On Thursday morning, we were sitting in those small chairs meant for elementary-aged students, not grown-ups. There were seven teachers and support professionals in the speech therapist’s room in addition to Peter, Philip, and me. Some were from the preschool, the rest were from the elementary school that Philip will enroll in this fall. We were going through Philip’s re-evaluation and updating his IEP (Individualized Education Plan) as part of this kindergarten transition meeting.
IEP meetings always involve negative statements. It’s the nature of the beast. We spend time hearing about skills Philip doesn’t have yet, can’t demonstrate on demand, or hasn’t quite mastered.
For example, under gross motor skills, Philip’s goal is related to throwing a ball. He can throw, but we are still working on accuracy. Directing him to throw at a target or another person is a work in progress. This ball-throwing goal ties into his social skill goals. Philip, as an only child, has a lot of experience playing by himself. We want to promote more interaction. Philip’s current teacher explained how she has rarely observed him taking turns with peers in her classroom.
Meanwhile, Philip was over by his future speech therapist’s desk. And what was he doing?
Tossing a ball back and forth with the therapist.
Let me repeat: he was taking turns throwing a ball to someone else.
Is ironic the right word for that?