One More Elephant in the Room

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This happens all the time when I'm attending an IEP meeting either in person or by phone.  There's an extra elephant in the room.  There are always many, but this one REALLY bothers me. It's that condescending tone from administration that says "c'mon parent, you need to know that your child is only capable of so much". No, they don't really say that (at least not when I'm policing the meeting), but you know that tone.  UGH! Sometimes it's so frustrating that I just call that elephant out and say... "I understand what you are saying (to the admin), but you need to realize that this parent lives in reality.  She knows what her child is capable of and that is why we are asking for (better placement, curriculum, services, etc...)" Oh, man, you should see their face when this happens!  Most put their head down because they don't want me to see their rosy cheeks.  Yes, yes I did just call you out for treating this parent like her child is worth less than what she is asking.  If you continue to treat her this way... I'll do it again and I'll stop this meeting to make sure everything is in writing.  No, I don't have to say that second part. It's understood.  Her bluff has been called.  Moving on. The parent doesn't have to say a word in this situation.  In fact, this is about the time she realizes that she is not going to need that tissue box in front of her.  She's got this.  The door is open.  The opportunity is here. Let's go! If that elephant is in your meeting room. The elephant that the admin or a team member brings to make you feel that your child is not capable of more.  KICK THAT ELEPHANT OUT! Do you need help finding the right words to make that happen? Do you need more support to make that happen? Let's do this!

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  • Janice Vedrode on

    Excellent, excellent, excellent!
    However, I am a tad confused on the curriculum, mentioned above. I have the understanding that the curriculum is not to be in the IEP?
    Do I have curriculum mixed up with something else?
    Thanks Catherine,
    Jan

  • Andrea on

    Excellent! It’s important to stand up and have a voice for your parents. We have a very rude, harsh, district Admin who has an agenda of trying to get kids placed back at their home school. Parents are happy where they are, students are learning and making progress. It seems they’re interested in the financial aspects nit the student. I have never experienced this with any other district admin.

  • Catherine Whitcher on

    Curriculum can absolutely be in the IEP. If you watch the IEP goal writing webinar again, you’ll see where I show you that I have curriculum written into the present levels of performance section in my client’s IEP.

  • Catherine Whitcher on

    Agree, Andrea! Sometimes it’s more than obvious that the district’s interest is coming before the child’s needs. Not alway, but it definitely happens!


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