I attended an IEP meeting yesterday. These meetings are pretty typical as many of the regulations for them come from the federal and state governments.
What was different about this meeting was the amount of conversation and brainstorming that took place. Rather than the dry, sterile meeting where a protocol is followed with each person reporting out, conclusions being made, and the meeting adjourning; this group talked, asked questions of each other, continuously pulled the mom into the conversation, and made plans beyond who was responsible for how long.
This IEP had the potential for being a disaster. The information given to the mom no parent wants to hear about their child. Every IEP member in the room did their part by explaining their information in layman’s terms and by making sure to follow-up problematic news with positive observations and comments.
It took and hour and a half to complete this meeting but the mom left with a smile and information in hand which will help her out at home. The staff left knowing how they will approach the learning difficulties this child faces. Everyone exited upbeat and took the time to compliment each other about a job well done. A little extra effort and a lot of collaboration made this meeting one I am proud to have joined.