Friday, October 12, 2012

Parents: Read Your IEP Fine Print

This doesn't happen all the time, but when it does you really want to rejoice!

We had our annual IEP for the little guy this morning.
Either I am becoming a pro at these and they are rattling me less and less or I am on autopilot here because it was more of a casual, social event rather than a Tums-chewing event.

Granted, it is much different than his sister's meetings.
Less issues.
Less minutes.
Less fighting for stuff and support.
Less of everything.

But nonetheless, it was a meeting and it went well.
Two experienced parents.
Two experienced school professionals.
Two nervous novice school professionals (with shaking hands, too!).
Minutes are not changing (as if I would let them?).
Services are staying the same (of course they are!).

However, there have been some State changes to the template IEP that I think you all need to be aware of.
In the State of Illinois, they now require the schools to identify what deficits "adversely effect" the child in the classroom.

Don't like that word.
And the statement that was on the bottom of page three of his IEP read as follows:

"his developmental delay and speech and language delay adversely impacts his level of engagement and rate of progress in the general education curriculum.  This results in delays in his development of positive social relationships, acquisition of new knowledge and skills, and his ability to take appropriate actions to meet his own needs."


"Adversely impacts his level of engagement and rate of progress in gen ed?"
So wrong!
While  his social relationships are emerging and he is becoming comfortable with his peers, I would (and did!) argue that this was an inaccurate statement.

"This results in delays of positive social relationships, acquisition of new knowledge and skills and inability to meet his own needs?"
I was told over and over how many friends he has in school, who he gravitates to and who gravitates to him!
The graphs that were shown to me do not reflect this.
And while he does require cues and assistance in completing skills and tasks, he is a very functional, self-sufficient little boy
Wrong again.

This is not my son.
This is the State giving the schools a black vs white choice for assessments.
This is the State not allowing a subjective statement to be written.

So of course,  I got feisty about it.
And I asked for it to be removed from the IEP paperwork.
It is a legal document and I do not want an inaccurate statement following him like this in school.

So, it was rewritten and revised to look like this:

"his developmental delay and speech and language delay impact his communication, attention, social interaction and fine motor activities."
Much better!

My advice to you all:  read your paperwork line by line.
Note any discrepancy.
Your State may be assessing your child without knowing one thing about them.

And most of all.....I have NO REGRETS in terms of not sending him to Kindergarten this year!
Progress is proof!

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1 comment:

  1. You are on top of it, mama-friend! Good for you for reading the fine print, and the extra year of preparation before kindergarten was such a good plan for him. He is going to shine next year!