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The IEP process begins

Posted Aug 10 2009 3:27pm
Peas is almost done with Toddler Communication Group. Well, not for six more months, but the planning for what happens next has already begun.

Peas' amazing and wonderful AVT gave me a binder full of information on what I need to know about placement options. I feel like I have a bit of a head start since I was a part of many IEP meetings in my past teacher life. But honestly the whole process is overwhelming.

A great website that I discovered early is Listen Up Web. (If I knew how to insert a link, I would, but I don't. It is listed on my side bar.) I came across this "form" and thought it was hilarious both as a parent as a former educator and had to share.

New And Revised And Even Better Consent Form

Dear (Parent),

We want to do a case study evaluation on your child because he/she is having B-I-G trouble at school. He/She can't (check all that apply)
_ read
_ write
_ do math
_ go potty alone
_ play without biting someone (often a child, occasionally a teacher)
_ all of the above

We want to find out why your child is such a mess. We suspect that it may be your fault, but need to know for sure. A whole bunch of professional people are going to spend hours and hours and hours with you and your child, pulling him/her out of class frequently so they can get even further behind with their work, pulling you out of your job so you can get even further behind with your work, and generally disrupting your schedule and your life.

Eventually, we will get done. Don't ask us when, because we don't really know. Honestly, we are doing the very best we can with a small, frustrated staff who have no office space in the schools and who, therefore, must test your child in the janitor's broom closet or in the parking lot.

If you fuss at us about how long it takes, we may cry. Then we do get done, we'll meet with you at school at a mutually inconvenient time. There will be 172 sheets of paper on the table, and we will pass it around, and around, and around, and you will get to sign it again, and again, and again. You might get dizzy.If yours is the last meeting of the day, the staff will definitely be dizzy.

We'll make an attempt to explain everything to you at the meeting. Don't worry if you don't understand all the big words; we don't understand them either, but they sure look impressive on the forms, don't they?

At the end of all this, we'll all understand why your child is in B-I-G trouble at school and we'll have some new and exciting ideas for you and the teachers to try out. And, we'll all live happily ever after (until time for the re-evaluation, when the entire process starts again.)

Sign here

Sign here again, to show you really meant it last time you signed.

Insurance Policy #

Master Card #

-by Anonymous

At this point, we really have no idea which avenue we are going to take for Peas. Our district has an Early Learning Center (basically special education preschool) but we do not know if that will be the most appropriate placement for Peas. I also have a list of "regular" preschools to visit once school starts.

So, here's a question for you parents who have already done this: what did you wish someone told you before the big IEP meeting? What insights can you share with me?
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