Monday, April 14, 2008

Waiting for the fat lady to sing...

Over 3 hours, and we barely got into the "goals" section of the IEP. Needless to say, we had to reschedule to finish, so the IEP is not yet complete. Nothing changes as of yet. There was so much time wasted on the verbiage of the "supplementary" and "related" services, but those are important too, and I wanted to make sure I had his BIP addressed in the actual IEP somewhere. I wanted it written in that he will not be removed from Gen.ed unless he reaches a "level 3" on our 5 point scale, and when he is removed, for any reason, that reason will be clearly documented. And I wanted to make absolutely sure that he was taken to someone who is familiar with Autism and its language aspects, before any disciplinary action was taken.

They fought me on that one, but the Social Worker (who has 2 Autistic children herself) knew what I was getting at and made them write it in. Yay for her!

Then there was another huge waste of time when I argued the Team (mainly the SLP) that the goals had to be "specific and measurable", and the objectives are the steps taken in what the child needs to be able to reach that goal. She informed me that the goals are supposed to be broad because they cover the entire year. If goals were specific, we would have to reconvene the IEP every month or so. The "measurability comes in the objectives. I told her that wasn't my understanding, but I would check on it.

Referencing IDEA, the law states that the goals have to be "measurable". It actually states nothing about the specificity or broadness. So I suppose I made an ass of myself in a sense. Whatever- I'm over it. So now I'm stuck with crappy goals like "increase expressive and receptive language" and "increase pragmatics". Which is why I'm okay with the IEP being incomplete right now. It gives me time to refuel.

We also checked out 2 different schools. The Sp.ed coordinator said that both of the schools are more accommodating than the one we're currently at, and have more experience with disabilities and inclusion. They even include their Basic classrooms. That's cool. One of the schools is HUGE! I was lost as soon as we turned the first corner. It has 3 floors (keep in mind this is an elementary school), and 4 playgrounds. Unreal. It was well kept, but I don't know how Jaysen would handle the sheer size of the place. The principal seemed nice, but not as welcoming as I would have liked.

The second school was smaller (still bigger than our current school), seemed a little unkempt and dank, and it smelled like sweat. The principal was super cool though. He walked with us and talked about the school and the students- they have a LINKS program, which is like a peer mentorship that the reg.ed students sign up for to be the sp.ed students supports and buddies. That's cool too. The first school also had LINKS, but it's new to that school and more developed in the second one.

I didn't get the feeling at either school that "OH! This is the place for Jaysen!" but I don't know if I would, skeptic that I am. Incidentally, the district I wanted, stopped accepting applications April 2nd, and already finished their lottery. Lose.

So, I have some pretty big decisions to make in the next couple of weeks. Damn- why does his school have to suck?


Marla said...

I have asked myself the very same question about almost all of M's schools. I hope you find the right school soon. Good luck with thre rest of the IEP.

Ashley's Mom said...

We finally found a good school for Ashley when she went into the 6th grade - all the school years before that? A total waste of time and energy. Education should NOT be like that.

Sabrina said...

Those are big decisions! I hope you find something that will work for Jaysen. Your poor boy has been through so much at that school. We did our IEP the other day, 1.5 hours of nodding my head. lol I think the transition from Pre to K should be ok. I'm a bit worried about the behavior plan. (bites her nails) We'll see though.

lastcrazyhorn said...

As for the goals, they have to make the goals broad like that, it's just the terminology. What you need to get specific about are the objectives. Did they fill out any objectives? We delineate between those two in music therapy.

Other than that, I wish I could howl at the moon in frustration for you.