purpose of the meeting was to go over health issues. There were a lot of people at the meeting and we could sense some worry. The aides are very relieved that Richard will be there with Ammon and will do the suctioning when needed and will also do the cathing and feeding. The aides will work with him on his school work.
I wanted to make this post because I am so grateful for all the wonderful people that love and care for Ammon. We have been very blessed to have a fantastic team to work with concerning Ammon's educational needs. Many people that have special needs children aren't so lucky and I'm very aware of that. Ammon has had many aides through the years but one has stuck with him since 1st grade and that is Keri Minson. He loves her almost as much as he loves me and he has good reason to do so. Her entire family has embraced Ammon as "one of their own" and it has been a definite blessing to him. Thank you, Keri. We love you!
Annette Gebert has been with Ammon as another aide for the past year and a half. She is a gentle soul and has also been so good for Ammon. Thank you to Annette as well!
I don't know what we would have done without aides that have had the ability to love Ammon so much and have had the patience they have needed to help him learn and accomplish what he has so far.
Sharee Swenson is the Resource Teacher - the special ed teacher specifically. She has been fantastic as she has helped us work through the emotional issues and has helped us realize Ammon's potential. She is such a fun lady and so organized it's amazing. I wish she could move on to 7th grade and stay with Ammon.
Other key people attended the meeting, including Mrs. Gordon who has worked with Ammon and speech for several years. She is one of the most encouraging souls I've ever met - she continually encourages Ammon to strive and do better and sends notes home to him every week. Leca Hicken was there - she is the DSPD caseworker and we love her! She helps us come up with plans to serve Ammon at home and was instrumental in helping us get the lap top computer for Ammon's use. She visits Ammon at school or home. Jennifer Stoker is the school nurse and although she doesn't get to see Ammon very often because she has to go to several schools, we know she will always be there to answer questions. Mr. S. is the principal and we appreciate his insight. He has a son that has disabilities and he knows all the legal workings of issues we face. He is also practical but postivive. He has been a great principal.
Mrs. Turner is Ammon's teacher this year and we had never met her until yesterday. Ammon has only attended one full day of school and 5 half days of school the entire year. He knows Mrs. Turner but not well. I'm sure they will establish a good relationship in the remaining months of school.
We know that we are taking a risk by sending Ammon to school during cold weather. However, we also know that Ammon needs to have a life and shouldn't be isolated from social experiences. We will try this and see how it works. As the meeting drew to a close yesterday, Ammon said, "Oh, I'm so excited to be back to school on Monday!"
So here goes ---- we're crossing our fingers that he stays well and can finish out this school year with increased energy and excitement to be out of the house and around friends.