Our school district is doing conferences a little different this year than normal. The simple explanation is that the district has a lot of our elementary schools designated as Michigan Focus Schools and this is part of their action plan for 'closing the gap'. I'm not going into the whole Focus School explanation here - but you can obviously look at the link above if you want. The idea with the new conferences is that instead of being reactive by having conferences at report card time, we are being proactive. The conferences consisted of us setting academic and behavioral goals for Ayden to be the focus of this semester. We also signed a contract that spelled out what the parents and teachers were doing specifically to help the child meet these goals. It's supposed to get parents more involved and hopefully catch any learning problems for the kids early.
I like the idea, but for us it seems redundant. We have an IEP in place that is much more in depth than the conference goals were and we actually used and IEP goal word-for-word as one of our conference goals.
The conference did give us some time to sit down with both of Ayden's teachers though and just talk about how he was doing. We had two conferences - one with the gen ed teacher and one with the ASD teacher (though the ASD teacher was in on both). We do get daily updates, but face to face is always nice. We (as always) have issues to work through with him; however, they are minimal. He is playing well with other peers and making friends in gen ed - which is fantastic. He is also comprehending the material they are teaching in class and for the most part outputting that comprehension as well. His ASD teacher is phenomenal at adapting lessons to Ayden's learning style and basically just not taking any behavioral issues from him at all. She's helping gen ed to adapt their materials as well so Ayden can participate like the other kids in his class. I'm extremely excited to see where he goes as the school year progresses.
The other person we met with was Ayden's speech teacher. Of course, our main focus has always been speech with Ayden. A lot of other issues he has will fall into place as his speech comes I think. It seems likely as many of his issues get better the more he is communicating with us. As per usual, our biggest dilemma is always figuring out whether his whining is because he doesn't want to do something or because he is anxious. So, his speech teacher is doing amazing with him. She is working through using PECS to request things in the classroom from not only teachers but also peers. He's already had one instance where he did request a toy from another peer, which is amazing! On top of all that, Ayden's speech (like, actual WORDS) is starting to come. We are up to about 10-11 words that he can say upon request. Spontaneous use is (as expected) not happening yet - but SPEECH. She is now working to isolate the sounds he can make so we can start practicing more. We were hesitant about the SLP after our IEP, but I'm very impressed with her and really enjoy working with her so far (as does Ayden).
So...long, wordy post shortened: We love Ayden's team he currently has. They are all on-board with what we expect from him at home and are working very hard to make sure we are as consistent as possible no matter who is working with him. It's pretty much everything we could have hoped for with where he is at right now.