Don't you just love it when you get a plan in place with one school teacher or therapist or support person, and then another one sweeps in all clueless and messes things up? Just like this example left on the IEP Horror Stories page by reader Mary, under the quite accurate headline "Not Helpful":
3rd grade daughter has IEP for LD. I requested reduced spelling list this week. The teacher agreed. Then IEP manager came in and had daughter practice the words I wanted left out during math time, and then after spelling test had her write them again, and then tested her on them. Working on where to go from here. Can't imagine the problems we would have if we weren't this great "team."
Unfortunately, it often falls to parents, the ones least present at school and most out of the communication loop, to be the coordinators of those teams of professionals who are supposed to be overseeing our kids' modifications, accommodations, and arrangements. One of the things I liked about volunteering in the library was the opportunity to not only brainstorm with the teacher about accommodations but then, in passing and all informal-like, pop into the child-study team's office to update them. Sometimes, these screw-ups are a result of miscommunication and misunderstanding; sometimes there's workplace politics or territorial issues or administrative edicts that steer professionals in unhelpful directions. Keeping up a dialog with all the various team members is often the best way to get the lay of the land and make sure no one has the excuse of "I didn't know." Read "Meet Your IEP Team" for more about the various personages and their potential issues.
Have you had a similar experience of extreme unhelpfulness? Share in the comments.
Photo by Terri Mauro