Sunday, November 15, 2009

Goals

How many two year olds do you know who have goals?

Next month, we have Jonathan's IEP meeting. An IEP (Individualized Education Plan) is essentially a road map or 'contract' for establishing educational goals and tracking those goals. The IEP not only establishes these goals (and some kind of metric to measure those goals) but also helps establish the ways in which these goals will be met. Generally speaking, the goals are built by information on the the educational assessments previously done, and on both parental and teacher feedback on where the child is and where they need to go. The IEP is like the Bible for special education students. It guides all.

Crafting a good, quality IEP is not an easy task. It requires an understanding of the child's strengths and challenges, how they learn best, how to capitalize on those strengths and minimize the impact of the challenges on overall performance, and how to address the areas of weakness in a way that is most effective.

Parents come to the table with the Child Knowledge. We know our kids. Alas, we don't always know the best way to address the issues and implement them in the classroom. We don't always know the words to describe the subtle problems and issues, and frankly... if we could fix our 'broken' children, we would.

In a perfect world, teachers and therapists have the education and skills. They are suppose to know what to do and how to do it. And we parents look to them to help craft the perfect IEP... the IEP that will provide everything the child needs to progress... no, EXCEL!!
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Do I set expectations too high, perchance???

So with Jonathan's IEP coming up, I have started thinking about what kind of goals we should be establishing for him this next year. I have been brain storming a list of "good goals" for his IEP.... and I found that this was not an easy task! It is so hard to articulate what his goals should be in a meaningful way. It is so much easier to just say what I want....

I want him to say "Hi mommy!" when I walk in the room.

I want him to share with me his interests and show me things he likes, not just get me to do things that he needs or wants.

I want him to play with me, not just by me.

I want him to have friends. Real friends that he likes to see and wants to play with.

I want him to try and tickle me. And chase me. And chase and tickle me.

I want him to be able to use his imagination and play creatively.

I want words.

Lots and lots of words.

Am I asking for too much?


2 comments:

MommyP said...

You are NOT asking too much. Luckily, the IEP is for a full year, LOL... ours is on December 11, so I certainly understand what you are feeling right now. It's hard to let go as a parent and let someone else try to "fix" the problem isn't it? Especially when your child doesn't think that THEY have a problem to begin with like mine!! (((HUGS)))

abby said...

You are not asking too much, not at all. What I would suggest is trying to find a local Floortime/DIR practitioner. Even if Greenspan himself can't participate, the Floortime website can point you to local resources. Hallie has been in Floortime since April 2009 and we have seen wonderful changes in her capacity for joint engagement. It's been a godsend to us, and probably the single most important therapy tactic we've ever used with her (and we've used a lot of different approaches, pretty much from the very moment she got home from the NICU). All of your goals are things that Floortime works on as it helps the child move through the six foundational stages that will allow him/her to further advance.

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