What an IEP looks like

In the world of special needs we speak in acronym and I find myself having to translate what an IEP is because it has consumed our small corner of the world.  When friends ask how things are going I try to explain the overwhelming process of transition and IEP however unless you are living it ~ there is no way to translate the tedious process.

Many around us have children going into school for the first time and I listen to their issues with schools of choice along with worry about not getting into the school they want.  Their issues are real and valid and it’s scary to let go.

Our issues are different but we are all more alike in this process than different

Meetings galore have been in progress for Larkin’s transition into Kindergarten with many many more to come (insert tired here)

Individual Education Plan ~ is a legal document ~ one of the strongest legal documents in a school district

is a written statement of the educational program designed to meet a child’s individual needs

every child who receives special education services must have an IEP

it sets reasonable learning goals for a child and to state the services the school district will provide for the child

an IEP is developed with the school system, parents, and student when appropriate

a team approach of present level of achievement & performance

annual goals

services, aids and changes

changes.  change.  transition is upon us and we move L from the team and school that has known her best and served her needs for 3 years

a school and team that love her

pushed and watched her come away from darkness

into eye contact, smiles, and progress

pushed and watched us as parents to enjoy our child’s achievements

look at her through a different scope outside of her intensive medical issues

I have gathered a lot of information to write her plan and last evening I sat among the paperwork with a glass of wine

Tremendous pressure sat on my heart & shoulders

her IEP defines her daily life at school

this is hard work and it is her path to learning

to bringing a brand new school into her life

to teaching an entire new team how to help this little girl stay in the light and avoid the darkness of regression

instead of telling you what we are doing I decided to take pictures to show you the information super highway and spread the pressure out ~ many hands make light work and her team is pretty awesome ~ and I pray her new team is the same

I speak softly and carry a big notebook

Wine should be served here

My personal invitation from the school and the cover to her current

20 page IEP

How to write effective goals

Documentation from her Neurology medical team at St Louis Children’s hospital

This one makes my head spin because there is so much work to be done to support her needs not only from an academic stand but safety, respect, and inclusion

Page upon page of functional life skill goals along with documentation for benchmarking so we ensure progress or we re-write the goal

Making sure we cover all the bases

Parents often make the mistake of saying they want the “best” education.  Instead the word is “appropriate” and should always be used in conjunction with goal writing.  Helps keep the emotion out and advocacy present

I’m not a lawyer but I play one at my kitchen table

And never forget the face & individual behind the IEP

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3 Responses to What an IEP looks like

  1. Priscilla says:

    Years and years ago I was involved in this process as a parent. I believe it is one of THE most frustrating things I’ve ever been through in my life. Blessings to you and yours.

  2. Michelle says:

    Thanks for sharing. I am SURE this is so helpful to parents that are and will be facing this for the first time. I know first hand the comfort of having a team that gets your child, likes your child, and supports their growth. May that comfort and growth continue!

  3. Dusty Turngren says:

    Well written!

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