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Thread: Can you tell me about your IEP meeting????

  1. #1
    jeninnc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default Can you tell me about your IEP meeting????

    What did you do to prepare?
    Did you go in with a list of goals?
    Who did you take with you?
    Any words of wisdom for me?

    I've read the book recommended here by NOLO press (fabulous BTW - with great forms to copy) and gone to a local IEP workshop with the autism society. But I am still feelling so unprepared.

    Life is CRAZY right now, building a house, selling a house, my sister getting married, appts like crazy for Ellie, my typical 6 yr old acting out....AHHH. Somebody dig me a hole to crawl into and wake me up in May.

  2. #2
    anniemc2000 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Default We brought dd's EI provider and just us

    This was our "transition" meeting from EI to public preschool, and it went very well. We had some concerns and goals in mind, but we waited to hear what they offered first. Our EI provider was prepared to advocate as needed, but the school gave us more services than EI was providing, so she was surprised.

    Do ask for all of the evaluations ahead of time, so you can see what their assessments look like- that was probably the most helpful to us, simply knowing what direction the meeting was heading in. We only had a few days to review them, but it was helpful.

    We worked on her goals together at the meeting, though in hindsight, I would have liked to develop them more on my own first.

    Good luck!

    It's coming time for our next yearly meeting, but they've already told me she is staying with her current program next year and going to summer school, so I have an idea of how it will go.

    Hope all goes well....when is your meeting?
    Ann

  3. #3
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    mickey2 is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    we typically go in with a list of goals (about 30) very detailed. we prioritize them. we list 30, but plan on getting 10-15 and not budging. what happens it we often get 15-20 and the school thinks they got it easy b/c they didnt give into all our demands/requests.

    i always take a male (if dh cant come for whatever reason). for some reason, the demeanor is more receptive when i have a male with me. we also take any new private evals that will work in our favor and ask docs/therapists to write up a short summary of what they think will help him in school and where they see his biggest struggles and strengths. we have been doing ieps for almost 11yrs now with my dss and now ds.

    we email them for a list of who will attend, get copies of school evals and agenda 1week prior, and inform them we will tape record the meeting. hope this helps

  4. #4
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    What did you do to prepare?

    I reasearch IDEA and state laws on special education, procedural safeguards, etc.; also felt like I obtained a PhD in my son's disability (which is autism). Autism makes up a very small percentage of school district's IEP population, and honestly, most just do not have the money or resources to provide necessary and appropriate services for their unique needs. Speech Pathologists who work with autistic children really need to have experience doing so, but sadly most do not(2006 ASHA Guidelines). When dealing with autism the rules of engagement are completely different. Do not accept boilerplate anything. An IEP is an individualized education plan. Do not allow the district to dictate your child's services based on what they can provide to her. Each and everytime they bring that up "we don't have that here, we don't have summer services" stop them with statement that any and all discussions on the limitations the District has with providing services will be reserved for the placement discussion (which is done after the IEP is complete). Just because the school district can't provide it doesn't mean your child doesn't need it. They are apples and oranges, so don't let them push you into the trap of compromising what your child needs because they don't have the staffing or services to provide it to her.

    Did you go in with a list of goals?
    I went in with a lengthy (10 pages I think it was) list of concerns I have. Make a list of every single concern you can think of with regard to your child's skills and delays. From daily living skills, to social skills, to stereotopies, speech -- both expressive and receptive, can she walk to the car with you without holding your hand, does she tantrum, can she brush her own teeth, wash her hands, dress herself, toilet trained, using utensils, etc. You need to list in writing every single item you and your husband are concerned with, no matter how little you may think it is -- as this will become part of your child's IEP file. The school is responsible for developing programs based on your child's delays. They don't know your child, so you need to educate them to the fullest extent at this meeting.

    Does she require full day services, extended year servies (will she regress is she has the summer off), do you need transportation to and from school, who will be working with your child? will she have a 1:1 ABA assistant with her at all times (to include lunch, recess, etc.)? where will she eat her lunch? where will her cubby be? what are the qualifications of the paraprofessionals who will work with your child? who will be overseeing her programing, and how often will they be reviewing same? communication between home and school -- do they have a daily communication log which will outline what your child did that day in school? will there be home services (all autistic children should have home services as they need to be able to generalize learned skills across settings, thus into home environments), will there be parent training? monthly clinic meetings (where you meet with your child's teachers to go over progress and issues)?

