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Readers Respond: What's the Most Outrageous Thing That's Happened to You at an IEP Meeting?

Responses: 71


From the article: IEP Meeting Alert Levels
If you've had a child in special education for very long -- and even if the experience has been mostly good -- chances are you've had a moment at an IEP meeting that has made your jaw drop. Tell your tale of IEP woe. Share Your Story

The School Failed but My Son Succeeded!

The ARD meetings are a disaster! The IEPs are not followed in the whole 12 years! I have been told many times by teachers if he would only try harder; he doesn't have special needs, that's just an excuse for poor work habits; you will be lucky of he is able to read a newspaper, he could get by on that; he should graduate on a minimum standard plan! Well, in spite of all of this, because I didn't allow the school to push him in a corner (even though I've been called a bitch), my son graduates May 29th, has been accepted at a college, and is graduating on the recommended plan. He is at grade level with his reading! I learned never set your sights low, you never know what a child can do, and always believe in them! And stand up even if the school thinks you are the bad guy. You will be your child's hero! My son's one request is for me to keep fighting for special needs children, to make a change in their lives and in a school!
—Guest Kim


My son was recently diagnosed with severe dysgraphia. This means it is extremely difficult for him to write with a pencil, however keyboarding is an option. In our first IEP meeting, his teacher held up a packet the kids were working on and said, "Converting this would be HUGE accommodation. I mean, I don't even know if this school HAS a scanner!" Then, a few weeks later, she pulled me aside and showed me a (different) science packet done by another child and the one done my son, just so "I could see how he's doing compared to other children." We just toured a private school for children with learning disabilities. One of the teachers commented on how fun her job is because she can "really use her analytic thinking skills." I have been so shocked by the lack of critical thinking skills in my son's current teachers. I'm not saying this to be nasty, but I seriously do think my (very bright) eight year old can think more critically than they can.

3 Years of IEP Students

Being a teacher of middle school for the last three years has taught me one thing about putting a child into a IEP program. It is a one way ticket to failure. Instead of having your child actually be helped, less is expected of your child, such has modifying their grades higher than they scored, expecting them to answer less questions, have more time, longer times to turn in things. As a person who would have been put into the IEP as a child, had it been around then, I'm very thankful I never was. Your child may very well be put into a separate classroom setting full of children who are only IEP due to behavioral problems, you obviously can't get much out of that classroom setting. Not to mention your child will NOT have much support in their Science and Social Studies classes, as those teachers will get little to no help with modifying for your child, and the other 20 to 30 children they have to modify differently for. Recent IEP graduates I know come out very far behind their peers.
—Guest Teacher


As a new special education teacher I am horrified by these stories. Please know that it is okay to ask questions. If something is not working, please call another IEP meeting and invite an advocate if needed. The goal is for your child to reach their potential. I love teaching, truly. Parents that are direct, but polite are the best. If something needs to happen, I most definitely would want to hear about any suggestions. I am constantly telling parents that I would not be able to do my job without them. Thank you for listening.
—Guest Teacher

Trying to quit IEP -bad case manager

Asked for paperwork to quit IEP and just home school. Case Manager insisted additional meetings were necessary. When I went over her head and got paper sent to home, she sent them 1 day late for me to object to the statement that my daughter didn't need IEP services anyway, because she was doing "so well" Even though I had documented proof to 2 supervisors that progress notes were not being done correctly (child was told to erase wrong answers to make progress note score appear to be higher). The idiot case manager had emailed me on Oct 2nd asking if she should mail quiting IEP paperwork to me? She sent them to me Oct 8th. She documented on the legal paperwork that she had sent them to me on Sept 30th!!! Forwarded everything back to her supervisor to deal with. Seriously, public school special education is messed up. There are great teachers, and just as sadly, horrid ones.
—Guest Mary


In gr. 6 i wasn't doing my homework as often as i should have and i got into some silly arguments with friends, and i was given an IEP. On my report card behaviour category i got mostly S's and about 1-2 G's. I got a B+ average. I hated the IEP because i didn't want to be the odd one (even though the school wasn't doing anything about the IEP). Anyways, the next year i tried to change and i did. I got mostly G's and a couple N's at the beggining of the year. I also completed my homework most of the time. I was still put in the IEP again. Being pissed off, i tried my hardest, and by the end of the year i completed my homework all the time, and got all G's on my report card. I just started grade 8 and my teachers are putting it on me again and convincing my mom. They have no reason to put it on me, i don't need it. I complete all of my tests, projects, and homework on time and now have no behavioral problems. The point is, i think teachers are just giving IEPs to anyone, and i don't need it
—Guest Philip

Find your local advocates!!

