Well, we lived through another one. IEP that is, but as usual, the process has left us with more loose ends than we started with. The reality is that the loose ends were already there, but it takes getting the team together to actually acknowledge them. Now the trick is moving on to what is next. Not just saying what is next, outlining an idea of what is next, but implementing the reality of next. This year that is going to be hard for everyone, even me.
Ben's qualification for services is fairly simple. He is physically impaired. BUT his picture is much bigger than that. When we sit down for an IEP we have six or seven people in the room, not including Dave and myself. To make the conversation as effective as possible the day of the IEP, I do a lot of talking to folks ahead of time. This year the big concern is Ben's focus. Considering that time was short and it was on every ones radar, that was the first concern we addressed. What a can of worms.
What exactly are his focus issues? We have always wondered if this was associated with his CP, still do, but this is the first meeting that no one wondered if it was a spectrum issue. No one. Interesting that when we asked, the consensus was across the board, "no." What is out there is ADD. ADD? Now there is something I don't know enough about anymore. For instance, would ADD explain the cycle of attention issues we see throughout the year? And what if it does? What then? Please tell me what do we do then because if you tell me medication I may just melt into a puddle of fear and sadness.
First, we talk about testing. Tests are all tossed about in quick conversation then some sent out in email and again I am nearly immobile because every test mentioned is standardized. Standardized and compared against his peers to be kept and referred to and used for future reference. But who are they considering his peers? Who is scoring this evaluation, the lady who sent me the email because that is a name I have never seen before and she doesn't know Ben. How would she know that when she writes her conclusion then sits down with me she is dealing with a boy who doesn't benefit from the efforts of standardized tests.
This is the unknown territory that I make every effort to prepare myself for, but can't always cover. This is the reason that IEP's suck. This is what's next.