15 March 2010


I think Dante would have written about IEPs if they had been around back then. For those of you who haven't experienced this special kind of torture, an IEP is an Individualized Educational Plan. Basically, you get summoned to the school and you sit at a table with 4-8 people who are far more educated than you. They all stare at you while one of them explains to you in educator lingo what services they plan on providing your kid and then they tell you to sign it.

Well, that's how they hope it will go anyways. Frankly, that is exactly how the first one went. I was like a deer caught in the headlights and put a little too much trust in them on many levels. The end result of that was they said a few things that didn't happen and didn't make it into the final version of the IEP.

I happen to be one of those people who learn from their mistakes fairly quickly and have a knack for negotiating the murky depths of bureaucratic uselessness. I've spent the last couple weeks fine tuning the plan of action for this next IEP meeting and I still have a bunch left to do but I have to admit, this whole thing is looking good! Now, I'm still about 90% certain they are going to say "no friggin way! Have you taken your meds today?" when I tell them what I'm expecting them to do but I have such a ginormous stack of evidence to back my position that they may just cave.

My meeting is on St Paddy's day. It's a shame I don't still have my green pimp shirt. I'm sure that would have made a lasting impression on the IEP people.


Muse Mama said...

I've never found IEP meetings to be torture. We're all there for the same reason: making my children's school experience better and helping them with their Autism.

They are more educated than me on how things work at school, but they acknowledge that I'm the most educated about my children.

They have certain things they have to do legally (I get that, since as a nurse I have to make care plans, which are similar, and I have to do certain things for them legally also). But we're all trying to make sure that what needs to be covered, is.

And you don't have to sign anything. You can ask questions, and you can even bring in a representative to help you.

I've heard that some of these meetings can be torture, but that just hasn't been my experience. Guess I've been lucky.

Claire Wessel said...

Well, hopefully I'll have a great experience and my kid will get services. Last time, they told me one thing and had me sign the draft IEP and I just figured out that the final IEP (which I received three months after the fact) was written differently. I'm very not happy about that. Live and learn, right? I also don't think they are going to want to go along with dropping $60k in 6 months on one child, even though the science is behind going that route. The things they've suggested so far are either not shown to address her specific issues or have not been age appropriate. I guess this is just the way it goes out here. The autism consultant in Sioux Falls suggested we move to Minnesota! Mind if I ask you questions about that, Anne? Since you are in MN?? :)

cannwin said...

I've definitely had yellow level IEP's.

I'd say my first was a green and then the closer to 'graduating' him the higher the color. Sometimes I wish I'd gone as far as orange... some 'budget crunches' deserve it.