Today was the first anniversary of Boo’s IEP. Last year I walked into the meeting having no idea what to expect. This is something else left out of that What to Expect book…..
Last year, when Boo entered the integrated preschool I was not in love with the program. I did not know how to be forceful with Boo’s needs. I didn’t realize that if it wasn’t written on a piece of paper and signed off by 45 different people Boo would not get the level of care she needs. Within 3 months her teacher realized that Boo needed more, and advocated that Boo continue in the integrated part-time but move to a program dedicated to special needs 1:1 education. Within 3 months of Boo starting that hybrid program she began to talk, interract more and just blossomed.
So, this year, I was more prepared. I read up on how to approach the meeting, what ideas to have at the ready, what concerns I may need to raise. Yes, I obsessed over this meeting.
And I honestly have to say, I was worried for nothing.
I have heard and read about the horror of the IEP meeting. And I am sure that my Polly-anna attitude is due to Boo being in preschool and not the lower elementary grade (or worse, the higher). Our town school system has such a unique program in place to capture children right after Early Intervention.
And it works.
I am lucky to live in a town that understands the quicker you start therapies in the child’s life the more likely chance the child will respond. That is willing to give an almost 4YO an aide, whose sole responsiblity is to make sure that 1. Boo doesn’t escape and 2. that Boo is engaged in the classroom.
What I didn’t understand is why we couldn’t just write, “Reviewed and Renewed” on the IEP. Instead of meeting for an hour, having to rewrite the plan and then send off the form for 45 signatures!