Monday, May 07, 2007

Showdown at High Noon--E's IEP Meeting Today

P and I attend the second part of E's IEP (Individualized Educational Plan) meeting today. The first part, held a couple weeks ago, was held to hear results of tests assessing where E's at intellectually/socially/physically/etc. since the last time she was reviewed, and to determine her eligibility for special ed supports and services for next year.

That was the easy part.

We meet at noon today to finalize a transitional plan from middle school to high school, to discuss and write goals for the next year, and to approve accommodations so that E is guaranteed equal access to her education, and related before- and after-school activities.

Between both of our younger girls, we've attended at least two dozen of these meetings over the years. We should be experts at it. We're not. And unfortunately the longer I'm in the system, the more I realize that the special ed child's advocate isn't the classroom teacher, the school principal or the rep from special ed making sure the papers are completed properly. The ONLY true advocate for a special needs child is the child's parent. (Which makes the IEP only as good as the paper it's written on, unless that parent has the time/patience/energy willing to ride the system to make it otherwise.)

Fie! Without a doubt, thinking about attending these meetings leaves me feeling as if I must gird my loins and pay obeisance to the gods to ensure a successful battle.

If you're reading this post between noon and three central standard time, wish us luck.

Appetite for writing: Ravenous, but will have to wait until after our marathon meeting. Hmmm. Perhaps our real-life battle will inspire some good scenes for KM.

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