Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 for 21: The IEP

This picture has nothing to do with this post or IEP's in any way. Em just thought she looked cool and wanted me to post it.

I . E. P.   Individualized Education Plan
Three little letters that can send shivers down the spine of any parent that has ever had to endure one. I've been terrified of them since Em was only a few months old and I learned that one day I would have to sit with a group of people who would have a lot of interest in my daughters education and what she would and would not receive. 

I've heard horror stories about lawyers being needed to guarantee the child got what was legally theirs. Moms being driven to tears by uncompassionate and all to often ignorant teachers.

I would get a stomach ache just thinking about the day it would be my turn.

Then the day came, and I waited for the bomb to drop. I waited for something to piss me off. 

Nothing bad happened. Em got all her therapies, she didn't lose anything, she was in the best school for her needs. Her classroom has both typical kids and kids with special needs. Her team of therapists are from heaven and her teacher is an angel. 

Today was her IEP for the upcoming year. We reviewed where she was last year, where she is now and where we want her to be by the end of the year.

All this was dicussed in between fits of laughter from her teacher, ST, OT and PT as Emmie had them rolling on the floor and wiping tears from their eyes. They all absolutely adore her. 

I know parents worry about school and IEP's and getting all your child deserves and is legally entitled to. 

And a lot of the time it's a battle but sometimes it all just falls into place. 

So there is hope for a great IEP day. 

Do I worry about next year when she will have to move on to another school? You bet your bottom I do. 

There are two schools in my neighborhood. I'm not sure which one she will have to go to, but one has contained classrooms... that's not happening! She's not in one now so we are not going into one. There may be a rumble down the road for us, but today we just enjoyed a really fun IEP day!



Kathleen Hoffman said...

I just wanted to let you know that I have read much of your story and I am truly happy that I have. As far as IEP's go, I think that your public school experience really depends on where you live. Throughout the US there is such a variation in the support given to our special children. I'm so GLAD you live in a place where your baby is getting what she needs.

Jane@flightplatformliving said...

that's just fantastic! xxx

kimk said...

Just another mom here, our youngest has Down Syndrome. I am also a huge RR supporter, another mom and I did a RR table at our walk last weekend. We made a photo/name button for every child who has DS and is listed on RR. Wow, there were so many...our table overflowed. Slowly each child was picked up and lovingly worn and walked for. The mom who picked up Carina's began to cry. She said Carina was the girl name she had chosen when she pregnant with her son. She said they were praying about adoption, she said she couldn't stop looking at Carina. : )
Just thought I would share this with you.