    Who did you take with you?

    My sister, who is a elementary school teacher with extensive knowledge of special education laws (her master's degree is in reading, she is a reading specialist). Although I was very prepared for the meeting, she made some important commentary at well timed intervals througout our 2.5 hour meeting (stressing the importance of front loading intense therapies in the early years in order to yield the best long term outcomes). Whenever there was a lapse in the conversation, she filled it with helpful information.

    It is always nice to bring someone with you -- doesn;t matter who that person is. There is so much information discussed during these meetings so having an extra set of ears to absorb that with you is extremely beneficial. Some school districts are pretty outrageous with their suggestions and lack of services, so in those instances it is nice to have someone with you to speak for you when you become just too angry or emotional to trust yourself to make an utterance.

    Any words of wisdom for me?

    * Two words you must lose from your vocabulary -- best and better. Replace them with necessary and appropriate. The school district is under no obligation to provide your child with best and better. They are mandated by Federal law to provide your child with necessary and appropriate. So make sure you preface any request for services as both necessary and appropriate for your child's needs based on her diagnosis.

    * Make a binder of your child's paperwork and stick a nice picture of her on the cover of the binder. Once everyone is seated to start the meeting take the binder out of your bag and place it on the table in front of you. You are introducing your child to this team of professionals who will be making critical decisions on her services. You want to demonstrate that you are very prepared to discuss her needs, and are ready to do battle if necessary. It is also nice to have that beautiful face to look at to give you strength and determination, and yes a constant reminder of what you are fighting for.

    * The IEP is the most imporant document you will secure for your child. It drives both services and placement, so you want to make dang sure it isn't generic in content. I see that you have a lot on your plate presently (hugs to that), but this meeting has to be your #1 priority. Delegate everything else to family members until you get through this.

    Good luck, you are going to do great!

    - Jules

  5. #5
    trek is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    I do not do as much as I should. Never have, but I have gotten a lot fo great tips from the parents here, and have looked at wrightslaw site. Goodluck

  6. #6
    mk Guest

    Default remember that the IEP meeting is not the end of the discussion

    go and see what they have to say. Have a good idea of what you want. Don't agree to anything in the meeting; say you have to digest it. You can definitely go back and ask for more if you are not happy.

    Make sure you consider whether you want an inclusive environment (including a typical preschool) or an autism specialized school. There are pros to both. Don't assume you will be going into their program (although they probably will assume that).

    I like the book "from emotions to advocacy" from wrightslaw

  7. #7
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    Default We always take Alex's Private SLP

    she's a tough cookie. (we love her sooo much!)This time, I emailed a list of potential goals to his teacher and we will just see what they come up with. Just remember that you don't have to agree to what is said at the IEP. You can choose not to sign and ask for another meeting, etc. If you aren't 100% pleased with the goals, don't sign.

    Hang in there!

    Kathie



    Quote Originally Posted by jeninnc
    What did you do to prepare?
    Did you go in with a list of goals?
    Who did you take with you?
    Any words of wisdom for me?

    I've read the book recommended here by NOLO press (fabulous BTW - with great forms to copy) and gone to a local IEP workshop with the autism society. But I am still feelling so unprepared.

    Life is CRAZY right now, building a house, selling a house, my sister getting married, appts like crazy for Ellie, my typical 6 yr old acting out....AHHH. Somebody dig me a hole to crawl into and wake me up in May.

  8. #8
    jeninnc is offline INCIIDer - A Community Creator
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    Thanks for the tips. I wrote them all down. Our meeting is next Tuesday.

    I spoke to our caseworker and she was actually rather helpful and encouraged me to get letters from Ellie's daycare, the preschool she "flunked" out of and any other things that thought might help.

    She also slipped up and told us we are defiantley getting the maximum speech and the therapist already has goals for us.

    I am pushing for a half day preschool placement in our local elementary. The teacher is WONDERFUL and just what Ellie would need.

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