Experiences with IEP's and IFSP's...

CSign

New Member
What has been your experience, whether as a student or parent with the IEP process?

The good?

The bad?

Any surprises along the way?

What are your thoughts about it?

Do you trust your local school district/county office? Or have your experiences left you weary of the Local Education Agency (LEA)?
 

CSign

New Member
Okay, I'll start with some of my thoughts...

1) School districts don't always have the students best interest at heart, they like to protect their pocketbook.

2) "Gatekeepers", teachers, and related staff are not always knowledgeable about the law, or the child's unique needs- especially with low incidence "disabilities".

3) Relying on information provided to you from the LEA or staff can be detrimental to the needs of the child. They will tell you what serves them well- not necessarily what the child needs or would benefit from.

4) Voluntary local mediation is often a waste of time. If you decide to go to
Mediation over an issue or issues, go with a state mediator. Otherwise the one mediating may rub elbows with the gatekeepers and it won't be impartial.

5) Make sure everything is documented in the IEP. If it's not documented, it doesn't exist.

I have more, but I'll stop there.
 

Cloggy

New Member
What has been your experience, whether as a student or parent with the IEP process?

The good?

The bad?

Any surprises along the way?

What are your thoughts about it?

Do you trust your local school district/county office? Or have your experiences left you weary of the Local Education Agency (LEA)?
We made the choice to have Lotte go to the school closest to us, with her brother and sister. We have seen from friends how the situation changed for a child when all the children are at one school, and she is not... Socially we thought it best to have the same friends at school and in the neighbourhood.

This means that we have to take the steps to make the school take the steps that are needed. And the school is happy to do it... but they have no clue what they need or can get... So other organisations are contacted to train the school... Norway is good with that. They take care of their kids, and the law is straight behind them.

Still.. it's exhausting to be the expert. and some months ago, after looking at the servioces that were provided, we realised that it could be better.. So another organisation was contacted, and for the first time... we could relax.. (Story here..)

So.. good.. in a way we can achieve a lot
Bad.. you need to know what to ask for. You need to be the expert.. Very tiring..
Surprises: It's wonderful to find someone that can take over... (still... know what you need..)
 

Oceanbreeze

New Member
I started school in a self contained program with other disabled students of all ages and abilities when I was four. This proved to set me back, so I was eventually mainstreamed in the 3rd grade on an IEP. My experiences in the neighborhood school were poor. I was severely bullied and things were harsh. I was the only one in this school with any differences at all. As time went on, things became dangerous for me. I was in this school for 18 mos before action was taken to have me moved back to my previous school; but in a mainstream environment. I wish I could say things improved. They didn't. I was bullied. But, I was also introduced to other deafies )I'm hearing), so therefore, I wasn't totally alone.

As far as the IEP goes, my IEP had very minimal accomodations. I had a desk and it was written into the IEP that I was to leave classes 5 mins before other students.

I must say that I can't speak to things today as I graduated from HS in 1987, but, there could have been a lot more done to help me throughout my schooling. There needs to be some kind of sensitivity training for the teachers AND students, so that some of the bullying that takes place is reduced. I don't believe it can ever be prevented, but certainly people with ALL differences should be allowed to thrive in their environment, and if there was more sensitivity, this may be achieved. I honestly think that the system is broken and has been for a long time. I know that others have had a better experience, but sadly, I did not.
 

CSign

New Member
We made the choice to have Lotte go to the school closest to us, with her brother and sister. We have seen from friends how the situation changed for a child when all the children are at one school, and she is not... Socially we thought it best to have the same friends at school and in the neighbourhood.

This means that we have to take the steps to make the school take the steps that are needed. And the school is happy to do it... but they have no clue what they need or can get... So other organisations are contacted to train the school... Norway is good with that. They take care of their kids, and the law is straight behind them.

Still.. it's exhausting to be the expert. and some months ago, after looking at the servioces that were provided, we realised that it could be better.. So another organisation was contacted, and for the first time... we could relax.. (Story here..)

So.. good.. in a way we can achieve a lot
Bad.. you need to know what to ask for. You need to be the expert.. Very tiring..
Surprises: It's wonderful to find someone that can take over... (still... know what you need..)


Cloggy- it's encouraging to read that the school was receptive to Lotte's needs, and that there are organizations that can help in the process.

I understand your points about the neighborhood school, with siblings and friends... That makes sense that she continued to be educated with people who were familiar with her.

