Wednesday, February 27, 2008

IEP Spells...

Okay, I'm more fried even than usual today, and I can feel the dread monuting as we inch toward Friday -- our first IEP with the school district. They faxed over the 30 page document at my request so I could have it before we meet. I thought I was steeled, but still. Wow. Did they meet the same rooster I live with? I am the one who has been saying over and over that something is not quite right, I am the one who wanted people to help me figure out what that something is, but this report doesn't sound much like my boy at all. (In fact, in one whole section, they referred to some other kid. They called him by the right name, but last time I checked, he doesn't live in a Spanish speaking home with his mother and her adult male companion -- either my husband or I definitely would have noticed that, as well as the six year old they mentioned. I called to tell them they had the wrong kid, but they only changed that one paragraph, claiming the rest was really about the rooster.)

It's all backward! I'm amazed! Shocked! Stunned! And I thought I'd prepared for anything. Ha. So, forgive my addled, overtired, punch drunk, frazzled inclination, but I've decided to blog tonight about alternative meanings of "IEP." For fun. Or something. I'm sure I'm not the first to want to rewrite IEPs.

Go ahead, send me yours.

IEP stands for...
It Exacerbates Problems
Idiotic Educational Politics
It'll End Poorly
Incorrect Endless Postulations
Ignoring Exceptional People
IQs Estimated Poorly
Ineffectual Elementary Prose
I'm Enraged, People!
I Expected Professionalism

9 comments:

goodfountain said...

Love the alternates you've come up with! The first IEP meeting is the hardest I hear. I don't know for sure as we've only had the one so far.

One of the (many) people in our meeting said something that day about the IEP and its accompanying evaluation is going to read very negative as it focuses on what your child CAN'T do. I try to remember that whenever I'm faced with an evaluation for her.

It's still never easy to listen to a summary of your child's Can'ts and Unables.

Best wishes for Friday and let us know how it goes!

kristenspina said...

Hi. Wow. Welcome to the world of IEPs. And what an introduction you've had. I'm sure others will pop over with lots of advice, words of wisdom. The truth is, you CAN rewrite the IEP and you don't have to sign off on it until you are satisfied. Another thing it's important to remember is that this is a fluid document. It is not carved in stone and if, at any point, during the school year, you feel the strategies are not working or inappropriate, you can ask for a meeting.

Unfortunately, most districts use a computer fill in the blank IEP form. I'm a parent advocate in my district and I can't tell you how many IEPs I've sat in on where the wrong name was used or a passage was not updated. That's the problem with using the form. When they don't create the document from scratch, they don't have to think and so they just zip along changing one name to another.

Good luck on Friday.

Sustenance Scout said...

Hi G, just popped over from Kristen' blog. My kids are NT so I've never had the joy of experiencing an IEP. All I want to say as you work through this is 1) blogging is a FANTASTIC help for anything that ails you and 2) there are many many blogging parents who have or are going through exactly what you are. Don't be shy! I hope that's at least a little encouraging! K.

Niksmom said...

Since the IEP is tomorrow, you obviously won't have time to check out all the great online resources (unless you already have?) such as WrightsLaw (www.wrightslaw.com) but I highly recommend it. ALso, they have a fabulus book called "From Emotions to Advocacy" which is all about learning strategies, understanding the school heirarchy and "roles," understanding test scores and why it's important, keeping records, etc.

On the bright side, your meeting probably won't go like one of our last IEP's! (I likened it to Dante's Inferno.) Do keep in mind the point Kristen makes...you do NOT have to sign anything you are not in agreement with.

Also...GET EVERYTHING IN WRITING. If it's NOT written in the IEP it will not likely happen.

We'll be thinking good thoughts for you for tomorrow! Do let us know how it goes and if there's anything we can do to help!

bun29 said...

IEP = intimate experience period (does it makes any sense)

Joeymom said...

You know, here we always try to capture new parents, take them behind the toolshed, and clue them in on some facts of school life. Like, beware of school people, because to them, their bottom line is often more important than your kid. Know who the good lawyers are. Take an experienced parent with you. And always know what your kid needs- those people won't tell you, and you have to specifically ask for everything.
But we decided that's not fair to the school folks are are doing their jobs properly and ethically, no matter how rare.
So I would say, be prepared. There's a book called "Emotions to Advocacy" that is very helpful. And yes, you do need to know exactly what your kid needs and ask for it, so be prepared for that, too- if they offer it, all the better.
***HUGS*** and lots of good luck.

Joeymom said...

Oh yes, and Sign Nothing. Take the offered IEP home and have a good look-over before signing anything, no matter how wonderful it sounds.

ghkcole said...

I have one more...
I emphatically Protest

Anonymous said...

Into Education Purgatory, I Expect Paralysis, Idiot Executive Protocol.