Last spring, we designed Joey's big IEP for the school year. IEPs here are now not school year-to-school year, but are to cover 12 months from implementation. This wasn't a big issue, as Joey had mastered his goals from his previous IEP, so he was ready for new goals and new work. So we thought hard about where we thought he could go between April and April, and wrote it up.
I admit we've had some setbacks since then. Joey's mental health deteriorated significantly. The result was a huge explosion in behaviors to communicate that deterioration, the most significant being downright dangerous. We have had to put a lot of energy into getting him settled in his new school after the disastrously inappropriate summer program. However, all those problems were rooted in poor transition planning and implementation; in other words, lack of appropriate support.
Now we are in a school with no autism specialist, no resource room, none of the things that made Joey's school experience work for him. His teachers are busting their butts trying to figure out how to help him; but that also means they are not spending all the energy on actually helping, they have to spend it on thinking, experimenting, and reinventing the wheel.
I just saw Joey's first official report card. His midterm reports were pretty good, all A's on his academic subjects (which we thought a little odd, to be honest, considering that the teachers were telling us they hadn't been able to provide him any instruction due to behavior issues).
The new C's were not the most startlingly telling thing about this report, however. It was the IEP.
When you have an IEP, part of it is a section evaluating progress towards the goal. The scores are M (mastered), SP (sufficient progress made to complete the goal on time), ES (emerging skill, but may not meet the goal on time), IP (insufficient progress to meet the goal on time), and NI (no instruction provided).
For the May and June reports, where he was in his old school with all his supports, everything was SP.
For the September and November reports, none of them are. NONE. We even have an NI. Two ES. Mostly IP.
That, my friends and readers, is the difference support makes. Remember this as you go into your IEPs, your teacher conferences (even with your non-disabled children), your meetings and plannings and everything else. Support=success. Without it?