Tuesday, October 30, 2007

They Drive Me Crazy!!

Why do IEP (Individualized education plans, for students with disabilities) meetings have to be so hard?? With less than two years left in public school, one could hope the system could get things right for Evan. But I guess not. It was time for Evan's triennial assessment. To begin with "they" didn't want to do a complete evaluation since he's leaving the system in a couple years. Excuse me!! Isn't this the time to get it right?? Well, horrible mother that I am, I asked for a complete evaluation. So, last Wednesday I received a "draft" assessment. I wanted a final assessment. "They" said that just in case there were errors they would finalize the assessment after the IEP!! Excuse me again!!! The IEP is suppose to be built around the assessment so it should be complete before the IEP team meets. And the law states that I can agree or disagree with their assessment. How can I do that without a final copy. Why is this so hard??? So, horrible mother that I am, on Thursday I asked for a "final" copy of the assessment to review before the IEP on Monday. So, they removed the draft stamp and sent me a final copy on Friday. Well, low and behold, I didn't agree with the assessment. So, many of his skills were much more lower than the last assessment. So, I decided for the first time ever I would stand up to them and disagree with the assessment and ask for an independent assessment.

Evan's IEP meeting was yesterday afternoon. I'm proud (not in a prideful way) of myself for staying calm and making sure to compliment them. I don't want to burn bridges with them I need their help, can't do this alone. Then I told them I respectfully disagree with the assessment and already had it in writing. So, now we have to wait for the Special Ed Director to decide if he thinks their assessment was appropriately done. If not then we go to due process (a court hearing). Sounds fun, huh? I have no idea what he will do, this is my first experience dealing with this particular person.

The other thing that concerned me was Evan's transition plan. The transition plan is suppose to help the student when they leave the school system to have something appropriate they can be involved in. "Their" idea of a transition play is to help him memorize his social security number!! Excuse me again!! Each IEP should have a statement of transition. Evan didn't even have one so I came up with one and asked for it be a part of his IEP. Here it is!!

Evan’s Transition Statement

As a young boy Evan had a wish to help his favorite weatherman, Al Roker, report the weather on the Today Show! On a very exciting day in April 2000, the wonderful people at The Make-a-Wish Foundation made that wish come true! What a great experience, with great memories for our family.

Evan’s wish to become a weatherman continues. I would like to help make that wish come true. Not just as a memory of his Make A Wish trip. While I understand that getting a degree in meteorology is not within the scope of reality for Evan, I would love to see him working for someone in the field of weather. This could be in logging data, filing, cleaning, or any number of activities. Several types of businesses need information about weather, from TV stations, to airports and power plants the list could go on.

My ideal for Evan when he leaves high school is to see him working for a company that has some type of weather related component. I would like him to be able to work at least part time and be surrounded by mostly non-disabled peers. This will need to be done with some support at least at first.

Let’s not let Evan’s wish to become a weatherman die!!

I was happy I shared that without getting emotional. I asked them to share that vision and work together to make it happen. Again, we have to wait and see. The IEP meeting was tabled until the whole assessment thing gets worked out.

So, the IEP saga continues. It has been most difficult throughout Evan's schooling. I have had to fight for so much for him. It's worth it, but I just wish that "they" would try to do as much as possible to help kids, instead of as little as possible. I think I need to join this group??
To be continued....


Katie said...

Good for you! I am so proud. So are you going to join?

Sarah Gomberg said...

You would be a great asset to the 'group'. It sounds lilke they need your help.

Way to go! Standing up to them like that. I wonder how often that happens?

Cindy said...

Sarah!!! How nice of you to visit my blog!! When are you going to start a blog?? It would be fun to read about the antics of your sweet little ones!!

Most parents do NOT stand up to the school system, that is why they try to get away with as little as possible.

Suz said...

If you don't fight for Evan, who will? I am so pleased with your tenacity. Keep us up to date. We are all rooting for you and Evan!!!

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