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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

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4/3/2013 - Unpublished Post - Fake It Till You Make It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....


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