I've personally experienced I.E.P.'s from hell when James was alive. Somehow it didn't sink into the brains of the I.E.P. team that a child on oxygen shouldn't be forced to do gym. Shouldn't have his wheelchair taken away. Be forced to attend school when he is sick and sending truant officers after him when his O-sats were below 70. You try getting out of bed when you sats are that low.
That was the old school district that Josh went to. That was the same school that did nothing when a bully peed on him. It didn't matter how long we yelled. We weren't heard.
But then a awesome thing happened. Our sewer line burst and we had to move. We didn't think it was awesome at the time but it turned out to be a very happy accident. The only house we could find was in a completely different county.
What a difference a different school district makes. Josh went from B,C,D student to a strait A student. He made friends. The school dealt swiftly with any bullies. Problems with teachers were handled. Josh found himself to be the salutatorian of his class when he graduated last year. Josh did the work but the school was the perfect environment for him to flourish.
Even though my husband drives 45 minutes one way to go to work we decided to stay put after Josh graduated. We started the girls in the Pathways special education preschool program in late April of 2012. Madeline and Natalie attended the same class until August of 2012 which included the E.S.Y. Madeline phased out of the pathways program and into special education Kindergarten.
Our home district of Canisteo-Greenwood made a deal with neighboring district Jasper-Troupsburg to combine their special education Kindergarten together. This meant that Madeline would be 40 minutes away. We also found out that the Pathways program would be moving out of the Canisteo-Greenwood school district to the Hornell school district because Canisteo-Greenwood was moving their middle school into the elementary school building to save on costs. Natalie would have to travel 30 minutes away in the opposite direction to attend school.
Both girls did awesome even with the changes. When I say awesome I mean awesome in the fact that they did their best to adjust to a lot of change. Two different buses. Two different wake up times. Two different schools. With my husband 45 minutes in one direction..Josh off to college 2 hours away..Madeline 40 minutes and Natalie 25 minutes in another AND James recently passing away it was like our life was scattered to the four winds.
This meant not going to a lot of school functions. It made picking up sick children difficult. That was another thing. Madeline had developed a chronic cough in November. It's June now..it still hasn't gone away completely. She missed over 30 days of school due to being sick. It meant Natalie had to miss days because her school let out earlier than Madeline's. Our doctor's office is (lol) 45 minutes away. With no one to babysit we had zero choice.
Our life has never been easy. I mean..who really has an easy life? It always seems like something is going to go wrong. So when I.E.P. time came up I thought the looming shoe would drop right square on our heads.
Two little girls with autism.
Two little girls who both have their own unique needs.
Two little girls with autism require two I.E.P. meetings.
I.E.P. meetings set fear into the heart of every special needs parent.
We never quite know which way it's going to go.
Will the I.E.P. team be a soul eating guinea pig demons or will they truly be there for your child?
some a shit load of horror stories out there. Many of them come from my friends..not a Google search.
Think special education is standardized across the United States? Think again. The Truth About Special Education In Texas, Y'all.
It's pretty bad when you have a whole label on your blog devoted to School Sucks.
Every been in a room full of people and felt invisible? How about when it's your child's I.E.P. meeting?
By the way all those issues your child has are normal. All kids do that.
Every had to pull your children out of school just to make sure they are safe? Yeah. This momma had to.
You can see why I was ready to wage war if I had to. But the thing is I didn't have to. All my issues were addressed and resolved.
Inclusion? They were implementing a new program between S.E. & N.T. classes anyway. I knew Canisteo-Greenwood was continuing to ship out their special education students to Jasper-Troupsburg. My concern was Madeline starting 1st grade. I didn't feel comfortable with Madeline switching back to Canisteo-Greenwood after first grade. The special education director said Madeline and Natalie can continue with Jasper-Troupsburg for the remainder of their schooling if I'd like. We discussed her fear of sounds and distractibility. I suggested noise cancelling head phones. They countered with sound muffling headphones during certain class times as they didn't want her to become desensitized to sound. They were the ones who noticed a very strong possibility of ADHD. Our psychologist missed it because we were in a secluded room with only two adults. Madeline and Natalie will be in the same class next year so they can work on proper socializing between them. They adjusted Natalie's speech therapy for more one on one sessions vs. group because she works one on one better. They increased the amount of PT for Madeline to address some balancing difficulties. We made new goals for potty training for both girls and trying new foods. I was completely satisfied from beginning to end. For Madeline's meeting Madeline's PT even took care of Natalie so we could attend.
Why is this sort of treatment not the norm? Please keep in mind this is a very poor school district that has made all sorts of cuts to every program. They haven't cut the treating people like human beings part out.
Why does it seem like so many schools work against the parents and students instead of for them?
Why standardized public education not standard?
Why are public servants not working for the public?
Do you have a I.E.P. nightmare story?