I don’t know about you, but I have an IEP coming up. And it’s a big one. I want to be ready. Panic was starting to set in. Then I came across this article.
1. Wear costumes. On the meeting invitation, say, “Festive Dress Required.”
2. As an equalizer, require all attendees to wear Groucho glasses.
3. Require all attendees to bring a musical instrument.
4. Provide refreshments: Jalapeno Cheetos and red Kool-Aid.
5. Invite Hillary Rodham Clinton. List her name on the cover sheet.
6. Try this introductory exercise: If you were a color, what color would you
be and why?
7. Play background music — anything by Frank Zappa.
8. Give everyone a set of five flash cards to be used as the mood strikes:
- Who invited him?
- I love your hair! Where did you get it done?
- I’m sure we can trust that this will get worked out.
- Does the law have any bearing on this?
- Excuse me for 10 minutes while I can call my lawyer.
9. Have the TV in the room tuned to the Court Channel.
10. Keep score. Give a really nice door prize to the IEP team member
(parents excluded) who makes the most positive comments about your child.
Award grand prize to the IEP team member who makes the most negative
comments about your child — the winner gets to provide 36 hours of respite
care, in their home, to your child.
Thanks to Cynthia and Aaron Bissell of Aaron’s Tracheostomy Page for sharing the IEP humor. It was exactly what I needed to “take the edge off.”
I’m trying to remember our very first IEP meeting, but I’m struggling. It’s been many years. And countless meetings. Often, we were fortunate to have knowledgeable, understanding administrators and school personnel who were mainly concerned with our child’s best interest. Sometimes we needed to wrangle them in if they veered astray.
Now, as we ready ourselves for our big finale, the last IEP meeting of our lives, I want to leave you parents with a few handy tips. Insights I wish I had over the past 10 or 12 years.
Always remember that an Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) is an opportunity to customize your child’s education. Use it to your advantage! It ends when the student graduates–upon receipt of a diploma or certificate.
IEP TIPS: If I Knew Then What I Know Now
- Always enter each IEP meeting with a typed page of your Parent Concerns. If any of the listed items can become part of the formal IEP, that’s excellent. For those that cannot, at least you’ve made them part of the official record that is filed.
- A positive, supportive attitude goes a long way. Let teachers know you want to partner collaboratively with them to help your child be the best he can be.
- Make sure that every person making decisions about your child knows your child. If the person has never spent time with your child, ask that he or she do so first.
- Strategically plan for your child’s triennial IEP to coincide with senior year. That way, the student exits high school with current assessments and evaluations.
Fortunately, you’ll have some new tools available after attending our IEP workshop on April 28 with Danielle Wiltchik, M.A., Special Ed. Click here to REGISTER NOW!
As a mom, I dislike assessments.
They reduce my child to a number range, a percentile, a one- or two-word comment. And it’s how one person measured him for one moment in time.
He’s so much more than that.
Just had to get that off my chest. [Yes, I know assessments are necessary. Guess I’ve just had my fill.]
It’s time for another Heart-to-Heart with Mom roundtable discussion.
This Thursday, March 12. There are still some spots available.
Click here to register!
Come and share, learn, connect, laugh and most importantly, find out that you’re not alone.
For the latest in ARM’s ADVICE FROM MOM campaign, click here.
DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO INCLUDE IN A CHILD ID KIT?
Safety is a major concern for all parents. That concern grows more complex when your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Create your own child ID kit with the help of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. They provide easy-to-follow directions here.
The key is to keep the info up-to-date and easily accessible.
ARM will be at the NMUSD Family Resource Fair on Saturday, January 24 from 9am to Noon.
Stop by and say hello!
IT’S A NEW YEAR. AND IT’S TIME FOR A FRESH, NEW START.
Toss out the strategies that haven’t worked for the past few years. And I mean toss them. If you’ve seen no improvements or even changes, you obviously need some new techniques.
Be flexible enough to try something new. We always ask our kids to be flexible. Now I’m asking you to try the same.
Something else to help jump-start your new year is to connect, or simply re-connect with others. Our HEART-TO-HEART WITH MOM roundtable discussions provide the perfect opportunity for this!
2015 Heart-to-Heart Schedule:
All Thursday discussions are held at Temple Beth Sholom in Santa Ana from 7-8:30 pm.
THURSDAY, JAN. 8
THURSDAY, FEB. 12
THURSDAY, MAR. 12
THURSDAY, APR. 9
THURSDAY, MAY 14
THURSDAY, JUNE 11
THURSDAY, JULY 9
THURSDAY, AUG. 13
THURSDAY, SEPT. 10
THURSDAY, OCT. 8
THURSDAY, NOV. 12
THURSDAY, DEC. 10
RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Here’s to a New Year filled with exciting possibilities! Cheers!
ESCAPE PLAN IN PLACE
The holiday season abounds with new sounds, unfamiliar faces and different schedules and if you don’t yet have a plan in place for your child, there’s still time.
When it all becomes too much—too many people, too much noise, too much that’s unknown—having a ‘plan of escape’ to a place to self-regulate is always wise. With one or two back-up plans, at least you have options. Practice a non-verbal hand signal your kid can give you to show you he needs to leave, instead of shouting at the top of his lungs, “It’s time for everyone to go home now! We’re done!”
Often, just knowing that it’s okay to escape to a quiet place is enough.
Debora Smith, the Autism Resource Mom, will come and speak to your group or organization. Just give us a call. We still have some openings. Act now!