iep graphicToday was our annual IEP meeting for Taylor at school and I have to say it went better than the rest of the meetings we have had. I have to say that I sadly do pull forward a lot of my history with this district any time something new happens – we had some very negative experiences with them in the past and it is hard to just forget about it. At the high school though they really have reacted much differently overall, for the better.

One of the nice things today was that Taylor attended and was able to maintain his cool the entire time. This is the first time he has been able to be there for the entire meeting which is wonderful because it is important for him to keep learning about self-advocating (that is actually one of his goals in the IEP).

My mom came along as usual. She is the person I can bounce things off of, she gives me her thoughts on the different topics, and she takes great notes for me during the meeting. Thanks Mom!

We were able to get the majority of the IEP taken care of today. We still need to get the FBA (Functional Behavioral Analysis) done finally and then use that to write the BIP (Behavior Intervention Plan). Mrs. M (his primary teacher and caseworker) assured me she wants to make sure this is done and in place before school starts again in the fall. Whew! Because they finally have had a lot of time to observe Taylor I think the team was able to have more realistic goals for the IEP. Mrs. M. also has a new portfolio program they are putting into place next year that sounds like it will be helpful for everyone involved, including Taylor! She really wants the teens to be proactive in their education and setting and reaching their goals. The guidance counselor was there and we all agreed on his schedule for next year and she was able to get all the classes he wanted in the right slots. This was really important because one of our longer term goals is to get him into this very cool computer programming program his junior and senior years. He has to make sure certain credits are taken care of to be considered – the application process lasts almost all of the Sophomore year! One of the biggest things we solved was his PE credit. Because of his issues a traditional PE class just will not work for him – we would ideally like it to, but realistically we know 99.9% for sure that it would not. Instead he will be doing an independent study type of thing with Mrs. M. following along the standard PE curriculum but without the actual physical part of the class. That is a huge load off my mind. The addition of getting those credits in during high school really changes the whole game plan of an IEP meeting.

Along with working on next year, we were able to come up with a plan for him for the rest of this school year too. Because he has struggled so much with his bipolar and anxiety this year he has missed a lot of school and hasn’t been able to get as much work accomplished as what they would like (require). For that reason he is going to be on homebound for the next few weeks (till the end of the year) and work directly with Mrs. M. in the afternoons at the library to get everything caught up before the end of the year. This way Taylor will get all of his credits he has been working so hard towards this year.

So while there still are lots of things going on, this part I can mark off my list for right now at least. Whew! I know many of you have kids with IEPs or 504 plans, have you had your annual meeting yet? How did it go?