School meetings where you must advocate for your child can be so intimidating. But its necessary!
Below is a humorous poem about IEP’s, individual education plans:
I do not like these IEP’s
I do not like them, Jeeze Louise
We test, we check
We plan, we meet
But nothing ever seems complete.
Would you, could you
Like the form?
I do not like the form I see.
Not page 1, not 2, not 3.
A brand new box. I think we all
Have lost our rocks.
Could you all meet here or there?
We could not all meet here or there.
We cannot all fit anywhere.
Not in a room
Not in a hall
There seems to be no space at all.
Would you, could you meet again?
I cannot meet again next week
No lunch, no prep
Please hear me speak.
No, not at dusk and not at dawn
At 4 p. m. I should be gone.
Could you hear while all speak out?
Would you write the words they spout?
I could not hear, I would not write
This does not need to be a fight.
Sign here, date there,
Mark this, check that.
Beware the student’s ad-vo-cat(e).
You do not like them
So you say
Try it again! Try it again!
And then you may.
If you let me be,
I’ll try again
And you will see.
I almost like these IEP’s
I think I’ll write 6003.
And I will practice day and night
Until they say
“You’ve got it right”.
An IEP is an individual education plan, a form of academic support for children who are classified with learning disabilities and/or ADHD. Although the above is depicted as humorous, it truly can be very emotional when parents are trying to ensure adequate support for their child. Notice some of the issues that are truly dealt with when dealing with school administration: scheduling issues, deciding on measurable goals, interruptions, and the needed persistence to “get it right!”
Parents know their child with ADHD best! They know how their impairments negatively impact academics and know the need for support. They need to be armed with information and be willing to advocate for their child’s needs. Notice that the poem refers to being aware of the advocate. Many times, the level of seriousness and degree of respect is heightened when the school administrators become aware that the parents have information and support behind them as they insure academic support.
Is this IEP journey limited to one timely meeting set in an agreed upon room with minimal arguing and appropriate document signing? NO!! Just as the poem indicates, the participants have to get it right!! How does that happen? The documentation of measurable goals that will allow the parents to continue to monitor the results of those goals and interventions. The journey demands meetings, tweaking, evaluations, conversations, and maintenance of the paper trail.
The IEP is not something to be signed and put in a folder. It is a LIVE document that is continually changing, promoting the positive changes in the child, elevating self-esteem and success!