Limoncello and IEP’s

I’m celebrating my exhaustion by imbibing a little homemade limoncello (thanks, Lynn!) after a long two weeks of preparing for Jillian’s IEP meeting.

For the uninitiated, an IEP is an Individualized Education Plan. It’s a tool used by the schools to describe needs, establish eligibility for funding, and set goals and educational placement for special needs kids. The kind of people attending an IEP meeting are professionals like a school psychologist, school Program Specialist, Physical Therapist, Occupational Therapist, Adapted PE teacher, Special Educator, Teacher, Clinical Psychologist, Psychiatrist (the person prescribing the ADD medication), a couple of attorneys and all the private specialists (PT’s, OT’s, SLP’s) that the family may hire, plus the Mom and Dad. Friends of the family are allowed to advocate for your kid as well. All told, we had 16 people at Jill’s IEP meeting.

I stayed up til almost 1 am getting my notes in order and finishing reading the 275+ pages of reports that I received from all our providers and all the school’s specialists.

I had done all my homework: visiting various school settings, reviewing the programs that the school wants to provide for Jillian to remediate her reading and math, and making sure all our providers had finished their assessments and reports.

But here’s the outcome: after over 4 1/2 hours of non-stop review of Jillian’s findings, we were still not done. We know what kind of placement they want to give Jillian, but we did not have time to respond to that offer. Plus, our Psychologist, the esteemed Claudia McCulloch, didn’t have a chance to give a summary of her findings, and she had done the most extensive workup on Jill that anyone in her entire medical history had ever done. The best way to depict Claudia’s knowledge of Jillian’s capabilities is that she probably knows Jillian’s brain and how it works better than anyone except maybe me.

I would write more, but I need to get some sleep. There will be more later, for all the parents who I know and have grown so fond of. I’d like to have a bumper sticker made: It takes exceptional parents to have special kids.

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