It can be very tiring to be the expert all the time. It's nice that you guys have support.
 

CSign

New Member
I started school in a self contained program with other disabled students of all ages and abilities when I was four. This proved to set me back, so I was eventually mainstreamed in the 3rd grade on an IEP. My experiences in the neighborhood school were poor. I was severely bullied and things were harsh. I was the only one in this school with any differences at all. As time went on, things became dangerous for me. I was in this school for 18 mos before action was taken to have me moved back to my previous school; but in a mainstream environment. I wish I could say things improved. They didn't. I was bullied. But, I was also introduced to other deafies )I'm hearing), so therefore, I wasn't totally alone.

As far as the IEP goes, my IEP had very minimal accomodations. I had a desk and it was written into the IEP that I was to leave classes 5 mins before other students.

I must say that I can't speak to things today as I graduated from HS in 1987, but, there could have been a lot more done to help me throughout my schooling. There needs to be some kind of sensitivity training for the teachers AND students, so that some of the bullying that takes place is reduced. I don't believe it can ever be prevented, but certainly people with ALL differences should be allowed to thrive in their environment, and if there was more sensitivity, this may be achieved. I honestly think that the system is broken and has been for a long time. I know that others have had a better experience, but sadly, I did not.


Ocean- thank you for sharing your experiences. It's such a travesty that more wasn't done by the school to protect you from the ignorant a-holes of the world.

One thing I can say, is that since you graduated much has changed in terms of the laws supporting students with different needs. I think for that we can be grateful, but it's still up to the parents to stand firm about what supports and services their child needs.

There is a national bulky task force that my sons school is participating in. I'll see if I can find a link and post it later. Feeling safe and accepted at school is of the utmost importance, and we need to educate these kids at a younger age so they can be tolerant and accepting of all individuals.

I really think that's the key- giving them the information at a young age, and drilling it into them.

I'm glad that in spite of your less than desirable educational experience, you grew into a strong, intelligent woman. I think those experiences allow us to appreciate the truly good people in our lives, and forget the rest of them.
 

KristinaB

Emotional Mess
Premium Member
The whole IEP process with my daughter was a living joke. I was never notified in advance. Only got 1-2 days notice. I was not permitted to have anyone with me at all. They did not take into account all the services and help she needed. She was listed with 32 developmental disabilities and disorders by a child psychologist, and other agencies when we were told to try and get her SSDI. She got the SSDI, but in school, she only got speech therapy for 3 years and no other services. She needed remedial help as well as occupational therapy but did not get it. She qualified for the LD classes, but they refused to do it. That's why I said to H3LL with the public school system and withdrew her and homeschooled.

I mean, Part of my taxes go towards the school district and I am told by 2 different districts that my daughter is unteachable and they did not abide by the IEP and it's processes. The whole US Department of Education is a crappy joke in my opinion based on what I had to go through.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
When did the IEP system start? I know I am giving away my age but I have no memory of them.

I lost hearing in my left ear at age 5 but the right remained very good into adulthood. From the time I went into 1st grade in 1948 through my grade school years (1-8 as we had no jr. high or middle school at that time) they just kept an eye on it by doing checks without a soundbooth. They were done with earphones in the room that was the teachers lounge at other times; it was also used for speech for those that got that. During HS I had no problem just asking for a front row seat or on the side in one class where the teacher spent more time talking from there. I remember no problems from this.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
Jane you were just unilaterally dhh......they didn't even start worrying about unilateral kids, (educationally speaking) until very recently.
Unilateral kids do tend to respond well to a minimal accomondations approach.
 

Jane B.

Well-Known Member
Jane you were just unilaterally dhh......they didn't even start worrying about unilateral kids, (educationally speaking) until very recently.
Unilateral kids do tend to respond well to a minimal accomondations approach.

But. . . I am curious just when did formal IEP's start for anyone?
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
While mainstream sped seems to do well educating learning disabled and other high incidence kids.....well not well well, but more like they give the kids functional academic abilty, the system tends to SUCK big time for low incidence kids! This isn't just limited to dhh kids......
But trust me, when clueless administrators scream and holler against ANY real accomodnations beyond simple ones as "too hard to put into place" or " your kid isn't really deaf" or whatever..............god.....I wish new parents understood that mainstream eductors generally don't give a shit about how good of an edcuation your kid gets.........they just wanna do the minimal to keep in compliance with the law.
BTW new parents if you wonder why there are still Deaf schools, and deaf programs, its' b/c parents are SO fucking burnt out about trying to get proper accomondations from CLUELESS hearing schools.
 

deafdyke

Well-Known Member
Oh, and I never understood why it's such a big deal for kids with disabilties to attend their neighborhood school. That stopped being innovative 30 years ago. Even if they go to a different school, kids can still meet local friends through churches, sports etc..... My friend was homeschooled and that is how she met other friends.
 

