The Organization Fairy and the IEP

Nearly 3 weeks and the IEP situation has not been resolved.  I have been trying to hold my tongue here (a little bit) during negotiations.  The tension and stress just really suck.  BUT—I will not give up until they agree, in writing, to provide the support and scaffolding Lily needs to develop as a student and a human being.  Because I am NOT going to college with her to check her Student Planner every night.

Received another revised version of the IEP tonight and STILL the language makes it sound like her Executive Function deficits, which are caused by her disability–ADHD, are really only a concern to her parents. In fact, to the rest of the team, it doesn’t seem to be a problem that Lily had 9 missing or late Math assignments & 7 missing or late Language Arts assignments last trimester.  (and those are the ones I didn’t catch) C’mon? What’s the problem?  Her grades are fine. What am I complaining about?  I’m sure her future teachers won’t have a problem with that either, right?

The IEP also seems to suggest that learning those Executive Function skills is completely my daughter’s responsibility. That perhaps some all-seeing, all-knowing, list-making, anal-retentive Student Planner fairy is going to sprinkle sparkly organizational dust from the sky and it will float down upon her sweet 11-year old forehead, soak into her frontal lobe and she will magically, without help, turn in all her assignments, on time.

Maybe the Organizational Fairy could also make these wishes come true:

*After being reminded both verbally and on the board, Lily will understand what to write in her planner every day.

*After being reminded both verbally and on the board, Lily will remember to write her assignments in her planner every day.
*After being reminded both verbally and on the board, Lily will understand when it is time to turn in her assignments, where to turn them in and remember to actually turn them in.
*When Lily is unclear about what she should write in her planner, when an assignment is due, the steps she needs to take to complete an assignment, and what to do if she didn’t turn in her assignment, she will ask an adult for clarification.  

Oh, asking for adult assistance. That’s a big one and pretty much, right now, it doesn’t happen.  But her IEP goals and objectives say it should happen, somehow.  Oh, right… maybe the Fairy again?

Sadly, there is no Organization Fairy who can help break these seemingly simple tasks down into small enough steps for Lily to begin to learn to do it for herself.

I guess if Lily will just buckle down, put her shoulder to wheel, pull herself up by her bootstraps and shape up or ship out, she’ll do just fine next year, won’t she?  ‘Cause I’m sure that’s all it takes.  It’s just a character flaw that can be fixed with just a few natural consequences, right?  Yep. That’ll teach her.

Posted on April 26, 2011, in ADHD, Advocacy, Executive Function, Gifted, IEP, School, Twice Exceptional and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. So glad I just discovered your blog! How did I not know about it sooner?!

    My son Luke, 8, is also twice exceptional (really 4x exceptional w/gifted, ADHD, sensory processing issues, and dysgraphia). I too am fighting and fighting for the school to help teach him the organization skills he's lacking. He not of the age of the student planners yet, but there's no way in the world he'll be able to use one in two years the way they're going. Their answer to this concern has been to tape up his desk and give him a box beside the desk. But everything is just tossed and waded in the box, just like the desk. It's maddening that they can't teach a child an organizational system and support it long enough to make it a habit for the student! Maddening!

    I've added you to my blogroll on! I am going to stalk your blog now. We might be able to use your input at {a mom's view of ADHD} too!


  2. Hi Penny, so nice to meet you. It always makes me feel so much better to talk to moms who are dealing with the same issues. Love your blog! Thanks for adding me.

    My negotiations with the school have taken a turn for the worse this week and I've requested mediation from the state. I actually hesitate to write about it here.

    I just feel like as she heads into 7th grade, these next 2 years are going to be so crucial for her, if she's going to learn the skills to survive high school.

    Have you read 'Smart but Scattered'? Very helpful.

    Huggy Brain 🙂

  3. Hello Penny ,
    I am so glad I found your blog. I too have a child who has ADHD and all the executive functioning issues you are describing. As a matter of fact, I just came back from a school meeting to discuss my sons eligilbilty for services. They felt that “short term” assistance in learning center would be what he needs to teach him how to organize, learn how to study and plan projects before he heads off to high school next year.. If only ADHD were a short term diagnosis. We've been dealing with this since 2nd grade , tested out of IEP's in both 3rd and 7th grade, finally something happening when he began to fail in the 8th grade. I'm not sure why schools do not recognize the fact that ADHD does not go away. Organizational skills should be viewed as just as important as a childs ability to read. I can only hope the Learning center teacher realizes how much he struggles as she works with him and ” short term” becomes long term. I have been in conferences where the teachers ask what sort of consequences are there at home if he does not do his work, if only they knew how stressful it can be on everyone in the family. Should we punish our children for having ADHD, do children who struggle with reading have consequences??

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