Information for Parents of Special Education Children.

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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.

 

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Parents of Special Education Kids

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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

everything.

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.

ZELDA’S IEP

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.

I give up on Sleep

I give up on sleep!

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A note to all new mommies out there. This phase will not last long. Treasure it while you can. Treasure those times cuddling while your baby eats. Treasure this special time with them, for soon they will sleep all night and so will you; but you will miss your cuddling time.

I give up on sleep.  I have tried and failed.  My son Van is up every two hours to eat.  He sleeps a lot during the day, which is frustrating because his sister is up all day.  This makes for one tired mommy. I was breastfeeding until a few days ago. During this time, I walked through life like a zombie.  In dire need of caffeine, I switched to baby formula instead of breastfeeding. I would have switched to formula soon anyway, because I won’t be able to breastfeed while at work, but this is a little earlier than I planned on.  I feel bad, because I know that breast milk is the best for the baby, but I was exhausted.

I know people who have gone back to work right after having a baby and I can’t figure out how they do it. I couldn’t keep my eyes open. The long nights for breastfeeding took a toll on me.  My husband told me that most people do not have C-section and I should not compare myself to others.   He said, “They inflicted a mortal wound on you, and then they stitched you up and gave you a baby to take care of.  So you are healing and breastfeeding.”

My husband can help me feed Van a little but, it is still me feeding him most of the time. I don’t mind. It is my time with him and I treasure that.  Having my husband just take one feeding is letting me sleep a good 4 hours which was better than what I was getting before.

At least I can have coffee now!  My daughter has also been mommy needy.  I felt bad because I couldn’t give her all the attention she needed.  I know that she has to get used to it, but today I was feeding Van and Zelda was screaming.  She was just screaming for attention, but it made mommy very sad.

How am I going to do this when I go back to work?  I don’t have the option to stay home.  I know there is a great debate between mothers who stay home and mothers who work.  Some of my friends are stay at home moms and have told me to just cut back on what we spend and I could stay home too.  Well, I’m sure if they looked at my finances they would see that was impossible. I carry the family health insurance, and we need the money.  I have decided not to go back to my part-time job. I haven’t told them yet. By not working there, it will give me some extra time with the kids.

Okay well it is five in the morning and the baby is up.  Time for mommy to make coffee.

 

Remember, this time does not last long. You might feel like your entire life will be nothing more diapers and bottles; but it won’t be. Treasure this time. 

Apple Fools Day

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When My daughter Zelda was little she thought it was Apple Fools Day. So each joke she told was about apples.

Finally I said “Zelda, why are all your jokes about apples?”

Zelda, “It’s Apple Fools Day!” Then she went on to laugh and laugh. Now shes 8 years old and we told apple jokes all day.

Happy Apple Fools Day