Yes, it's February- and time to start thinking about Joey's IEP for next year. Ive been thinking about what I think Joey needs, listening to Joey and his difficulties, and considering what he should be learning and doing. I've been thinking about the models that have worked for him, and what key components made those models work. Then I've been thinking about why he needs these models, and goals, and supports. I've been thinking about what we've seen, what progress we've made, what regression we've seen, and why we have been both successful and... not so much.
Most of all, I've been thinking about Joey's stress.
I think most people understand that too much stress breaks down anybody's ability to function, including learning. If we don't address the stress, anything else we do will fall apart. That's the first and foremost reason for almost everything I can think about for Joey's IEP: a setting that reduces stress. A learning model that minimizes stress. Social skills programming to include coping with stress. Accommodations to eliminate stress.
And this time, not only do I have to get it right, but I have to put my foot down. No budging. We've been through the ringer, and we are out of time for fooling around. We have the data. We know what works. Now, we just need to spell it out- clearly, concisely, and completely.
How many times have I told my students to do that?