Information for Parents of Special Education Children.

special education.jpg

This is for parents of special education children. You must fight for their rights. You are the only voice they have.

Doctors diagnosed Zelda, my daughter, 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 everything.

This is one example of the IEP process that caused us problems.

ZELDA’S IEP

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, case managers give parents a copy of the IEP.  School districts expect parents to read over it there and agree to it there.

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 in her original IEP. There were objectives that Zelda was still working on based on her progress report and I had questions prepared based on that report.

Zelda mastered those goals, but no one told me. I proud of Zelda for making her goals but I wish I knew what they were before the meeting.  I didn’t have access to the new goals until the meeting.

Another shock came when they plan where they wanted to place Zelda for next school year. When Zelda started school in October, they planned on 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. Now they say they want her to go to the preschool disabled 4-year-old class. I mean Did I miss something?   Zelda made her goals, but she is not moving her to her least restrictive environment or to what I thought was her least restrictive environment.

This frustrates me because I had the entire IEP team there this morning and new information and no time to process it. Now I have questions.

I want a working copy of the IEP’s given out to parents possible a week or more before the IEP meeting.. If everyone knew the contents IEP before the meeting, we could have more intelligent questions.

It’s not just this school district.  Schools have 7 to 10 days after the IEP meeting the parents to get a copy of the IEP.  It is better to receive a working copy before the meeting.  Parents are not the enemy. We are both on the same team. Both school and home want what is best for our student.

Something for parents to remember:

The school will make it sound as if you have to but you don’t. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SIGN IT.  Why sign a document you have not had time to read it and understand it?  

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 the third grader whose biggest problem is talking 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.

 

Advertisements

Zelda’a IEP

 

ZELDA’S IEP

May 7, 2013 at 9:46pm

 We had Zelda’s IEP today.  Zelda is in the 3 year old preschool disabled classroom.  I am not saying anything negative about her school, because I love the team of people that work with her.  Its the IEP process that I have some concerns with.

 

What 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 some people would say that this creates more work for teachers, but really they have to write it anyway. 

When I came to this IEP I felt for lack of a better work dumb.  this was not the fault of the school district.  I read over Zelda’s old IEP and her progress report before the meeting.  I came with questions that I wanted to ask at the meeting based on the goals and objectives set forth in her original IEP.  I felt prepared. 

There were some objectives that Zelda was not making based on her progress report and I had questions prepared based on that report.  The problem was that now she has reached those goals and there were not new goals.

I would have liked to know the new goals ahead of time.  I wanted to ask about different ways I could help zelda at home.  So that both home and school were on the same page.

 

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 transiton in summer program.  Tehn she wqsa goin got go there teh following yhear.  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 that that is what they were planning I could have been better equipped to asked questions.  Is Zelda not doing as well as we all had thought? 

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. 

 

 

 

Its not just this school district.  From what I can see all school districts do the same thing.  I have been told that legally 7 to 10 days after the IEP meeting the parents are supposed 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.