The IEP


IEP. If your child is extra awesome they will need one. IEP stands for individualized education plan. It’s the blueprint for what your child needs to succeed in school. The mandatory therapies, environment, tools, goals and people that will help make them successful. J’s IEP is 23 pages long. He has a section for speech, motor, life skillsA great IEP will be able to explain to someone who knows nothing about J and his needs, exactly what his needs are. IEP’s are extremely important. 

I have been through 2 so far. They are annual. You sit down with the school coordinator, his teacher and his therapists and you discuss the progress he’s made and the work that still needs to be done. They are 1-2 hour meetings. This is where you become the best advocate for your child. Their voice. 

Every subsequent IEP I get better. More knowledgeable. When to push. When to fold. His last IEP in November, went through 3 copies before I finally signed one. You dance a fine line between insulting your child’s teacher and therapists and making sure they get what they deserve. That the services match the needs. IEP’s are a contract between you and the school. The school has to provide what is in the contract or find a place that can. End of story. Because we are military and will move frequently, it is extremely important that it be as precise and detailed as possible. We will have one more meeting here before we move on. 

I’m still learning the process. Still finding my voice. The right advocate voice for my kids. When E gets into the school system, she will have an IEP or a 504 for her needs. As it stands right now, her’s will be medical instead of developmental. That will be a new set of rules I will have to learn. A new advocate voice tailored specifically to her. 

I am in a unique position, that I can find a place to live within the best school zone in what ever area we are stationed in. This gives all 3 kids the best possible staff and school to be a part of. A deserves it too. She deserves the best education she can get. She’s my one kid who doesn’t require more but she deserves more. Whatever more looks like for her. 

What I want for all 3 of my kids is to be treated with respect. To be given the best education the school can provide. And for me to be the best advocate for each of them that I can be. It is not easy. I am not confrontational but god forbid you think less of my child and I find out. My kids deserve the best. I demand the best and you will be the best. 

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