Tuesday, April 12, 2011

IEP- Incompetent, Educational Planners

My son is on an IEP plan at school. IEP stand for individualized educational plan. Should stand for Incompetent, Educational Planners. The objective of that plan is to alter educational settings for kids who need the extra help due to mental/psychical disorders. My sons "disorder" is ADHD. He is not a bad kid just a really hyper kid. Not so hyper you  wanna drug him but hyper enough that it takes  a little effort to get him to focus. Anyways, the IEP process mandates that a  team of "professionals" meet at certain intervals to discuss my child's needs and a plan of action to ensure he is successful. These "professionals" usually consist of a "mentor", several teachers, an IEP case manger and whomever else is deemed necessary. I have a whole plethora of issues with this team the main one being that their primary goal seems not to be to help my son but rather meet paperwork deadlines.
At our last meeting we had discussed my sons option for a mental/psychological exam. He had one when he was way younger and it outlined some issues that were helpful in planning his education going forward. It is now time to reassess if I so choose. I was informed of that but it was quick like..."Ms.Reed-it-appears-that- __________-is-due-for-another-psychological-work-up-but-we- won't- -worry-about-that-onto-page-two." It was so fast that if I had blinked I would have missed it which I'm sure was the intent.

Heres how it went after that
Regular print= case manager

Whoa pump your brakes mister? Why are we not worrying about that today?
Well I do not see the need.
As I look over the criteria for determining when such an exam is necessary it is clear that we meet most of them.
Well we are not seeing those issues here at school.
Really? Because if you'd like I can pull up several recent emails from the teachers complaining about those same issues. (there is silence as he realizes he is not dealing with some fool)
Well quite frankly I don't think it is necessary at this time.
Well I do
Well it would mean lots more paperwork
Well we can discuss it when we meet again in 6 months 
There is no need to discuss. I can decide if I want it irregardless of your recommendations right? ( I actually read the parents rights handbook they gave me a couple days prior)
None-to-pleased  he responds...yes
Well write it down because  I do want him retested, I think it will be helpful
The vision I have of what our case manager has been doing for the past 6 months
Fast Forward- 6 Months later- I receive a call from the case manager
Ms Reed its time to meet again 
Okay but I never heard from the school psychologist
Well we can discuss the need for that (we did 6 months ago)
We already did
Can you tell me why you want him retested? 
Sure and I provide him with several sound reasons, one of them being that I am his mom and it is my right.
Oh okay well let's get you in for a meeting
I do not see the need to meet at this point, we have met three times this year and each meeting is basically the same thing. And sad to say nothing changes so I feel it would be beneficial to my child to meet after the evaluation when we have some concrete information we can use to plan for him.
Well we can meet again then too but we need you to come in and fill out some papers, we have to get some forms in before next week. ( forms they had the past 6 months to get done)
okay sure. I am available ....and I provide him several dates and times
None of those dates/times work for us. We can meet you Tuesday at 11am.
Nope, 11am is no good I have a job buddy and that is smack in the middle of the work day 
( I have previously taken entire days off of work to accommodate their inflexibility, only to be rushed through a speed 15 minute session because they all had classes or lunch coming up)
He gives me some other BS time to meet
Nope I say, I can meet before work, after work, I will get off early or come in late but cannot miss an entire day of work for "paperwork" ( paperwork that they sat on their asses with and are now tryna rush me up their to cover their slackness)
After realizing we were not going to be able to agree upon a meeting date/time we agreed to a phone conference. Which will be discussed in an upcoming post.


  1. Well good luck dealing with the monolithic puppy mill of education. Cheers Roc!!

  2. Oh Raquel, I wish you luck there. I can't even imagine how frustrating that must be.

  3. Two of my sons are on IEPs. One is full blown Autistic and the other is Ausperger's Syndrome.

    When you look at all of this, do a little extra research and try to find out what the school is getting in regards to funding for the quota of IEPs. All this may do is just let you know where you stand in regards to what work they would be willing to provide.

    For me, they listened intently. Because once I threw the threat out that I would be taking both my boys out and it severely impacted their quota (aka, funding that would be provided for them) I found that they were much more receptive to what I had to say.

    It's sad but I agree with you. Is all of this in the best interest of the kids?

  4. IEP...I've heard of those, and have always wondered what they accomplished. I guess, nothing.

  5. So sorry that you are having a bad experience with your sped team. If I was on your team I would so explain what is happening and weither they are working in good faith. But since I'm not on your team I'll give you some advice: parent advocate. Google for a parent advocate in your area and call them. Make sure you have copies of all the paperwork that the team should have given you at each meeting and take it to the parent advocate. What is nice about these people, they know everyones rights under the law including you, your son, and the school. They are also impartical which means they won't give you a bunch of bull shit or the run around. They will also go to those meetings with you to help you understand what is going on.
    Best part: most advocates (except for those who work for law firms) do this for free. Any questions just email me.

  6. love that pic...something about it...

  7. ADHD kids are supposed to get extra time to do tests (1.5 times)

    And Asperger's Syndrome is hard to diagnose. I went back to Dana's post on the AQ test and see you got a 24. Have your son take it or take it for him.

  8. sometimes i think my son may suffer a tad from this... he is generally a good student, but he finds it hard to focus on something for long periods of time. we've had him evaluated but they say all is well. i'm just not sure i totally beleive it.

  9. As a former school counselor, I can tell you (I am sure you know) there are dates that are mandated by law. Check your dates, document everything...
    Good Luck!

  10. Ugh! What a nightmare. Good luck dealing with these people in the future! You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders and have done your homework. :-)

  11. I feel bad that the school is not working with you. If you have access to an Employee Assistance program r whatever health insurance is covering the testing, I would speak to them. You never know whats available.

  12. Matt- Leave it to you.

    MysteryChick- Thanks :)

    Joker- Wow, you got a full plate there. How do I find that info in relation to funding?

    Linda- Not necessarily true, My high schooler's IEP team is awesome and very effective. Our middle school sucks and I am sure the school itself has lots to do with it.

    Mamma- Thanks for the info. I was hoping not to have to get all technical with them. I mean he is not autistic or having major issues, it's quite minor really. It is just frustrating. I can only imagine what a parent with a child with a larger issue must be going through. I'm gonna muddle through this a bit more but if I run into some more issues I may very well email you so thanks for the offer.

    Eternalist- Mine or the teacher lady? lol

    Mike- You are so damn resourceful! I never even thought about that. And I love the fact that you gave me a link so it will be super easy. I will do that and post results. Smart guy, you are!
    And BTW he does get the extra time.

    Slyde- Could just be a boy thing. There are many studies about how our schools are failing boys. Boys learn differently than girls and having to sit still and focus for long lengths of time is hard for most boys. I really wish schools would take that into consideration when planning for our kids.

    Missy- I am aware of the mandated dates. However, my frustration is that those dates are no surprise to the case manager so why do they wait until the week the deadline is and then try to meet or plan?? That seems whacked to me. And at that point are they really focused on helping my son or meeting their deadline for paperwork?

    ETW- Thanks!

    ASM-No employee program here but I will fight them myself. I am always up for a good challenge.