Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Alternatives Planning

IEP season is upon us. Run.

You may have noticed we have not had a stellar school year. We started with the disaster summer program, and spiraled into disaster from there. We have been "in the system" seven years now. This is the first year joey will meet none of his goals.


We've had all sorts of promises made about next year, but nothing on paper yet. We have a meeting next week about all the updates to his evals and his testing and that sort of thing. We know what was working for him. We now can say clearly what does not.

Knowing that he thrives in a model offered at another school, is it "adequate" if he only survives in a new model? What if we think is not, in fact, surviving? And what do we do if all those promises are not worth the air moved to suggest them? What if we walk into that IEP and there is no new autism resource person to help for the next two years? Even delaying it a year would be a disaster we would need to reckon with.

If I need to pull Joey out of the school because of his deepening depression and deteriorating mental health, what options do I have for support and education for him? I had started a gameplan for having to do that when we hit middle school. Not now.

Having alternatives is not just about being prepared for the possibilities; there is also something of having a fallback position that strengthens your current one. It is easier to fight a school when you know you're ready to pack up your toys and go home if you need to. There is something to be able to say, "Give him what he needs. If I can dig up these resources to do it, you can do it- or pay for me to" and slap down that plan with the budget and costs, ready to go. Do it, or due process.

We're getting our ducks in a row. It's IEP season.

Bring it on.


farmwifetwo said...

Good luck with it.

We've had a good year and as long as the Teacher stays the same I don't expect it to change for the next 2. Eldest, except for PPM 140 (social stuff), is caught up so no worries there. Next steps will be planning to re-dx him and remove the supports going into highschool over the next 2yrs. So I'm thinking about that for Sept but not right now. We only have 2 reports and 2 IEP's starting this year.... you can thank the Teacher's for that one.

Good luck.

Stimey said...

I am so sorry that Joey has to go through all this. But I know that you can bring it. Good luck, my friend. Keep us updated, okay?

Shelby Hudspeth said...

I feel your pain! I was NOT going to fight with the school another year....a year LOST and a another year with out a good education. We pulled our son out of school. He is getting therapies privately so why fight the school? It was not worth it to me....they were doing a sucky job anyway. I pray that I can help him catch up and we are happy with our decision....but it's not for everyone. I hope that Joey gets everything he needs....but knowing school systems...he probably won't! The school system really SUCKS! At least ours does!

Aspen May Gilead said...

As someone who is struggling against a school system not made for a boy like mine, I am wondering what your options are. Are you considering homeschool? Private education? Suing the school?
I'm just curious how other parents approach this dilemma. I'm approaching it with more chaos and guilt than I would like.

Joeymom said...

Yes, we are considering all of those. Our first step is to get out our Wrightslaw books and see what our legal rights are. Then we are scouring the area of support resources and private therapists, and the costs involved in homeschooling. We are also considering the "hidden" costs, such as cutting back work hours and lost income involved.

Casdok said...

Difficult decisions to be made. Hope everyone is honest and has Joey's best interests at heart.
These early years are so important.