IEP Year Four

Today was the second meeting for next year’s IEP.

As any special-needs parent can tell you, any IEP meeting tends to be stressful – the goal of an IEP is to ensure that your child has the necessary supports to learn, and the supports and therapies that go into the document govern where your child is going to go to school in the coming year.

And the one thing that was apparent, coming into this year’s IEP review, is that Mount Washington is not the right placement for the Monster. Continue reading

How Was Your Day?

IEPThis is based on a conversation I was having on Twitter last night with another parent of a child with Autism.

The Monster’s only partially verbal – he can communicate his basic needs (“Eat!”, “Drink!”, “Go to sleep!”) but he’s not very good at a narrative of what’s going on in his life.  In some ways, I’d joke it’s like living with a teenager a couple of years early (“How was your day?” “Fine.” “What did you learn at school today?” “Nothing.”), but without the ability to really get useful information from follow-up questions.

One of the most useful things that we had added to the Monster’s IEP is a communication requirement. Continue reading

Getting Away

The wife and I are actually going on vacation soon.

I’ve commented before that it’s important to find time as a couple to actually be a couple – we spend so much time (especially at this time of year, with IEP meetings and placement discussions) doing things for the kids that it’s easy to go for days without acting like there was a time where we were young and in love and actually married…

And in the time since the last time we got away, we’ve forgotten what an undertaking it is. Continue reading

The Monster Turns Seven

Monster at the PlaygroundSo we’re at the end of another year, and the Monster’s seventh birthday was yesterday.

Like the last two years, we’ve celebrated with cupcakes and the like, with no real decision when/if we’re going to throw a party for him.  It’s hard to decide to do the party thing when he really doesn’t have any friends – he’s not invited to any of the other children’s birthday parties from his class at school, and we don’t really know any of the other parents in the class, despite my wife being the class parent.  We’ll probably do some family thing over Memorial Day weekend again, since that’s a convenient time for my family to come down. Continue reading

To the Rest of My Child’s IEP Team

IEPIt’s the end of another school year, and here we are, going over the Monster’s IEP yet again, evaluating which goals he succeeded at meeting, which ones he made progress on, and which ones are abject failures.

I know it’s really hard to squeeze out time to make these meetings work.  He’s one child out of twenty-five in his general education class, and heaven knows how many other schools his specialists get to during the day.  His IEP chairperson’s time is split between two different schools, and the meeting protocols require having an administrator and school psychologist present as well.  Further, someone from the central office has to come as an education/placement consultant, and since we’re discussing changing placement next year, there’s also the problem of having someone from that program at the meeting…

And being part of an IEP team can be a very thankless job. Continue reading