Our rescheduled IEP meeting is today, and let me tell you, I feel so much more prepared this time around. I am so glad that I was able to call them out on a technicality and give myself some more time to gather my wits and my resources. Today, I’m bringing our regional rep from the Autism Society in our state. I’ve talked with her a bunch over the last couple of weeks, and she will be there to advise me, and be an extra pair of ears.
They will still have a passel of personnel in attendance, but they don’t scare me anymore. I have data from his previous school that supports everything that I say he needs and isn’t getting. I have documentation in the form of emails from his current teachers that supports everything I say he needs and isn’t getting. And I have a better understanding of their intentions, as well as the process, and my rights.
And my focus now is on the IEP, even though we will be discussing placement, as well. He needs and aide, he needs autism-savvy teachers, and he needs help with organization. Period. I would like to see him go to a school that is better equipped for his needs, but I’m not as steadfast in that as I was, because I’m not sure I want him in a school where they so obviously are against him being there. When it comes down to it, no matter where he is placed, we will continue to have a fight on our hands, and now that I know that, I am better prepared to roll with the punches (Inner Biker Chick is present and accounted for, thankyouverymuch).
What a difference a couple of weeks makes. Let’s ride!
Great job! Confidence is key and knowledge is power.
My daughter is almost 17. After 14 years of I.have learned a few key things:
1= get to know FAPE. Districts fear it. Mention it at least once in every IEP.
2= consider an advocate… We used one on one occasion, cost 750 bucks and was worth every penny. He set the course for all of high school. You don’t know what you don’t know. Teachers and staff are often forbidden to inform you about services that are available to , you have to ask for it. how do you ask for something that you don’t know exists? The advocate will know. Also party credibility is powerful. Fighting your own battles is admirable, having someone fight on your behalf is more effective.
3- if you have to bare your teeth, bare them, but don’t forget you are
Enrolling a team for your child. You want a unified objective. A bunch of people striving to pacify the parents results in minimalism.
4= know who is on your side. A teacher or administrator that will pull you aside and tell you what to fight for or give you a heads up about the districts grumblings a powerful ally. Know who every person is in the room and understand their motives.
5- know your psych terms. If you can talk like an expert that keeps the focus upon the specific needs of your child, they will not mess with you.
6~ stay on task. Allowing conversations to go on tangents is a great way for a district to dodge and rush you to a signature.
Oh yeah. One more little tip. First thing you do is proactively ask who the general Ed teacher is. Use this phrase “Let’s get you signed out of here so we can get you home to your family”. Trust me, it goes a long way with everyone in the room. It demonstrates compassion for others… if and when you ask for compassion for something it’s a little something to put in you coffer.
Good tips. Thanks for sharing!