Monday, September 27, 2010


IEP Alert Level:   HIGH
(Update to post below)

So.  IEP meeting today. 

To discuss getting a few more hours of teacher time.  A little more time.  To give J-man what he needs to be successful.  To .... hmmm..... try harder.

I can't go into details right now.  Needless to say, though, it did not go well.

Here is what I can tell you.  No one believes in J-man but us.  No one is willing to have faith in him, that he can succeed where he is.  One of the school district "team" members even had the nerve to say to me "What... do you want him to fail???"

Excuse me??   EXCUSE ME???

So here is my response to you, "team" member.

Why do you assume that he will fail?  Why, when the question of where he needs service, and what kind of service it is, do you assume he cannot succeed where he is? Why do you have no faith in the ability of a well-crafted plan and a devoted team of people?  If we provide what is appropriate, why do you assume he can't?

This is starting to become a fundamental issue that I am noticing:  The focus on deficit instead of potential.  The focus on everything that is wrong or bad or disordered instead of what is possible, on strengths, and on rising to the occassion.  You know, if you have low enough expectations, you can always meet them.  But we insist on high expectations, and apparently that is a problem.  Oh, and that we are involved, that we have opinions that differ, and expectations for performance.


Update:  Title Change  

My dear friend JK emailed me after I posted and took exception to my title "Faithless".  She said (in part) the following:  

...I found the title of your writing interesting because in my eyes, it is "faithful". Faithful to the fight and to the life and future of your son. Don't give those who are say ignorant and negative things that much power, credit or even a headline. Shout it from the top of your lungs how much you love and adore your son and how every inch of him is worth any frustration coming your way. I can't imagine your frustration, but you will prevail. You've never given yourself the option not to.....

You are most certainly right, JK.  Title changed, and negativity will never get top billing again!  Thanks, I needed that gut check :)


KWombles said...

Ah, so sorry it didn't go well. I hope you'll be able to successfully resolve it and soon. ((()))

Rachel said...

The most amazing thing in the world is the faith of your mom. Nothing can break that and at 31 years of age, mine still gives me strength. You continue to believe in J-Man and we all will right along with you. He will show them all what a bright amazing little boy he is and will be.

Cheryl D. said...

I am so sorry. You have to fight the good fight though! I loved your picture! At the last school we were at, we were probably at the orange level. At the current school, we're at the green level! It's amazing, but they do "get" my daughter at her home school! What a rarity!

Junior said...

sorry to hear you are having to fight to get J man what he needs.
We dealt with that very same type situation for years, and I still cringe at IEP time knowing the battle we will face.
good luck

pixiemama said...

Oh, Mama. Some days it takes every last ounce, doesn't it? I hope you find a way through this.

Niksmom said...

I am so sorry that J's team doesn't seem to think he can handle something different. The great thing, though, is that YOU do and you are the most important member of his team. You have a lot of leverage and a lot of clout if you know how to harness it. It might take hiring an advocate (or asking for some guidance from your state's Parent Information Training Center).

The questions I hope you WILL ask in the meetings (and make sure you get the answers either by recording the meeting or by conducting queries in writing) should be:
WHY NOT? What would it take to do (insert your idea/request)?

A technique I learned from WrightsLaw is to create a grid of requests/supports/accommodations that you are asking for. When you rais them in a meeting, clearly indicate on your sheet what the school response is. If it's NOT "yes" then ask them directly what the reasoning is for denying the request. (They have to give you one and you can always go back and challenge it.) Or, if it's being suggested that the topic be revisited at a future date, ask them to select a specific date by when it will be resolved and who the point person will be. This puts their collective feet to the flame, so to speak. It also gives you a paper trail and information to give to advocates/attorneys/mediators if it comes down to it.

Sending good thoughts your way!

Lynn said...

It gets so tiresome that everything is such a battle...but you have to keep fighting the good fight...and I know that you will!


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