My kid… He’s a complicated kid.
He’s not one easy diagnosis. He’s not just autistic. He’s not just speech impaired. He’s not just a regular 2 year old, almost 3 year old, since some of his skills are at the 48 month level.
So, I wasn’t happy with his IEP. The school made no concessions to my concerns. I refused to sign it and called for a 10 day recess, as is my right.
I took the IEP draft home yesterday. Know what I noticed first? My name is spelled wrong, on the very first page. The school didn’t even bother to double check the name of the child’s parent. Someone who is supposed to be a very important part of the IEP meeting. Yeah.
Their policy is to allow one parent observation of the classroom per nine weeks, that has to go through the school administration. What are they trying to hide? That’s just not enough, I’m afraid. I was welcome in any class that my child attended in elementary school, when we lived in Texas City.
He’s currently receiving 120 minutes per month of individual speech therapy through ECI. The school’s IEP is proposing 90 minutes per month of group therapy. That’s a stark contrast. Jamey is making slow progress now, but he is making progress. If we step down his therapy, I don’t think that’s a good idea.
I requested someone who’s fluent in sign language be in his room. I didn’t demand a certified ASL teacher. Just someone who is fluent and knows more than basic signs. He understands what you say, but you probably won’t understand what he’s saying. He signs. A lot. I counted over 90 signs, plus letters. The school’s idea was for me to do their homework for them. To provide them with a list of those signs and they’d try to learn them, and then try to learn the new signs as Jamey learns them with me. Yeah. I don’t think that’s in Jamey’s best interests. To throw him into a new environment with no one who understands what he’s trying to say? That’s not going to make him suddenly start talking in five and six word sentences. It’s going to make him shut down.
I don’t know. I know that I’m not comfortable sending my basically nonverbal child to school with this IEP. The school gave no ground. Made no compromises. That doesn’t put me into the frame of mind to make any either, despite the fact that I played very nicely in the meeting. Held my sarcasm back and everything. And y’all know I have a mouth on me. For now, I’m going to continue finding the research for why Jamey needs a fluent adult. There’s massive amounts of research that has shown that it helps even for neurotypical kids. And we’ll keep watching Signing Time.
I know Jamey won’t be going to school on January 4th if the school can’t meet me halfway on some of this. And we’ll keep moving up the food chain. At this point, I don’t have anything to lose by keeping him out of school. The schedule they have for him is only 3 hours a day, plus travel time.
If parents are supposed to be valued members of the IEP/ARD process, the school has to at least pretend to be paying attention.