Wanted: Strategies for IEPs! This week I got an email from Andrea, a mom of two; her youngest, Emerson, 6, has cerebral palsy and seizure disorder. As she says, "Since Emerson was born, I have hit the ground running with educating myself with all the knowledge that I can, finding every available resource, researching all I can in order to get my daughter what she needs.... Emerson is smart, funny, imaginative, creative. We need to tap into what will take her further."
She's dreading an upcoming Admission, Review and Dismissal committee meeting, where parents and educators design an individualized education plan. What she's struggling with: the goals of the IEP. "I want goals that are objective, not subjective," she wrote. "I don't want goals written in the '4 out of 5 times, Emerson completed xx' format... I feel like her IEP is very surface, it has no meat to it in order to tap into the best way she learns."
Max's IEP uses similar measures: "with 90% accuracy," it'll say; "75% of the time." I've never found the percentages to be particularly insightful, but I've never bothered to fight the system. I pay more attention to the actual results I see at home (reading, counting) and generally view the IEPs as a blueprint for the school year, which I fill out with ongoing conversations and emails with his teachers and therapists, official parent-teacher conferences and the occasional meeting I request.
When I've had specific requests at IEPs, I've gathered as much
Andrea is eager to get ideas from other parents. So, what advice do you have for her on how she might better navigate her upcoming meeting with her daughter's school?