Stressing over IEP
James’ annual Individual Education Plan (IEP) is this week. While I am less frantic this year, it is still a stressful time for me. I want to make sure we’re setting the best goals for James, so he gets the best support in the areas he needs. The information from the IEP will be used in regular school among his teacher, aide, coordinator, speech therapist, OT, and Adaptive P.E. (APE) personnel. It will also be used for summer school. That’s a lot of time and people to cover.
I know the goals can be modified and changed. I also know that, technically speaking, I can call an IEP meeting earlier than next year. I still want to feel like I’ve done my homework and am bringing the best goals to the table for him.
What’s involved? Boatloads of paperwork from the school (last year’s IEP document, approximately 13 pages), reports from 2 O/Ts, 1 P/T, 1 APE, Behaviourist, Speech & Language Therapist, Aide, Coordinator, Teacher, and parents. My stack going in weighs a good 2-3 pounds.
I’ve already had a half-hour pre-meeting with the teacher and services coordinator to go over James’ strengths and challenges. He’s still behind academically, socially, and verbally, but he constantly is improving in all areas so that he’s now very close to grade level. Yowza!
James’ annual IEP meeting is scheduled for an hour. I tend to run right up to the time limit, and a little over. I tend to listen first, refer to the bullet points I’ve noted before and during the meeting, and then make sure all those items get covered in the way that seems best for James.
I frequently do not sign the IEP until I’ve reviewed it for at least a day. Things tend to sink into my subconsciousness and rise later. I don’t think any big disageement’s ever needed to be addressed after the meeting, but I like room to review and reflect.
It’s a lot of work. It’s for James. We are lucky — he has a good team behind him.
0 thoughts on “Stressing over IEP”
I’m on a team that just had an IEP for one of my cases last week, and it is a sad meeting when the parents that I have to work with are very lackadaisical about their child’s success. I work in a residential setting, and in some of our cases it’s almost like the parents have sent their child away to “get better” and forget about them at the facility. It’s difficult to get in contact with many guardians, and sometimes there is no way to contact them for months at a time. We have to struggle to find ways to deal with new behaviors that pop up, people aging out of the system, and other things without possibility of obtaining consent or approval from the guardians.
It’s great to see parents like you doing all that you can to make sure your child gets the attention in the education system that they need.
I need to get that shirt for my Nephew! Cute! My sister is tearing out her hair with this IEP thing.
Our IEP meeting is tomorrow morning. We see our OT and SLP later this week, so I won’t be signing it until I can review it with them to make sure they agree with the goals. (These are ‘outside’ therapists, at a clinic we’ve gone to for over 5 years). I’m nervous… we have a draft, it sounds good, I just want to make sure it’s the BEST for him.