Thursday, March 11, 2010

The IEP

D's annual IEP meeting was yesterday. (We're going to have a second meeting in a few weeks, to discuss placement for next year, which I'm sure will be fun if last year was any indication.) So this meeting was solely to talk about our goals for the remainder of the school year.

Unbeknownst to the IEP team, I had actually done a little bit of research and preparation for this meeting. So I was ready, and taking notes.

We went over the short-term goals, which were pretty good, on the whole. There are a few things there that I know will be hard for D. to do, but that's good, I think. Pushing and challenging are good things.

As we reached the end of the written goals, I said, "Earlier this year, we talked about having D. spend some time in the regular ed classroom, even for just a few minutes, so that he could see those kids modeling appropriate behaviors. Have we been able to implement that?"

Now, I was pretty sure that had not happened, because the regular classroom is actually a co-taught classroom of general ed kids and a few of the special ed kids along with their teacher and aide, and the teacher is the special education coordinator (SEC) who suggested life skills last year.

"Well, no, because we would have had to go to ARD," she said, and I felt like shouting, "That's NOT what you said when we discussed it," but I didn't. Instead I said, "Well, we're here now." And I smiled broadly, all sweetness and love, and there is now a NEW ITEM in D's IEP that says that he will join the general ed class for up to 1 hour a day, 4 days a week, for additional academic and social learning opportunities.

AND THEN. We kept going, and when we got to the part where they say, OK, now sign it and let's go, I said, "Actually, I'd like to add a parent input statement." And BOY, HOWDY did the jaws drop.

"Well, you'd need to have it here," said SEC.

"Actually, you can call a recess, and I can present it to you for, say, Monday," I said, still all honey and molasses, and they were caught. CAUGHT!

Hee. It was awesome. And now I am working on my parent input statement, and I will submit it on Friday, because next week is actually spring break, and I just feel empowered.

7 comments:

Lisa said...

That's awesome. The whole IEP process scares the crap out of me...we have a ways to go before it's an issue and thankfully I have people like yourself to show me the way. :)

kim said...

I hate when educators see the IEP process as an antagonistic one. THEY are the ones who should be asking you if you would like to provide an input statement and make sure YOU have all the tools available to you. They give the good educators a bad name. Good for you!!!

Janis said...

I will need you to explain exactly WHAT that is, but you go girl!!! We'll have to do this soon too. (Next Fall, but soon enough)

The Empress said...

Mmmhmmm! You said it! They might just as well wear T-shirts that say "I Hate IEP Meetings."

We left a school b/c it was all "Us against the Dumb Parent" every single time.
I'm so impressed with the ABC's of IEP's you linked to us, so much information.

Thank you! how did you find it? It's so complete, basic, and easy to follow. I appreciate it.

Elizabeth said...

You go, girl. Love to hear a good IEP story.

fern said...

Good for you! I am a former spec. ed teacher and a parent of a special needs kid. I have spent a lot of time coaching friends and friends of friends on how to be prepared and what to do and say to get what your kids need. When I was a teacher, I saw one of my roles as translater--I translated what the "experts" said into parent-english, making sure that parents felt comfortable and understood each step of the way, and that parents had enough time to give input and feedback. You are your child's advocate!

moplans said...

I LOVE IT!
Well done WG!