Oh, the dreaded I.E.P meeting. Horror! Fights! And, a lot of other bad things....
If you are new to the world of special needs and education, the I.E.P stands for "Individual Education Program". If you know what it is, you have probably heard a lot of negative things about them. If you have attended one, you may have had a horrible, frustrating experience. We attended our first one at the beginning of Sir Dantes' kindergarten year, and I have to admit, it wasn't that bad. My biggest issue was trying to "read" the I.E.P.
Knowing that we have several years of I.E.P meetings ahead of us, I decided to attend a seminar at Middle Tennessee State University concerning the subject. I have decided to share my experience with you in hopes that it may help you out.
I would like to share with you an excerpt from a very recent email I received from Sir Dantes' special education teacher.
"He is still having good days and some really bad days. Yesterday was a pretty good day. During math he did not want to do his work so he ripped it up and then he will start head butting, kicking, and scratching to try to escape. But that was just the one moment yesterday. Some days it can go on like that all day. A lot of times it is just in the mornings, when we are doing the most work, that his behavior is the worst. I feel that sometimes the bad behavior is when he is seeking sensory or attention, and still that he is tired. We try to tell him to ask for squeezes or tickles, not have the bad behavior before it to get it later. I do feel like we have come a long way and if we stay consistent that we will continue seeing improvement."
Mmmm...I feel sorry for her on the bad days because I know what it can be like.
"Hello, how are you?"
"Fine, how 'bout you?"
So goes the typical "what's up" conversation. Many of us have conversations like this several time a day. We know. We see people we know and we ask how they are. We know that this is not the time for a lengthy conversation about how you are really doing. That can wait for later when you have time.
I have blogged about bedtime at our home many, many times. It's a pretty normal activity; much the same as your routine probably. However, the other night the routine was shaken up when Ms. Maxie went to give Sir Dantes a good-night "kiss on the brain".
After baths, teeth-brushing, vitamins, and so forth, I was tucking Sir Dantes into the bed when Ms. Maxie came in to give him a little kiss. Usually, Sir Dantes lets her but this one particular night he punched her square in the nose! Hard! OMG! I was shocked! So shocked I am using OMG in my blog! It brought little tears to her eyes as she shouted out "Ouch! That hurt Sir Dantes", and grabbed her nose. I immediately told Sir Dantes to tell his sister he was sorry.
"I sorrwee Axie", he said.
I asked Ms. Maxie if she were okay and she said yes, and that it was okay because he is autistic.