CSign

New Member
But. . . I am curious just when did formal IEP's start for anyone?

It was around 1975.... Here is an interesting article...

Archived: 25 Year History of the IDEA

When IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) was re-authorized in 2004, more laws were added and clarified which was good. The challenging thing is staying on top of school district's and LEA's to get them to provide appropriate services and support.
 

CSign

New Member
BTW new parents if you wonder why there are still Deaf schools, and deaf programs, its' b/c parents are SO fucking burnt out about trying to get proper accomondations from CLUELESS hearing schools.

That is not an entirely correct statement. Yes, we get burnt out- and yes it is tiring, but that's not why School's for the Deaf still exist. They exist because there are many students who would not benefit from their education in a mainstream setting, and they need a strong visual environment with peers and staff they can easily communicate with.
 

CSign

New Member
The whole IEP process with my daughter was a living joke. I was never notified in advance. Only got 1-2 days notice. I was not permitted to have anyone with me at all. They did not take into account all the services and help she needed. She was listed with 32 developmental disabilities and disorders by a child psychologist, and other agencies when we were told to try and get her SSDI. She got the SSDI, but in school, she only got speech therapy for 3 years and no other services. She needed remedial help as well as occupational therapy but did not get it. She qualified for the LD classes, but they refused to do it. That's why I said to H3LL with the public school system and withdrew her and homeschooled.

I mean, Part of my taxes go towards the school district and I am told by 2 different districts that my daughter is unteachable and they did not abide by the IEP and it's processes. The whole US Department of Education is a crappy joke in my opinion based on what I had to go through.

I remember reading some of your posts about the experience you and your daughter went through. It's a shame that they failed to provide her with what she needed. People like that should not be working in this field.
 

Cloggy

New Member
Oh, and I never understood why it's such a big deal for kids with disabilties to attend their neighborhood school. That stopped being innovative 30 years ago. Even if they go to a different school, kids can still meet local friends through churches, sports etc..... My friend was homeschooled and that is how she met other friends.
So.... you don't get the concept of having friends at school, socializing with them after school, visiting them after school and weekends...

It's a different kind of bonding than having friends on that school, different friends in the neighbourhood and again different friends at some church ..
I'm not saying that one is better than the other....(actually, perhaps I am) I'm just surprised how you cannot understand that it can be a big deal.

Socialising when deaf is hard enough. Bonding with other children is an important part of getting accepted. Especially for girls, verbal communication is VERY important. (Boy can just play with each other... no verbal comms needed, girls need to talk..)
So... instead of interacting with children at one place for 6 hours at school, then another place for 3 hours (like in the neighbourhood), we decided that for our "kid with disabilty" having strong roots in the neighbourhood was the way to go..
 

Cloggy

New Member
..........
BTW new parents if you wonder why there are still Deaf schools, and deaf programs, its' b/c parents are SO fucking burnt out about trying to get proper accomondations from CLUELESS hearing schools.
So I guess mainstream school didn't work for you..??

Deaf schools... Could it be that there are Deaf people that cannot or do not want to speak..??
 

GrendelQ

41°17′00″N 70°04′58″W
Premium Member
Oh, and I never understood why it's such a big deal for kids with disabilties to attend their neighborhood school. That stopped being innovative 30 years ago. Even if they go to a different school, kids can still meet local friends through churches, sports etc..... My friend was homeschooled and that is how she met other friends.

There are several drawbacks to driving an hour or two from home to a far away school. A few specific to developing relationships:
  • long hours spent alone on a bus or van instead of socializing while walking or riding a school bus with classmates
  • long wait for parents to get you when sick so far from home
  • no/limited after-school activities
  • no/limited play with classmates after school / weekends
  • your bus gets you home too late for local after school activities
  • you are a stranger to kids in your home town
  • no shared school experiences to discuss with local kids and no home experiences to share with classmates
 
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