Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Communication is Key

With Rachel's meeting on Monday, I figured it was time to ask the question for Simon. His current IEP also will expire at the end of November and it usually takes about 4-6 weeks to schedule the meeting (or that's what I had been told, and it worked that way for Rachel when I requested the meeting). So, in Simon's Communication Notebook this morning, I asked several questions, including when we should be scheduling his next meeting.

When he came home, I looked in the notebook and his teacher had responded (which was a bit of a surprise -- I sometimes have to wait a day or two for any answers). She informed me that his meeting was scheduled for 11:30 on November 16th. 5 days before the meeting, I would receive the paperwork. WHAT?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Does that mean if I didn't ask about the meeting beforehand I would have 5 days notice for the meeting, when I received the draft IEP?

This is just one of the differences between MPAC and CAPP and the way the two programs are currently run (I know that the same organization that runs MPAC used to run CAPP until shortly before Rachel joined the program). I'm in regular contact with Rachel's teacher. I'd say there's an average of 1-2 emails exchanged every week, plus daily updates as to how she did on that given day (sometimes a full note, sometimes just a brief summary on a laminated sheet sent back and forth daily). When we arranged for this meeting, I had a month's notice. I received the paperwork 1.5 weeks before the meeting and have taken the time to go over it all, and will continue to do so over the next few days. I also was able to arrange for the observation visit to clarify a few things for myself and help me determine the best ways to proceed.

With MPAC, I'm lucky to learn ANYTHING that's going on there. I get one note in the notebook about every other week that really doesn't tell me much. The teacher will answer my specific questions, but sometimes it takes a day or two. I haven't been to observe him yet (but am trying to arrange that visit), but when I visit him, I have to remain out of sight (whereas I'm in the classroom with Rachel). Because of that, I'm limited in what I can see or hear (based on last year).

Things that are going to be said during this IEP meeting is going to be a surprise to everyone. I'm sure they're going to say things that they're observing (in a positive and negative light I know) that I will have no prior knowledge about. And they're going to be surprised when I bring up the I have questions about his placement (though I'm not sure what would be the correct placement).

It had to be Simon that I had these issues -- the one that I'm always questioning and struggling with trying to determine the right and best thing(s) for him. Hopefully, I'll be going there the latter part of next week and getting to see how he's doing in the classroom. Once again, I'll see the discrepancies between what he does at school and what he does at home. Maybe that will tell me if his placement is correct.

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