Last night was quite possibly the first time I geared up fully for an IEP. I’ve walked into IEPs in the past with notebook in hand, a copy of the most recent IEP and an idea of what we would be discussing, what questions I wanted to ask and a general distrust for our son’s SSN teacher…only because I distrust most everyone. This time is different.
Colorado has undergone a major series of budget cuts. School districts have not only lost money, communities have refused increased revenue streams for schools, and the District has had to return millions of dollars to cover the State’s shortfall. What, you may ask, does this have to do with our IEP? I’m asking for more services.
Though asking for more may be a misstatement. Specifically, we are looking at his Occupational Therapy. For whatever misunderstanding happened, we believed J was receiving 1 hour of therapy in school for OT. He’s not. He’s receiving 30 minutes. That’s 30 minutes of therapy on fine motor skills (not to mention he’s not receiving PT) for a child who’s initial diagnosis was cerebral palsy. (I hesitate to say primary as I think there’s a few other’s competing for that spot).
The IEP prior to last year’s and every other one shows (upon my late-to-arrive due diligence) shows .75 hours of OT. Why the decrease? I have no idea. It’s thoroughly documented through the writing, evaluations, goals, etc that fine motor skills is a large ‘subject’ to work on.
Though again, this time is different. I do trust J’s SSN Teacher this go around. I’ve come to understand her apparent brashness is the desire to see her student’s succeed to a bar set reachably high. I do understand that they carry over the recommendations for OT throughout the day even when the therapist is not present.
Still, I must ask. I must inquire. I must advocate.
I’ll let you know how it goes.