The other day a friend posted their status:
“When you arrive for an IEP meeting, and there is a literal car fire in the school parking lot”.
From the commentators on the status, you could pick out the ones who had been thru an IEP meeting and ones who sent their kid to the typical kindergarten.
My response: That’s one way to get your point across.
Another response: We usually just start with introductions. But a car fire sure sounds interesting.
Normal parent: WOW.
Bet you can pick out which was the parent who never went to an IEP.
It led me to think of all the other ways we get thru the IEP only because we keep a sense of humor.
This fall during Bridget’s IEP we had a tornado warning. On Cape Cod. Now New England is known for it’s fickle weather. You might be wearing flip flops at 8am and shoveling snow at 8pm. But tornado? This isn’t the mid-West! We don’t have plains, we have dunes. In the hallway the PTA volunteers were busy calming kids. Me? I was conducting an IEP meeting, specialist-by-specialist with scratch paper while we sat on the floor.
It was seriously one of the most productive IEP meetings I have ever had.
Another friend sent me a pick of a coffee mug and a wine glass. One for pre-IEP and one post.
There is Admin/teacher/therapist/doctor calling you mom, and you silently saying your head if I was your mom I would put you in time out.
There is the emergency card you fill out at the beginning of the year. For who to call in the case of Emergency I once wrote: 911.
There is the endless amount of paperwork that you have to review, every year, that says the same thing on three different places. Imagine how many trees would be saved if the IEP forms were for function rather than government bureaucracy?
There are the times when they tell you that “your child never has behavior issues here”. So you send them a video of what happens when you refuse to put a bun in her hair or have a devil dog.
There is that moment in your 3rd year of doing IEP meeting, when you learn that PT in school is only to make school functional for the child. If there are no stairs, the PT or OT cannot work on that skill. Yet they can work on life skills, when they get older, such as going to the grocery store. Yup, that makes sense. Only in IEP world.
There is that moment when you try understand the rationale that you have to write a permission form for your child to have the nurse put sunscreen on in the summer. For safety reasons because of “touching”. But not one one for the ESP to be in the bathroom stall and assist with toileting.
It’s the little things you can shake your head over that make the whole IEP process a little bit easier to manage.
Tell me, what’s the funniest thing to happen to you during the IEP process?
I got blamed for writing a moms goals.
This most recent IEP meeting [in November] was by far the funniest and most insightful one yet, as it was Kiddo’s three year re-evaluation and he got to fill out his own form on how he sees himself. He ranked himself as average in every category except for assertiveness; on that, he ranked himself above average. Even his teachers who have only known him a few months literally laughed out loud because Kiddo is *not* assertive, not even mildly. Thankfully, nothing catastrophic happened, because these meetings are stressful enough without car fires (with my luck, would have been mine) or tornado warning (which, in the south, happens even in winter).