Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Right There....Black and White!

IEP Meetings can be a battle.
Sometimes you can be yourself and ask nicely and get new things added that would benefit your child.
Other times, you have to get a little more feisty and show the school a different side of you and ask in a way that means business.

Today was one of those days.
Today, I had to get a little feisty.

We met this morning to meet and discuss Andrew's IEP.
We had an OT eval done and it was decided that it would be beneficial for him to add OT to his IEP and modify his classroom plan to facilitate meeting those OT goals.
Perfect!
But yesterday, the school also sent home his updated goals with a little "X" in the column if he has met the goal, is meeting the goal, or is not meeting the goal.

Thanks for this update!

Really!

No, really!

These two "X's" were never emailed to me prior to yesterday.
These two "X's" were never sent home after school at any point.
So to see that really got my undies in a bunch, so to speak.
And this scheduled IEP Meeting allowed me to address the two "not meeting at this time" indicators.
One was for the classroom routine, the other for speech.
So when the team leader asked if I had any questions or comments prior to the meeting starting, I jumped at the opportunity to address those two "X's".

The first one, the classroom routine, was easily addressed.
A new task strip was going to be made.
Great! Let's move on, now.
And we did move on....to the meeting.
But never fear, I did not forget "X" number 2.
Once the meeting was completed and it was time to determine service minutes, I waited for the right opportunity to address that second "X".

"I will propose to keep the minutes at what they currently are for speech."

EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
(Insert 1970's vinyl record screeching here.)

Lemme get this straight.
You state that he is struggling with one of the speech goals that has been in place for almost 10 months now.
He is getting there, but not good enough yet.
You typed...in black and white...that he is still struggling with one of the speech goals that has been in place for almost 10 months now.
And you think I was going to agree that keeping the same amount of minutes is justified?

Uh-uh.
Nope.
Ain't gonna happen.
Not today.

So after I had to state my case, repeat, repeat, and repeat again for a total of 6 times why I believe that an increase in pull-out service minutes is justified, she had to have realized that I wasn't going to back down.
And she is lucky that I only asked for an additional 15 minutes of private/small group minutes rather than 30!

So the moral of the story?
If it is spoken to you that goals and benchmarks aren't being met in a timely fashion.
If it is written to you that goals and benchmarks aren't being met in a timely fashion.
PUH-LEASE...do us all special needs parents a favor, and throw us a bone in the form of additional minutes, OK?
In a good way (and not so good way), I've been around this block a few times now.
I know how the game is played.
And I bring my A-game each and every time.
And when it is right there in black and white, I know what I can ask for.
Because in the end...it's all about the child and what is most appropriate for that child.
Not the best.
Just the most appropriate.
Parents...don't ever be afraid to advocate for your child.

Have a great weekend, everyone!


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