I am reading these responses as I too am frustrated with this system. The only thing that keeps me from blowing a gasket about all these games hoops and fires they put is through, is knowing that there are other parents who have good kids who are just different. I will keep my opinions to myself about the education system and the absolute havoc they wreak because it doesn't solve anything. I have a 3rd grader who has Tourette's and with that comes OCD and others 'behavior' issues. Now my child is not perfect, or an angel, but he is not malicious and spiteful unless provoked. This iep case manager we have dealt with, had labeled him, bullied him by threatening him that he would go to another school, but when she talks to my husband and I she turns a different leaf. Until we experienced her turning on us, we thought our son was telling stories about her. Please LISTEN to your child!!! This woman has tried to railroad us any way she politely can. It stopped when we contacted local advocat
—Guest Rebecca

IEP Try 6

Hi Again, Going to daughters 5 th IEP in less then 1.5 years. Found out case manager didn't understand that having dyslexic daughters instructions, questions and test read to her in the reading recourse room, meant the case manager or para was to read it to the daughter. They were having my daughter read it to them. Very close to homeschooling again. Figure we are maybe paving a better road for the next LD kids that come onto her caseload down the road. If this IEP doesn't work it will be a due process issue. I have notified case manager supervisor, principal and soon to be District supervisors of concerns. Email and make a paper trail everything parents! Then run copies off for your own book. Its sort of a sad, humorous nightmare genre.
—Guest Mary

New to IEP's

At my daughters LD IEP, I and my husband were on the opposite side of the long conference table. The new teacher, the case manager, the social worker, the psychologist and the principal aligned themselves neatly on the other side. I had asked that my daughter not be removed during upper math "switch" time to do more reading/writing work (2nd time a day), but they kept insisting that it was a good time to take her, because she was "good at math." I painfully had to explain to them that math was the only thing she liked and was good at, or at least felt like she was good at, until they kept pulling her from the math lessons. The new teacher was squimish of me, because I had requested a different one, because the old one refused to reduce spelling list, or have directions and paragraphs read (even though it was an IEP accommodation). I pulled DD her to homeschool her and the district has made promises, but the IEP case manager continues to be very unhelpful.
—Guest Mary


As I read these I was depressed to think that these things are going on in these children's lives. I hope everyone takes the appropriate actions to improve the lives of these children. Teachers need to be more empathetic and understand the parents and children they are caring for. Compassion goes further then insults and put downs.

Is this legal

My 12 year old son has an IEP in place, and it states that if he is having a bad day before school I can keep him home . I now have a letter stating that he may be put on probation for missing school.
—Guest Angela

IEP horror story

Since Oct. I have been dealing with the high school over my son's special bus. the director of special needs took the bus by holding a meeting which was not an IEP, but I was told was one and then realized that the school was not being honest,the IEP date did not match for the one year review, so I did not attend because I wanted a lawyer and the staff of MORC which assist in my sons health. the meeting was held the special bus was removed which has been my sons transportation to school and I do not own a car which led to absenses and after the 7th absense the school counselor reported me to prosecutors office and now I face a warrent for my arrest and my son being taken away from me in family court. I have rented vehicles and asked everyone I know to help drive my son to school and my son and I walked 5 miles one morning two weeks ago in the bitter cold so he could attend and now the school has sent a letter to hold an IEP by the end of the month.
—Guest Rev Odom

IEPs only good when you have an attorney

We had the school psychologist call my son names during his testing. Then during the IEP mtg. the director came in and after everyone left pulled us aside to offer another to put my kid in a different school, no services just a different school, and one that was in negotiations for being closed for performance issues. As long as we signed off on the IEP. I was so confused how she thought this would make us happy. I learned quickly audio tape all your meetings, you may need to take legal action and if you do having everything on tape is helpful.
—Guest mom2two

IEP isnt helping...

My 8-year-old has a lot of disorders. Well our last IEP meeting they kept blaming the medication. And that they don't see any problem and that it's a good thing he doesn't explode during class and waits till he gets home to explode and hurt himself and scream and cry. If he does it at school he gets yelled at and clip moved down and has to walk laps in front of the other students. He has a mood disorder broken down he has depression, anxiety, self esteem, self image, ADHD and so much more. Can you imagine how he feels? And they blame it on his medicine that he just started at that time LOL. Gotta love our education system.
—Guest Mother

Fed Up with the system.

My son at 6 was identified with a severe language/reading disability. Before he was identified through testing, his kindergarten teacher suggested he might MID and should be transferred to an Intensiv Support Class at a different school than his two siblings. She then followed that with a comment. I should point him the direction of a trade as an adult as that's where the money is and not everyone is an academic. I was floored. Who makes that kind of a judgement call on a child who hasn't even been identified in junior kindergarten? She then pointed out that she knew what she was talking about because she had two degrees. In the end, she was dead wrong and he has a severe form of dyslexia as well as ADHD. She is now spearheading a move to place him in an ISP class for LD's in a different school. I don't want to send him, but everytime I meet with her "team" they gang up on me about meeting his needs. So discouraging :(
—Guest Erin Williams

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What's the Most Outrageous Thing That's Happened to You at an IEP Meeting?

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