Friday, May 25, 2012

Surviving the IEP (Part 2)

Editorial note: The past few days have been an absolute circus.  So this post had to be put on the back burner while I tended to the never-ending needs of my family.  Finally here is Part 2 of this post

By fellow Confessions Mama --Lelinda Faulk


After spending a great deal of time preparing for the IEP meeting which I wrote about in "Surviving the IEP -Part 1", we came up with the following accommodations for my son.  Note: there are many other accommodations that may be appropriate for your child.  This is just a good example of a place to start.

  • He will have access to a fidget item for self-regulation, for tactile reminders, and visual prompts for when he becomes off task and unfocused or if he needs assistance with stemming.
  • He will have shortened assignments and increased time to complete assignments 
  • daily assignments will be broken down into shorter two step tasks as appropriate with completion expectations tied to a rewards system (positive reinforcement)
  • Implement a transitional warning schedule to help with the transition struggle from subjects, concepts, or assignments throughout the day. 
I was adamant about proactive not reactive communication on a regular scheduled basis and as needed with myself, the general education teacher and the special education teacher.
  • The teacher will send a chart home every day and meet with his special ed teacher every three weeks (if this isn’t appropriate or the concept is brand new, request they meet more often.) 
  • Teachers cannot and should not use slang, sarcasm, or cycism when giving instruction, expectations or redirection. 
He struggles with communication in the sense of being very literal and often interpreting words to the most common form. Very literal request in the simplest form works wonders.
  • He will keep a daily agenda book in place for homework (he will write down assignments using assistance of a peer partner, and it will reviewed by the teacher for completion. 
  • He will have verbal reminders to turn in assignments and a peer partner to assist with functionality throughout the day. The teacher is to closely monitor this relationship and adjust as needed.
  • He will have a red card to place on his desk when further instruction or clarification is needed. 
  • He will have the opportunity to retake any assignments he fails after being retaught the material (His IQ is superior, there’s no reason he shouldn’t master elementary school) 
  • For standardized testing formal or informal he will take in a less stimulating environment and have the opportunity to read the test to himself out loud along with have extra time. (Keep in mind if your child takes ANY modified versions of standardized test he will not be eligible for entry into a university directly after high school.  They may have to graduate on an alternative plan.  Depending on your plans, and your child’s goals this is something to think about. 
  • Written assignments (short comprehension answers) he can verbally give answers to the teacher.  
  • On written short story or essay assignments he will have concrete topics or a concrete variation of the topics (instead of writing about love or friendship he will write about traits of a good friend or a biography on a person he loves)
  • He will not participate in P.E.  He will obtain and meet his physical education requirement through outside Fitness.

I think the most important part of the ARD is to know your rights, and have an idea of some accommodations you’d like to see or try.  Remember “advocate” really means pester.  However,  you catch more flies with honey than vinegar, so you may have to play nice, yet insistent to get what you need for your child. If you’re not be afraid to ask for it.  The school may not be able to meet the specific accommodation but may come up with something comparable. 

Communication should not stop with the ARD.  Keep speaking with your child's team regularly. When people know you are watching and involved in your child's educational process...they tend to do more.

Special thanks to LeLinda for putting all of this information together for us all.  I love my Facebook "Confessions" Community  ~~Karen