I don't often sign an IEP at the end of an IEP meeting. My usual modus operandi is to take it home, show JoeyAndyDad, discuss it with my mom, think about it some more, have some more conversations with JoeyAndyDad and mom, and then sign it, already compiling the issues for the next IEP meeting.
And I recommend this modus operandi to all of my readers. There is no hurry to sign an IEP, especially if the meeting was tense or ugly or uncomfortable. You can at least get a little of your own back by making them wonder if you're going to sign or sue. If you know what I mean.
But Joey has a case manager who rocks. She's got his back. She knows what to insist on, and insists on it, which has a heck of a lot more weight than me insisting on it, because she's school personnel and knows what she's doing and has been working with Joey for three years and has a pretty solid grasp of what he needs to access the curriculum and an appropriate education. What am I going to do next year without her? (Yes, I know I'll step up and get it done, but it sure is a lot easier to have someone in that room batting directly for Joey whom the school recognizes as an authority). She looks at the stuff I send her, she thinks about what I am saying and what I am observing, and adds it in to what she knows and sees and thinks about. She makes sure the bases get covered, the dots and crosses get where they need to be, and that what Joey needs is in that IEP.
I'm a little less enthused about the people we are going to, but that is not a surprise, and I am certainly willing to give them the chance to be trained in Joey. They are unprepared for his needs, but we knew that. They are not prepared for his learning style, but we knew that. They seem caught off-guard by autism generally, but we kind of knew that, too. So I currently plan to spend a lot of time at school in the fall.
I also will have a meeting in the first six weeks. Our glorious OT is going to try to release Joey from OT direct service in October. Sensory issues? Ha! Social skills? Why would that be under OT? Met his daily living skills goals? Um... only she has witnessed him independently buttoning his own clothes or tying his own shoes. No one else in the room has ever seen him do these things for himself on his own clothes (and buttoning someone else's buttons is very different than buttoning your own). Bilateral coordination and crossing midline? Why would anyone need to be able to do that? Gross motor activities? He can walk, can't he? Why should I expect more?
Right. Already have the independent eval in the works. This. Will. Not. Do. However, it is just a matter of getting the evals in hand and presenting it in the fall. Or even in a few weeks. I can call a meeting any time I feel like it. Yay, me.
But Mrs. H wrote a solid IEP, and insisted on certain levels and types of service that got put in the IEP itself, and accommodations for things (including SOLs, which we had been warned they might not give accommodations for), so I think we're on the right road to where we need to go. We'll take a few steps and then take a look around and see where we are.