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How to get the best IEP (part Two)

boy with ds
What if they want to include only one part on my child’s IEP?

I always advise people to get a ‘full’ IEP, this will cover you in the future. If you only get speech services on the written IEP, you will need to meet in the future for another IEP to be written before they will offer help with other services.

What if I work and the IEP is scheduled for the morning?

In my state the IEP meeting must be done at the parent’s convenience, meaning if you work they will need to change it to a time when you are off work. Keep in mind if you schedule it as soon after school is out of session, this will allow for a more receptive meeting.

What if they refuse to write an IEP?

If the school is refusing make sure you have in writing along with the reason. Talk to the Special Education Department if the letter is written by another source. If that is not the case then check with your state education department to find out how to proceed.

My child’s IEP has goals that are too difficult for my child.

Keep in mind this is a plan that will span an entire year or more, and can be repeated onto the following IEP.  If you feel your child will not be able to begin to master this goal, ask if it can be broken down into smaller steps so your child will succeed.  If the goal wants the child to choose between seven different activities, see if it could be written as two activities with more added as the grading periods proceed; or ask that the choice between two be written with increasing percentages at each grading period.

Make sure the goals are agreeable and doable before you sign the papers. If needed you can request to take a copy home and look it over before signing.

I feel forced into agreeing with the IEP goals.

Don’t let yourself feel bullied. At one meeting I found myself around a table of about eight school officials and felt very intimidated. After that I took someone with me for several years. One therapist stood up and demanded I choose to dress my child according to her ideas. I refused and she just about shot out of her seat. My friend who sat by my side, interceded by saying very firmly “I believe ‘Mom’ has said no”. End of conversation. If you feel intimidated, excuse yourself and reschedule at a time when you can have support in the meeting.

Remember why you are there.

You are there to orchestrate a better way of educating your child. His/her disabilities need to be properly and realistically addressed in the IEP. Don’t allow the IEP to state goals that are far under or over your child’s ability but keep in mind the goals are for stretching their abilities.

If your child is in a wheelchair and cannot talk or move independently, you may want to avoid goals that expect brushing their teeth on their own or dressing themselves. A better goal might be to choose between two activities by pressing the proper button which has a picture of the activity next to it.

You are in the meeting to add substance and meaning to the educational plan. You may need to impress them with the reality of who your child is so the goals are realistic and encouraging to your child.

If you realize after the meeting that something was left out, ask yourself if this was something important or can it be done next time? If it can wait be sure to write it on your list for the future IEP.

Also if you see your child progressing rapidly through the IEP you may need to reschedule another meeting to re-write the document and make it more workable for your child.

If this or any other post has helped you, please let me know in the comments section below, or if you need clarification or think I missed passing on more information please let me know. Thanks and have a great week!




Ten Things I’ve Learned in 2013 (or before)

new yearsFriends who understand the importance of being friends are rare. Last night as we were getting ready to celebrate the New Year, a friend called from a neighboring city saying she had been in an accident and could not make it to our party. Everyone had already arrived and we were ready to party! I looked at a friend near me and said I’m going to bring her back. I did not care that she would not feel like coming to our party, I only wanted to know that she would be safe and arrive where ever she needed to be to feel safe. My friend began nodding her head and we got our heavy gear on to trudge out into the snow filled streets to find our mutual friend.

Friends who enjoy being with us and blessings. Last night we had our annual New Year’s Party…a bit of snack foods, a bit of games and a bit of gifts. We had so much fun we totally ran out of time to do many games! Lol. We all had so much fun telling stories, laughing with each other and sharing our lives. Everyone should have at least one friend enjoy our humanness.

Sometimes ‘exclusive clubs’ can be fun. There are only a few ‘restrictions’ to our party. One is that you must be ‘unattached’—divorced, widowed, single or just need a night out alone away from your man; This way we can discuss ANYTHING and not be embarrassed. The stories of figure enhancing bras that whose saline filled pads were found in the garden mulch after a rather long conversation with the postman while gardening, is only one of the stories we amused ourselves with during the night.

Friends who embrace your frugal-self are kindred spirits and rare: treat them as such.  Garage sales are always more fun with a few friends…especially when you all agree on what has potential. White elephant gifts are WAY MORE fun to open and saving a little money on a project is usually more fun than handing out hard-earned money on something with less personality. The only thing you need to remember is that friendship is more important than taking home all the goodies, and often is enhanced when you share your new acquisitions with your friends especially if it’s from Bath and Body Works!

Covered porches are one of the best inventions in housing. I love sitting in my swing reading on my back porch. The experience is enhanced by the fact that I am sheltered from the heat of the sun. It also encourages friends to come by in the summer since they know they can enjoy being outside without the bad effects of the sun. I have an oversized swing which seats three adults. I also keep two large patio chairs at the other end which can be moved to allow for even more seating. Good times and cool drinks are free!

Gardening is fun but don’t over-do it–the summer’s too short.  I love my gardens! I also enjoy gardening but after July it becomes difficult to do much without my asthma complaining. I have learned to give back some of my gardens to my yard as a compromise. This way I can have more time and energy for entertaining my friends, enjoying my flowers that I still have, and just sitting in my garden with my iced tea! Life is too short…

Cuddle scarves. Easy and soooo warm! Just 1/3 yd of cuddle fleece and two seams does it. This is THE BEST scarf EVER.  Make them for every woman you know, every woman you like, even ones you don’t particularly enjoy…you will be loved by all, lol…Honestly!

You can never have enough shelves.  Don’t be afraid to add shelves to your closets and pantries for more organized storage, unless you can afford to hire professional closet organizers while building or moving, you will likely need more shelves and deeper shelves. The small cost of materials is well worth it, and don’t forget to put in plenty of shelves for all your special shoes and purses. Measure the heights of baskets and clothing to accurately place your shelving and rods for optimal use.

Proudly display your memories.  Do you have competition ribbons stashed away, or old family photographs, even seashells and sand from childhood vacation sites?  Put them all on display. Use shadowboxes, frames or even jars to display your treasures. Be sure to label anything you or others might want to remember.

My favorite memories are hanging on my wall along with early pictures of my parents and grandparents, my son’s baby pictures are next to my Dad’s baby pictures and my Mother’s pictures. I enjoy looking at these memories and legacies every day. Don’t hide away your genetics, be proud of who you are and where you came from.

Most things are ‘small stuff’.  A relative once told me “a person’s motto should be, ‘why should I stress about something that will not matter a hundred years from now’”.  This is a good way to live I think, especially since we’ve just gotten through a major health scare with Brody.

He received a box of 50 Hot Wheel cars for Christmas and just loved playing with them, he was in Heaven. I had promised to watch a movie with him earlier and Gma reminded him of this as he scooted down the stairs to play. Holding his car ‘stash’ in his arms he called back to me, “Mom…too busy! Too busy!” with the emphasis on the first syllable of busy. At first I didn’t understand but by the third or fourth time repeating his statement I got it.

Life is too short to take any one away from their childhood play. Laughing to myself I realized he was “busy” finishing up his childhood dreams, after all who EVER gets 50 cars to play with at ONE time??fish



reporting on the daily shenanigans of my life

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down syndrome, single motherhood and blessings from God


down syndrome, single motherhood and blessings from God

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