After months of phone calls and aggravation I finally attended the first IEP meeting for Sophie yesterday. Before we moved back to Florida I began making calls about transferring Sophie’s IEP over hoping it would make it a smooth process. We returned just as summer vacation was about to begin, I received confirmation that the correct contact person had all of the documents they needed for the transfer process. As soon as the school board employees returned to work just before the new school year I began my phone calls to get my girl set up for schooling.
It turned into almost two months of being referred to the wrong person, leaving messages with no return phone calls and almost everyone I spoke with was clueless. When the doctor gave us the final NO that Sophie could not go to school I once again contacted the main school board line and was finally referred to the correct contact at the Hospital Homebound department, Mrs. C. Finally, someone who knew what they were doing and gave me the right direction to move forward.
I was told to drop off a registration packet at what would be Sophie’s home school, and provide the Hospital Homebound department with the correct documentation that was to be completed by Sophie’s pediatrician. It was done within two days, I also included copies of Sophie’s IEP and a letter I have rom the state requesting updated IQ testing.
Within weeks I had an appointment to get this show on the road. I was pretty stressed just thinking about it because our first IEP meeting in Florida was a disaster, you can read about it here. In North Carolina they were great and helped me past the negative experience I had in Florida. Thanks to the great team we had for Sophie there I was able to let go of the past experience and come into this new meeting with a clear mind.
The county is always changing the way things are done which led to a bit of confusion as to who should be at the meeting and at what school but we had the meeting anyway. I met with Mrs. C. who will be overseeing Sophie while she is in the Hospital Homebound program and with the ESE coordinator Mrs. A. Apparently the meeting should had been done at the school where Sophie would have received instruction and not all schools in the county have pre-k. All the confusion is because she is 4 going into pre-k and not 5 going into kindergarten.
Mrs. C and I hit it off instantly, she was so nice and you can see she truly cared. We went over the current IEP from NC and Sophie’s medical history. Later Mrs. A arrived and took us back to the conference room where we began our meeting. Because Sophie is a transfer from out-of-state she needs a case review for OT, PT and Hearing services. I am not worried because I know they have to honor the IEP and she needs the services it is quiet obvious. Instead of waiting to have all the services implemented together both Mrs. C. and A. agreed it was not right to keep her without services while another meeting is coordinated so we created the IEP with Curriculum (Pre-K Teacher) and Speech and in the next few weeks we will meet again and add the other services to the IEP.
I was impressed. I shared my previous experience with them both and they seemed shocked at how I was treated. Our goals were all the same, to get Sophie the instruction and therapy she needs to continue to progress.
This was a successful, positive IEP meeting. I can only hope those who will be coming to our home to provide services are as caring but I have faith.
This time around I am not afraid to speak up. I know the next meeting will be hectic because there will be at least four other individuals there if not more and that’s when the meetings can get crazy. But I have one goal that is my daughters education and I feel prepared and able to maintain my course and character to ensure she gets what she needs.
Hooray for great IEP meetings!