Parents of Special Education Kids Need to know! Don’t take bull shit from anyone!
This is for all parents of special education children. You must fight for their rights.
You are the only voice they have.
Zelda was diagnosed with Autism at 2 years.
We weathered through early childhood intervention. She had speech therapy,
physical therapy and occupational therapy. I felt very comfortable with the early intervention team
but when we transferred over to the school teams, everything was a challenge. You had to fight for
This is one example of the IEP process I had issues with.
May 7, 2013 at 9:46pm
We had Zelda’s IEP today. Zelda is in the 3-year-old preschool disabled classroom.
I have a problem with the IEP process. During an IEP meeting, parents are given a copy of the
IEP. They are expected to read over it there and agree to it there.
The problem was that now she has reached those goals and there were now new goals. The issue
for me is that I didn’t have access to those new goals until the meeting. I am very pleased and proud
of Zelda for making her goals but I wish I knew what they were before the meeting.
I felt this way through most of the meeting but my shock came when they talked about where
they wanted to place Zelda for next year. When Zelda started school in October, they talked about
putting in the inclusion 3-year-old room in December, then it was the end of the year. Then it was
to let her transition in the summer program. Then she would go there the following year. Now they
say they want her to go to the preschool disabled 4-year-old class. I mean did I miss something.
I was dumbfounded. I mean if I knew this what they were planning I could have been better equipped
to asked questions. Zelda made all of her goals, but we are not moving her to her least restrictive
environmentor to what I thought was her least restrictive environment.
I know have so many questions and it frustrates me because I had the entire IEP team there this
morning and was given new information and no time to process it. Now I have questions.
I would like to see is a copy of a working copy of IEP’s given out to parents possible a week or
more before the IEP meeting. I know people would say this creates more work for teachers,
but I don’t care. I am a teacher and if parents wanted more involvement I would be happy to help
them in anyway. If all parties knew what was in the IEP before the meeting, we could have more
intelligent questions. So that both home and school were on the same page.
It’s not just this school district. From what I can see all school districts do the same thing.
I have been told that the school has 7 to 10 days after the IEP meeting the parents to get
a copy of the IEP. Wouldn’t it have been much better if 7 to 10 days before parents received a
working copy? I mean there are parents who care and want to work with the school. We are not
the enemy. If we both wants what is best for our children, they we should both be on the same page.
Maybe the law needs to be changed.
To prepare for this meeting, I read over her past IEP and her progress reports.
I wanted to be knowledgeable of what they expected of her and what services she was receiving.
I came with questions I wanted to ask at the meeting based on the goals and objectives set forth
in her original IEP. I felt prepared. There were objectives that Zelda was not making based on
her progress report and I had questions prepared based on that report.
Something for parents to remember:
You do not have to agree to the IEP at that meeting. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN IT.
The school will make it sound like you do but you do not have to. Think about any business,
would you sign a document you received before you had time to read it and understand it? No
you wouldn’t. So why would you do this with your child’s education?
You can request a copy of the IEP ahead of time. I am a teacher. This is not a difficult request.
UPDATE ON ZELDA
Going from the 3 year old who couldn’t talk to the girl in second grade whose biggest problem is
taking in class brings tears to my eyes. She is an amazing child and has come so far. I can’t wait
to see where life takes her.