Sunday, January 1, 2012

IEP Stands for Intensely Exasperating Process

Not every hill is worth dying on. I get that. But dealing with a school district that claims one thing and behaves conversely is beyond frustrating. Deciding whether or not to pursue due process, an appeal, etc. is a big decision.

“I am so passionate about being with the children!” claims the special education teacher. The same teacher who in my daughter’s annual meeting reduced her to a statistic to support their reasoning for her services, or lack thereof. Credibility goes out the window in an instant in a situation like that. Our input was blatantly ignored, and we were told that if we did not like or agree with the district’s ‘proposal’, we could choose not to sign the document. Riiiight. Because I want to delay or prevent my child’s services. We signed all but the part with which we disagreed, and later received a four page letter form the district telling us exactly why they thought we were wrong to state they ignored our input. Add insult to injury much?

Despite putting our request in writing in advance, we were told we would not be receiving a progress report (though other children’s parents were) because our IEP meeting was imminent. Later I discovered we could have had a copy of the proposal ahead of time. Because we didn’t receive it, I totally lost it at the meeting. Tears everywhere, embarrassing but I would do again if it meant helping my child, and a very uncomfortable table of 10.

Our concern was ignored and denied, and we were told we could ‘review’ at her first progress report. They can still say a big fat NO. I understand they can only review what they ‘see’ within the educational realm. But to have so little regard for our concerns was so disappointing. Appeal? Hmm, because we need one more thing on our plate right now. My guess is the appeal would take about as long as the time between now and her first progress report. Choosing what’s right for our child doesn’t always mean we can make it happen. Every choice is a fork in the road. An intensely, exasperating process indeed.

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