Me and the 2E/ADHD/IEP
The IEP drama isn’t over. There is still some back and forth with the school via email that makes me think that we’re not completely on the same page.
Also, I showed Dr. K a copy of the draft IEP and he had some thoughts. He did notice that, while the school had come up with some appropriate goals for Lily, they had not documented how they planned to help her accomplish those goals.
I asked about that in the meeting. They told me that they exchange that information with next year’s team, verbally, in the fall. Dr. K says the specifics need to be written in the document. So, when they send me the next version of the IEP, he’s going to take a closer look at it before I sign it.
I just realized I’m writing this calmly as if I’m not completely frustrated (paranoid, defensive, emotional, furious) with this whole process. I ranted to Dr. K about the fact that I don’t feel like people understand the nuances of Executive Function issues, especially with a twice exceptional kid, and I don’t have the psychological language to explain it fully. He told me that I don’t need to frustrate myself by trying to educate them, just continue to try to get what Lily needs.
He did, though, give me some ideas on how to refute some of the arguments that people make against helping train a child with EF deficits to organize themselves.
*There are a lot of disorganized students in middle school. Your child’s problem is not unusual, so why does she need extra help?
Answer: Because most other middle school students will learn those Executive Function skills naturally as they mature, but a child with EF deficits needs explicit training to learn those skills. If they are not given the help in middle school, they will be unequipped for the organizational demands of high school.
*Your child’s late assignments are not affecting her grades in a big way, so why is her disorganization such a big deal?
Answer: Grades are not the whole measure of a child’s progress and growth as a student.
*We put the assignments on the board, online and give verbal reminders. It is your child’s responsibility to keep track of them and turn them in. There’s nothing more that we can do. Why don’t you (stop hovering and) let your child suffer the natural consequences of disorganization at school?
Answer: Our goal is to eventually have the student take complete responsibility for keeping schoolwork organized, but when a child has EF deficits, it’s a gradual process. Natural consequences will not teach this kind of student specific strategies to stay organized, that’s why support needs scaffolding to gradually reduce the structure until the student is able to form their own habits.
One conclusion I’ve come to through this process, I solemnly swear I will never attend another IEP mtg by myself. There’s too much at stake and I’m not equipped to pull it off.