Friday, October 5, 2012

31 for 21, 2012: #5 Tiffany's Top Ten Tips for IEPs

The IEP is never, EVER a final decision.

IF you sign off on an IEP, it is not some kind of final decision that cannot be reversed.  You can call a meeting at any time for any reason.  EVEN THE NEXT DAY.

If you do research or get a gut panic or talk to parents or an advocate or whatever and decide that what the meeting concluded is not in your child's best interest, you can fix it. 

For that matter nothing you have ever said or committed to MUST be stuck to.  If you fight and battle for full inclusion for your child, you can change you mind if it turns out to be not for your child.

It doesn't make you a loser, it makes you a flexible, good parent.  It takes a big person who is willing to backpedal and realize that maybe you were off...or that you need to tweak something...There is never a good reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

I know that sounds dreadful, FULL INCLUSION NOT THE BEST????????  Yes.  Sometimes it does not offer the support your child needs.  Sometimes they won't be able to hang with their peers and keep up...AND THAT'S OKAY. 

HOWEVER, I must make the qualification, that the self-contained classroom MUST be held accountable for pushing and challenging and supporting your child.  They MAY NOT be allowed to behave or teach in the manner of "Oh, well, these kids can't, so there is no reason to try."  But there is a point where you need to meet your child where they learn the best, and sometimes that is not in the typical manner...and it is in their best interest to meet their needs, and not "make a political point".

BUT, if your child can thrive in Full Inclusion?  Go to the ropes, Baby!!  Fight for it!!  But, as I said last post, just make sure you know why you are fighting and that you are doing it for the right reason.

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