Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Two Completely Unrelated Updates

First, if you haven't yet entered the Ragu $100 Visa Gift Card Giveaway on my review blog, I Try Things, you have until midnight tomorrow--Wednesday, November 11--to do so. I'll be revving up the old random-number generator (THREE digits, baybee! Woot!) and posting the winner on Thursday morning.

Be sure to read all the rules and regulations for the best chance to win.

Next...today's IEP meeting. Which was actually, to be more accurate, a meeting of the IEP team, but not an actual IEP. There is, I think, a difference, but I can't articulate it. And yet, since we did leave there with an official "Addendum to the Individualized Education Program" sheet of paper, maybe there isn't. I don't know. Heck, until I just typed those words off the sheet, I thought IEP stood for Individualized Education PLAN. So apparently I am NOT the person you all should be coming to for the final word on anything IEP.

Anyway. We'd convened for a fairly mundane, simple reason: To come up with a simple behavior support plan to address some of the issues N is having in the classroom. At first, I was annoyed with the way the meeting was going; it seemed to me they were trying to address an issue that was impacting (which is really just fancy IEP-speak for "annoying") the teacher, not something that was creating problems for N.

And then L, the advocate, took over. And I have to say, I was impressed. She managed to take the original plan, which was essentially little more than a way to make N stop annoying his teacher, and get everyone brainstorming about positive ways to address the problem. In the end, we came up with a list of strategies that might actually be moderately helpful to both of them. And not once did L mutter the words, "Well, that's a stupid-ass idea," which is what I probably would have done without her sitting between me and Baroy.

After that part was over, she brought up the "at risk of retention" form I'd filled out, but only to say, basically, "The findings of the IEP will trump this, right?" and they said, "Right" and she told me to wait to worry about it until we get through the IEP process.

She also brought a basket full of brownies, which made the normally dour-looking administrator-guy from the school district actually GIGGLE in delight.

I'm calmer. Won't be happy till he's getting actual help, but calmer.

[Unfortunately, that 'calmer' came after the meeting, and not before. Because if it had been before, I might have avoided the 'incident' I had with the crossing guard on my way to the school. Don't ask. No, seriously. You don't want to know; it was quite unpretty. Suffice it to say, however, if I didn't think my own behavior had been a wee bit inappropriate as well, I would have had to say something to the principal about the fact that, at the end of our 'discussion,' the crossing guard actually SHOVED ME into traffic.

You know, I was going to say that sounds worse than it was (I mean, it's a quiet street, the traffic was a single car stopped at the stop sign, and it was more like an annoyed push than a true shove), but no. Her actual words were, "Fine. You want to go? Go." And then she shoved me. Also, now that I think about it, although I was unpleasant, I didn't even curse during our little moment of mutual inappropriateness. And even if I had...Shoving me? I may still have no reason to be proud of myself, getting into an argument with a crossing guard, but I do think I have the teensiest bit of moral high ground here.

Hey, I'll take it wherever I can get it.]


Niksmom said...

I'm glad the, um, non-IEP (??) meeting went well. But I'm still stuck on the damn crossing guard. Ok, I don't know the full story but, seriously, you shold complain to the school (or whomever pays the person's salary). What they did, unless you touched them or hit them in some way first (which I doubt), what they did was actually, legally, assault.

Not worth the p*ssing contest over but worth making it clear that the behavior is not acceptable.

Green said...

I truly believe crossing guards are for children who don't know how to cross streets and for drivers who don't know how to pay attention to traffic laws.

I don't need a crossing guard's help to cross the street. Ever since meeting a woman who was (on foot and) hit by a car while crossing the street, I make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see me before I cross.

That crossing guard better not shove you again, lest you bring your IEP Secret Weapon Lady. She'll give that crossing guard a brownie and show her who's boss!

Ambre said...

No, the crossing guard is not allowed to put hands on you for any reason. If you were an inappropriate child would s/he do the same thing? Not OK.

At our school, the crossing guards serve the purposes Green stated (and I believe both the children and the drivers KNOW what to do, but they certainly do not do it), but they also are traffic directors. If people trickle across the street one by one nobody will ever get anywhere.

But if any of them ever put their hands on someone, they'd be out of a job (and this is the land of OC housewives, I'm sure "inappropriateness" happens).

po said...

I consider "IEP meetings" to be those at which substantive changes are made to the IEP, or the annual review, during which the next year's IEP is discussed and drafted. In between meetings are "team meetings."

Love your advocate!! That was really my gut feeling too, not to get too worked up about the retention "threat," since the main thing to focus on is getting the right services through the IEP. And yes, bringing treats is advocated (get it :D?) by every expert I've ever read. People are much more amenable to listening to you when they're not tired and cranky, especially since meetings are often scheduled during lunchtime when teachers are free. At the meeting during which we finally got Matthew's out of district placement, and I was shifted into high gear, I brought bagels, cream cheese, and bottled water :D

po said...

I meant hungry and cranky. Though they may well be tired as well :D. Can you tell I was tired, hungry, AND cranky when I wrote that?

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