On Thursday I attended the IEP meeting for my son.
IEP is a shortened version of Individualized Education Program, is mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. IEP is designed to meet the unique educational need of a disabled student. IEP must be regularly maintained and updated. IEP creates an opportunity for teachers, parents, school administrators, therapist and students to work together to improve educational results for children with disabilities.
For years these days were dreaded for me, my life was full of anxiety before the meeting, anger, frustration and yes sometimes hopelessness after the meeting. I always had to call Amin’s case worker Eileen from CARD who, literally had to fight for his rights, and always stood up for us. Although I developed a much thicker skin ever since he was diagnosed, I still couldn’t get the services that he needed. Eileen was always right on top of all the rejections, and questioned every actions that was taken or not taken. I loved her, and I am very thankful for all that she had done for us.
This was the first IEP meeting that she didn’t come with me. Since Amin started this new school things are so much easier. The meeting went really well, and I was up for a surprise left and right.
The teacher, and the principal was praising my son. WOW, it didn’t happen in his previous school. I wonder why?… perhaps these teachers in his new school actually know how to deal with an autistic child? I guess this question will remain unanswered and that probably is best for now.
His IEP is 3 pages, and full of goals, and they reassured me when he masters any of it they will add to it with my permission. Also, my suggestion were not disregarded, it was included into the IEP, and they found immediate approach to the concerns that I had. I actually pinched myself because I just didn’t think I am really awake.
I thank God every day that my son is able to attend this great school. He had improved so much ever since he started, and I see more positive changes for him in the future. Yet, it makes me sad, that there are so many kids out there and they are unable to reach their full potential because they stuck in a place called “school”, where they do not get proper treatment or teaching.
My advice to all the parents out there, you need to stand up for your child, or if it is difficult for you to acquire services that your child needs, get and advocate or a case worker who can help you during the IEP meetings. It makes a big difference in the outcome of goals, and your child’s future.