I’ve entirely forgotten to talk about something important – the Monster’s annual IEP review. I mean, I talked about the prep meeting, and then entirely dropped the subject.
Most parents of special needs kids that I talk to, talk about how horrible the annual process is. To be honest, ours has usually been just a tedious process, until last year’s huge drag-down, knock-down fights. So anything’d be an improvement, right?
Now, as I did mention, we rather fully vetted the IEP the week before the meeting, so we already knew what to expect in the meeting in terms of the new goals, and had a fairly good grasp on the proposed service hours. No surprises, no major fights, and just a minor trepidation about what would happen when the city public school’s IEP facilitator joined in. And… we really shouldn’t have worried.
Though, I also shouldn’t have jinxed myself in saying we’d be done by lunch time. Alas.
BUT, this IEP meeting was what every IEP meeting should be. We spoke mostly about how the Monster has been doing against last year’s goals, and not just what the goals are going to be for next school year, but why those goals were being specifically called for. We talked about the way that the teachers overlap and reinforce each other, we got clarity on questions we’d developed after the initial prep meetings, and shared information on how the staff at Gateway actually works behind the scenes for him. The IEP facilitator was a useful part of the team, helping to dive into information that needed to be filled out on the form (including explaining to us why we needed to do an ESY determination for a child who is at an 11-month school – because the process still doesn’t hold that LRE is gong to be satisfied with him staying at Gateway and that the determination of placement comes after ESY determination) and making sure that all the I’s were dotted and T’s were crossed.
And yes, it took hours. But we came out of the IEP meeting with a good base to build on for next year, and confirmation that the Monster’ll be staying at Gateway next year as well.
(The one hitch – we still don’t actually have a copy of the IEP, but… that’s half because it’s spring break this week and no one’s there to bug for it, and half because it’s skipped our mind. We’ll be rectifying that next week when school’s back in session. I’m still not worried.)
My one hope for the next IEP meeting? Just that it’s shorter…