Wednesday, October 27, 2010

no. 27: IEP

dear little leah, 

I.E.P. just three simple letters and yet, when put together, they've become three of my most-dreaded letters of the entire twenty six. they stand for individualized education program and every child in california that has any kind of special, specific or additional need has to have one. 

a team usually gets together to create a child's IEP. teachers, employees from the school district, therapists, parents, and more. and they all have to agree as to what services each specific child will or will not be able to participate in and who will pay for said services. goals are set to reach certain milestones. the goals have to be very specific and measurable, which is a lot more difficult than it sounds. it's lots of preparation on my part and lots of paperwork for everyone.


and if it's not in your IEP, tough luck. you don't get it. so, if i forget to ask for something or don't know something is available, it's most likely not going to be brought up and you will not be blessed with those services for the entire year. 

oh yah. and IEP lasts for a year and has to be re-created annually.

we truly lucked out with a great team of individuals who all seem to have your best interest in mind. but, last february, i wasn't incredibly educated about the whole system and am already realizing how i could have done things much better and am seeing services that you could really be using right now. 

i had the opportunity to sit in on an IEP for one of your rett friends. her mom is really on the ball and just kind of gets the whole advocating thing. i'm seriously thinking of hiring her for your next IEP. this little girl is five, so she's a little more advanced with technology and the like, but i got so many ideas for your year four IEP as well as how it's all organized and run. 

and i feel much more prepared. 

hopefully this year we'll get a little more of what you need. i'm learning, slowly, how to be your mom, in hopes the letters i, e and p won't send me into heavy sweats for the next 15 years. thanks for being patient. 

i love you.


  1. Mare-you can totally have an IEP anytime you want! if there is something you want to change or add, you can all a meeting and they have to meet! i know no one wants to have more than the required iep's but if there is something she needs that she isnt getting now, ask and they have to at least meet about it!

  2. Yep, I was going to say the same thing as Erica. You can call and IEP at any time. I've never done it, but I'm planning on one in the next little bit. So, we've started that new therapy at home, and I asked the teacher and aides if they'd be willing to do some of it at school too. They all said, "of course" and then quickly told me to set up an IEP so it would be on her record...and if we ever move, the new school would be required to do it as well. Luckily we also have a great team, but I still feel like I'm learning so much. Anyway. That's my 2 cents.