IEPs by Dr. Seuss

Do you like these IEPs?
I do not like these IEPs
I do not like them, Jeeze Louise
We test, we check
We plan, we meet
But nothing ever seems complete.
Would you, could you
Like the form?
I do not like the form I see
Not page 1, not 2, or 3
Another change
A brand new box
I think we all
Have lost our rocks.
Could you all meet here or there?
We could not all meet here or there.
We cannot all fit anywhere.
Not in a room
Not in the hall
There seems to be no space at all.
Would you, could you meet again?
I cannot meet again next week
No lunch, no prep
Please hear me speak.
No, not at dusk. No, not at dawn
at 5 pm I should be gone.
Could you hear while all speak out?
Would you write the words they spout?
I could not hear, I would not write
This does not need to be a fight.
Sign here, date there,
Mark this, check that
Beware the students ad-vo-cat(e).
You do not like them
So you say
Try again! Try again!
And you may.
If you will let me be,
I will try again
You will see.
I almost like these IEPs
I think I'll write 6003.
And I will practice day and night
Until they say
"You've got it right!"

I.E.P ........... 3 little letters that sends shivers down the spine of most SN moms, and cause me to want to loose my lunch. the dreaded once a year meeting (thankfully now just once a year whereas the early intervention IFSP was every 6 months) where we) sit around a table with 9 or so school professionals and dissect how Ryan is doing, what he is accomplishing, what goals are being met and what isn't and why. Joy oh Joy. While we talk about Ryan's many goals I have but one goal for myself, to get through the torture without shedding any tears. Each year keeping the tears inside gets a little easier but it never gets easy to hear how delayed your child is no matter how much you know it to be true. Ryan continues to make huge gains every day and has come such a long long way but compared to his peers he is still extremely delayed and as time progresses the reality that he will never nowhere even near catch up grips me with fear. Days like today bring all that reality to the surface when I would rather bury it, keep a lid on it and concentrate on what a super hero my son is.

So here are the cliff notes on how our hero is doing.

- fine motor is one of his strengths, which has always been the case, we still need alot of work on finger isolation as the thumb pointing is starting to hold him back communication wise.

- PT is all on Ryan's terms, hes still fighting the walker but is far more interested in walking holding hands.

- hes much much better in small room where he can truly show what he knows, in the classroom hes so social that he tends to be very distracted with everything going on around him

- ST is all on his terms, but he is making gains with his signs, and his communication device. Hes been chosen to continue the sessions with the outside PT who comes once a month to train the school PTs in how to get our kids with respiratory / hypotonia issues to breathe deeper for speech.

- he is really liking learning his numbers and letters recently, we are seeing the same thing at home.

- OT is all on Ryan's terms - seeing a theme here?

- He is being pulled out of class to be part of a social group once a week, this group of kids is more social and verbal than the kids in Ryan's classroom so I think this will be great for him.

- They are starting to try him on the potty and hes not loving the idea at all.

All Ryan's teachers and therapists are very enthusiastic about him and his strengths. Although he can be stubborn when he wants to be they all enjoy working with him. Surprisingly one of the hard parts of being involved in an IEP when your child is so delayed is the fact that everyone is so dam enthusiastic, this is such a double edged sword and i struggle with both sides. I'm so glad they are so happy with the progress my son is making and they shout it from the proverbial rooftops but hell, the last place i want to be is here, and the measuring and evaluating of teeny tiny inch stones sometimes just breaks my heart. My brain always counteracts that with "be grateful there are teeny tiny inch stones to measure", my eyes have been opened, I can no longer take anything for granted. And then I wonder maybe they are all so darn happy so as to keep the meeting moving forward so I don't ask for the tough stuff. I read about other parents needing advocates for their children at these meetings and I wonder if I'm doing something wrong, missing something? not pushing enough?? Ahhh, the dollop of guilt that usually comes after a serving of sadness. Round and round and round we go ......... Where is the handbook for this child? Does he need his own aid? Should they be supplying more therapy? Is this even the right school for him?? Am i going to look back and say  I should have done more, I should have pushed for more, I should have asked for more, more more more. Am i letting him down? Would he progress more with me homeschooling him but for our family that's just not financially possible. At times when I'm feeling burnt out by my job I think I should have been a teacher like my mum, of course then I think of all the great things, summers off, shorter work days, and then i realise the reason it was never even a consideration is that I just don't have the patience for teaching. Ironic isn't it?

So whats with the baby elephant pictures? They remind me of how childhood should be for Ryan, for any child, a time of discovery, a time for playing, for frolicking in the sun, for doing something just to see how it feels. Its not about measuring, evaluating, holding your child up to a standard they may never be able to achieve. Unfortunately these IEPS are part of our lives and we cant change that, but as long as i aim to make Ryan's childhood as typical as possible in other ways I think we will stay on the right track, handbook or not.  And after a long stressful day, this picture just makes me Smile.


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