Monday, September 19, 2011

Too much to ask?!??

What is an IEP?

IEP: Short for Individualized Education Program, an IEP is the legal document that defines a child's special education program. An IEP includes the disability under which the child qualifies for Special Education Services, the services the team has determined the school will provide, his yearly goals and objectives and any accommodations that must be made to assist his learning. (copied & pasted from

See those words I made larger and bolder?  LEGAL DOCUMENT.

I'm at my wits end once again and September isn't even over.

I've been sitting on this for a little bit because I wanted to talk to people.  Get other side of the story.  See what my rights are.

pretty accurate description of what i look like right now.
Last week I went in to observe my child on his lunch break to find him in the self-contained autism classroom with four of his peers and one teacher.

My child has ON HIS IEP one-on-one support for every minute he is at school.  And I'm pretty sure that some of those other kids have the same.

These are kids that are prone to eloping, tantrums, and self-injurious behaviors.  How is my child, and the other boys, safe in that environment with only one adult?

All because it was someone's bright idea to give the ed techs that are assigned to my son and other children like him "duties"- you know monitoring lunch, recesses, etc. And I know FOR A FACT that this has been asked about by parents AND teachers to have this changed because of safety concerns and it has NOT happened.

This ON TOP of already concerns about his educational goals being met.  About the training the ed techs are getting on giving ABA instruction.  This is after me going in two weeks ago to go over his program and ME having to explain to the person doing his instruction what the difference was between him knowing his sight words expressively and receptively.

If the person giving him his instruction didn't know the difference, how the heck am I suppose to put faith into the data she is taking?  The data that shapes his programming and his IEP?

I feel like I have to be in school ALL the time to make sure things are going the way they are suppose to.  It's like a full-time job.  I can't do it.  I have a full-time job already!  I shouldn't have to do it.  I should have a school and professionals that I can put my trust and faith in that my son receives the top-notch education he deserves.  And that he's freaking safe in his school environment.  Is that too much to ask?!?

This is our third year now in school and I keep trying to be optimistic that this time they've got it figured out.  But they don't.  I'm done.  Done, done, done.


Jen Troester said...

I am trying to be very Zen about this crap, b/c last year I was a mess, practically went all shining on my house, and gained 20lbs from stress eating. Not that the Zen part is working, but I am trying to tell myself it doesn't matter what the school does b/c we have good private therapists. But, the fact of the matter is, my kid spends her whole day in school and it bothers me how much it sucks, so I get it. K doesn't have a 1:1. I have thought about fighting for one, but all a 1:1 is here, is some random person hired to babysit. Someone with a HS diploma. Not someone trained in ABA or Autism or special ed, period. So, instead I got put in her IEP that the classroom aide, who is trained in ABA and Autism, spend X amount of time with her/day, and do the direct teaching and what not. K will run from class, but not from the school, so elopement is thankfully not an issue for us. I don't need a babysitter, I need someone to actually do ABA shit with her....although, I don't even know for sure how much that works out, either. Dealing with the school sucks. I mean, I cannot imagine anything worse. We are never treated like part of the team, and no matter what legal things are in place, they always screw it up, or make excuses, etc. Then WE have to go broke fighting them. I have no real advice, b/c we deal with the same crap here...I don't even know what to do anymore...

Kelly Hafer said...

Hoo boy. September is a rough time for our families, isn't it? See my beautiful, shining hair in my little photo? It is a wig. It is a wig because about two years ago when we first started dealing with the public school system and their IFSP/IEP/FAPE bullshit, my hair started falling out. Yeah, baby - stress-induced Alopecia. Everyone told me that I should relax and calm down. WELL, YOU CAN'T RELAX AND CALM DOWN WHEN YOU HAVE SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS. And, public schools for other than typical kids SUCK. I can't tell you how many meetings I left crying. All these people who say things like, "Early intervention is critical to children with special needs" clearly have no desire to actually HELP kids obtain said early intervention. The clawing, fighting, begging and pleading for someone, anyone to help your baby is not worth it. Because, in our opinion, it is all about the Benjamins and NEVER about the Teds, AJs, Brians or Corbins. I've never had success with any of the three public school systems we dealt with. My kid is not yet five and I already feel the life being sucked out of me. I wish you luck, patience, strength and  success. ((hugs)) 

tania said...

I know its very sad. You should see some of the stuff that happens in the inner city schools of NY. :(

Heather said...

I feel like I should write a long response to this but for now I'm just going to say "Thank you".  Still waiting on a damn response from both the school and the district.  Still talking to disability rights.  Still seeing what options are.  It sucks.

Heather said...

Thanks for listening and letting me know "you get it"- seriously the best thing about having this blog is just knowing I'm NOT alone!  I hope things get better for you and Katie drives me insane that hte kids that need the most help are the ones swept under the shouldn't be that way.  Common sense.

-blessed holy socks said...

Trust in the Trinity, girl. God'll see you through. Set a special time and place where you can go to pray if only for TEN minutes. God'll respect that. God'll love that! That'll be your time. And know I'm praying for you everyday, miss gorgeous. I love you. Puh-leeze allow me to kiss your adorable feets in Heaven Above before we go to my BIG-ol, kick-ass, party-hardy for eons celebrating our resurrection. God bless you profusely, doll, for having the bawls. A lot more than two --- See Ecclesiaticus 3:30/Acts 2:21