Skip to main content

Individualized Education Plan or IEP

I went looking for the previous post I wrote about IEPs but it turns out I never published it because it was the week before the Fab Four went home.  It doesn't really talk about the IEP process itself but here it is:

4/3/2013 - Unpublished Post - Fake It Till You Make It
So we had Jelly Bean's IEP meeting today. Caseworker and Mom were there. I tried to stay upbeat an happy. Directing all questions to Mom. Making sure she understood exactly how behind JB is and how much she'll need her to fight to get the assistance in place.

Afterwards we met and discussed the post unification visits. We scheduled the first few including the kid's birthdays. I tried to let her lead and overall it was positive. She was ok with our plan for next week and gave me their address.

I tried to keep a positive, light attitude. I tried to seem happy. But I'm sad. And scared. And overwhelmed. And I don't think I've ever been this afraid of quiet in my life. I know I'm coming across as totally fine about this but in my car, at night, the tears come easily and often.

So ready for this to be over and at the same time I'm trying to hold onto every second.

Tonight we begin packing. The plan is for a Wednesday move if the judge grants custody on Monday.


Let me tell you, it is much easier to pack up 4 kids than it is to pack up an entire house you've been living in.....

So we had an IEP meeting for Smiley this week.  An IEP is a plan that the school puts in place in order for kids to receive special education services.  Students can qualify in several ways.  Jelly Bean qualified for her ADHD and her emotional diagnosis as these affected her ability to learn in the classroom without modification.

Smiley has a speech issue.  She does not articulate certain sounds correctly. Her S, Z, CH, and SH sound like mush when she says them.  When she first came to us she was very hard to understand at times.  (In addition, all of my kids tend to mumble and speak softly.  I'm constantly say "I can't hear you", "What?", "Are you talking to me?" Its super annoying.)  There are times when I have to asked her to phrase something differently because I can't understand her words.  Thus far, she doesn't seem to get too frustrated by this.  She is smart and above average in all of her comprehension and reading scores.  When she's not throwing a tantrum or being stubborn, she has this really sparkling happy personality.  I joke that one day she will use her powers for good vs. evil. She is always in the middle of the circle of girls!

But she is heading into 1st grade and that's when kids become mean.  I also want to make sure she isn't hindered in any way by an issue that can be fixed.  Luckily the speech teacher was willing to get the evaluations done quickly and get the paperwork signed before we have to negotiate the adoption subsidy and before we move. The IEP is supposed to follow students from school to school for continuity which should mean a seem less transition to the new school. (Hear the optimism? I've got just about 2 teaspoons of it left after this week.)

She starts this week working on her goals. I'm hoping she thinks this is fun....



Popular posts from this blog

She Never Cried

Sheila called to wish Sarah Happy Birthday and she shared a story with her that as a baby she never cried. Not when she was hungry, not when she was tired, never. She never cried.
A little later Sarah said to me:
"Mom, my Mom said I never cried. I don't really believe that. That can't be true can it? Don't all babies cry sometimes?"
Oh my sweet girl. The red flag went up for her too. As I listened to Sheila share this story fondly, I felt sad. That was a sign of her RAD. That was because she couldn't count on adults. That was because she cried and no one came so she learned not to cry.
"It doesn't sound right to you, does it?"
"I know your Mom shared that story because she thinks it's cute you never cried. It made me sad. You are right babies cry so adults take care of them. You know how you had a lot of different adults that were supposed to take care of you as a baby?"
"Yeah, like 10 foster parents."
"Well …

Minimum Parenting Standards - Monday's Post

I can't figure out Blogger's time zone and I may not have time to write Monday evening so here is Monday's post.

This week we are having another "team" meeting. This time to discuss the "minimum parenting standards" that the kid's Mom has to meet in order to be "good enough" to parent them.

Now I have all kids of issues with this entire exercise. The first being that these kids deserve better than the minimum. The second, that good enough isn't going to cut it with their issues. The hardest part though is being asked to write down a guide to being their parent FOR their parent. Putting my commitment to first reunify a family to the test. It is one thing to suggest ways in which she can be a better parent and to support the goal by not bad mouthing her and encouraging the kids to share their true feelings. It is an entirely different thing to sit down and write a guide for a woman who has yet to grasp the basics after two years.

It wa…

Reader Question: Did You change their names?

Yes we did. We actually started using their new names shortly after their good bye visit with Sheila last August. So the only name that really changed this week was their last name (kind of, one of them actually had our last name). We had started using them so we wouldn't have to try to do a name change mid-school year. Plus the kids had only been in the school the last 1/2 of the year so they didn't know everyone yet. The school was great about going with the new first names.
At some point Simon spontaneously asked his teacher if he could change his name tag on his desk to our last name. He was tired of waiting on the legal stuff. He started to write Simon Almost Last Name on his papers. So we asked all the kids and they asked for the same update. Their report cards and benchmarks still had their legal names. 
The name change was a bit cumbersome at first. We sounded like owls because someone would ask for a person by their birth name and we would all answer "Who?". W…


I had some questions asked of me recently that I thought I would answer here:

1) How do you keep doing this after so much crap?
I actually had two different foster moms ask me this. One dealing with a false allegation and one in a kinship case with a pregnant, unstable bio mom.

I'm not sure I have an eloquent answer to this question. I think I've reached a point where I see the bigger picture - the kids.  That's not to say this stuff doesn't drive me nuts or make me emotional. I would be spitting fire if we had to deal with a false allegation. I'm really upset about the potential of having to make a decision about another baby. But if not me, who? We are good at this. There are kids that need me. And I probably need them. I am a caretaker by nature.  What would I be doing with myself if I didn't have 15 different obligations all at once? I have no idea because I've always been this way. And right now all of the current drama is related to my children. I s…

It is a process

It's a physical ache. A pain in the middle of my chest.  And it causes hot tears, the kind that sting my eyes.  It settled over me today and I couldn't shake it.

It started with news that more people in our lives are expecting and today, I just couldn't muster the happiness.  I heard complaints of not feeling well and my ability to plaster the smile on my face just vanished from my body. I left the house to "run an errand" but really I just needed an escape.

All week I've been able to communicate and tell people about Solana leaving without any trouble.  I probably sounded like a PSA for "How to be the role model foster parent".

People were asking:

So will you get to adopt the little one? Is she staying?

Well no, actually.  She is going home in a few weeks. That's the goal of foster care. We are really happy for her dad. He really gets it. We've built a relationship. I'm so glad she doesn't have to go through the pain of adoption or …