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.