Tag Archives: IEPs

Ending My Relationship with the IEP.

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. FearfulThen I came across this article.

10 Ways To Have More Fun At Your IEP Meeting

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.

IEP-end

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.

4dIEP TIPS: If I Knew Then What I Know Now

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!
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TIP: Beware the IEP!

May 15, 2012

BEWARE THE IEP!

The Individualized Educational Program or IEP is a legally binding document between you, your student and the school. It is filled with accommodations, modifications and other ways to help your child be as successful as he can be in school. Among those “other ways” are goals. If your IEP is anything like my son’s, there are pages and pages of goals.

And this is fine. I’m all for a structured environment with benchmarks. But my focus this week is what happens after high school graduation? There are no more IEPs. And if that also means no more goals for your child, well, you may want to re-think that.

Pomp and Circumstance may be a long way off for some of you, but like I said last week: PLAN AHEAD. It’s never too early to begin a system of goal-setting at home. During the school year, I center my son’s “goals” on grades/report cards. Then to begin each new school year, I incentivize him to try new social situations, join a club, attend a football game or a dance, etc.

The idea is to make goals a part of your life – with or without the help of an IEP. Because there will come a day when the IEP is done. You and your child should be prepared for that day.

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