A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.

Friday, December 03, 2010

IEPs for Everyone

Apparently there haven't been enough IEPs in my house. If you don't know, the IEP is the magic document that the school system uses to allocate special services to children. So, if your have Special Needs children, like we do, you learn the IEP process in and out.
It's fairly tedious yet important. It gets my kids therapy and the things they need to help them progress.
So my oldest boy has this speech impediment.
I stood on my head at the school during Kindergarten and First Grade, getting him "speech therapy lite". A "little" speech therapy. Everyone felt that it was something he was going to grow out of.
I went to meetings. I pushed. And for some reason, they just didn't think he needed more help.
Now he's in 2nd Grade and there is a new Speech Language Pathologist at his school.

I got a call. She says "The Boy needs aggressive speech therapy, if he continues like this he's going to talk this way when he's 39."

FINALLY. In the process of talking to her I realize though - he's got to go on an IEP.

Sigh. So now my GIFTED Child and my SPECIAL ED children all have IEPs. I am totally getting my tax money's worth out of the damned school system I SWEAR I AM.

He has what they call LOW TONE - which refers to the strength of the muscles he uses to talk. Low strength. It's why he struggles to pronounce words his brother who is autistic says crystal clear.

So I went to the IEP meeting for HIM today, and watched the therapists head blow off when I told her I already HAD two IEPs for the twins and they were autistic. I love the question "how do you do it?" lol. Lady, we just do. We just do.

Anyway, I was frustrated because I guess I don't like the IDEA of the IEP for my big boy yet I want nothing but what will help him.

I am an IEP road warrior.


Anonymous said...


Milehimama @ Mama Says said...

Oh I hate the IEP process, I just blogged about my latest IEP meeting (in which I made the crazy request that my child be educated in a classroom with walls and a door.)

But I actually kind of like the speech IEP. It's so straightforward and easy compared to the other one!

Anonymous said...

Interesting post...I fought hard to GET my son (who is also gifted) on an IEP. He's had one since kindergarten only for speech but wasn't medically diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome until the third week of third grade. It was so frustrating to have spent three years trying to bust open the door that held so many solutions for him...simple things such as sitting at an individual desk that was already in the room instead of a group table for testing and acknowledgment (not even intervention) that social situations are difficult and different for him. Once the IEP was in place, everything about the school experience improved for him. His academic and social development has improved by leaps and bounds.

The day I was able to sit down with the school psychologist, the speech therapist (both of whom are responsible for evaluating the appropriateness of all IEPs), and his classroom teacher a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders. I finally had the backing I needed to give my son the best opportunities available for him in school in the least intrusive way possible.

We are still in the process of second opinions/evaluations from speech pathology and occupational therapy from our health care team, but so far, they have been impressed that the school acted so fast and so effectively for my son.

Thank you for sharing your story. I appreciate hearing different perspectives from others who are going down a similar path. I hope your IEP experiences will ease the strain on you and allow your children the best possible opportunities available to them.