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A Hypothetical Preschool IEP

Posted Oct 28 2010 6:50am
So let's say you had an IEP meeting scheduled for a Tuesday and on the previous Thursday you realized that you had a legal right to get the evaluation results in advance for your review, but you didn't actually receive anything.

So, hypothetically, the following day you call the School Psychologist and she says sure she'll email you the "draft" the following day, but calls it "unusual". You decide to ignore that and wait for your test results to show up in your Inbox.

In the meantime you may or may not have innocently started a bit of a debate on your Facebook page about whether or not it is your RIGHT to ask for the results and if it is "professional" for educators to provide those results upon request.

Preschool IEP

The promised email arrives at let's say 7:24pm on Saturday (you know, a totally random time.) As you are reading it you see some typos and/or things that need serious correction. One statement says the student's dad has mental health consider leaving that part in just to be fun, but decide that is probably not the best place for such tomfoolery.

Then say you pass the draft along to your IEP support buddy for her input and she calls you laughing because the IEP states that your "other son" has Autism. She wonders where you are hiding the other kid, because (hypothetically) you only have ONE child named Austin and not say...Moe as listed in the "draft" report.

Then say the Speech and Language portion is missing and that is really the meat of the report, but you wait patiently for it to arrive on Monday. And the Adaptive PE portion is also missing because no one informed the teacher about the upcoming IEP, as you learn the day AFTER the IEP.

Then it comes time for the IEP. You rush from the hospital to drop your kid at home and make it right on the dot! Whew. But thankfully you are not the late one and the meeting is held for a few minutes to wait for a few stragglers.

Fourteen people are seated around a table of thankfully adult sized chairs for three hours discussing your child. It is agreed that his name is Austin and not Moe. They assure you, you DID receive the correct report!

The discussion begins with the Nurse and a review of his Medical record. Boy, was that long! Then come the test results and the qualifications.

Yes, Moe qualifies for Special Education. His primary qualification is OHI (Other Health Impairment) and secondary qualification is Autism. Right there in Black & White.
Ouch. {Although it is worth noting that the School District has different criteria than a Psychologist.}

You make your spiel and say how much you love his Head Start homebound teacher, BUT you point out that, she is neither a Special Education teacher, nor does she know any sign language - both of which you feel is the least we could do for Moe, er, Austin considering all his "issues".

At which point, the Director of Special Education leans over to whisper to her neighbor for a lengthy period of time. No worries because your IEP buddy is staring them down. You know, just for fun.

Then, you continue your tirade thoughtful discussion and state the obvious. If the doctors, who without realizing it {or actually being in attendance} were the most powerful people at the table, but if the doctors had let Moe go to school we'd be having a different discussion. But they didn't.

And because he has to stay home until say March or April, we need a plan that includes instruction by a Special Ed teacher, some DHH support, and at a minimum Speech therapy at HOME.

The DSE says she can't do that last part part without permission from the Superintendent. Again, an "unusual" request. She then says that they are only obligated to offer Home School to children in First grade and above...but since this is such a special case she is prepared to offer the standard 3-5 hours per week WITH a Special Education teacher.

Which makes you state the other obvious...if he "could" go to school he would get 9 hours of specialized instruction per week -- so 3 hours sounds like it might not be enough. Just sayin' we need to really try to aim for 5.

There is more whispering. Then suddenly the Speech Therapist in attendance offers her services and says she would be glad to take on Moe as a client and make a weekly home visit. At which point the Director looks like she wants her head to spin off, but she agrees. Even though this has "never been done before" ... Really?

You have always wanted to be a trendsetter, so you put your stamp of approval on it.

It's been three hours and everyone gets up to stretch, satisfied that you have accomplished something. People sign the paper and leave. It's a wrap!

You read over the minutes, make a few minor corrections and submit your own notes and a brief narrative to the Psychologist for the file. On the bottom of your notes, you may or may not have cc'd a local advocacy group that you contacted for input.

The Director of Special Education upon reading it then asks, with four witnesses present, if you have sent this paper to said Organization. You say 'No, not yet...we just discussed it.' She then states "you know when you bring one of those advocates to the discussion it can make things more difficult and know, adversarial."

To which you say, Did you just say what I think you said? 'Adversarial? Didn't we already all agree on something?'

To which she says nothing...perhaps realizing that she just publicly told a parent NOT to pursue their right to seek an advocate for advice. Really?


Which of course makes you wonder how many other parents she has said this to? And how differently might things have gone if you had shared your notes at the beginning of the meeting instead of the end?

Anyhoo, the next sound you hear may or may not be a letter being sent to the Superintendent of Schools. (Hypothetically speaking, of course.)

What would you do if Moe was your child?

Thanks for peeking,

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