Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Revoking The IEP

I had a meeting  with the Special Education team today to review David’s IEP (Individualized Education Program).  I was informed that since he has met all his academic goals and even exceeded some, he would no longer have an IEP and not be eligible to receive Special Education services any longer.  The school counselor heartily congratulated me, saying it shows wonderful guidance on the part of us parents.  We should be so proud of him.  

                                 And we are.   However…

I am not sure I am happy with this decision.  Both my husband and I knew that academically, David was making huge strides.   He is at the top of the class.  His NECAP score for writing was 477 out of 480.  His NECAP math score was also in the high 400’s.   His classwork is always submitted on time.  But his social areas are where the autism manifests.  He is a perfectionist, to the point he cries if his test score is not 100%.  If he can’t find a notebook, or a paper, it will cause him to suffer a meltdown.  If the entire class collectively is punished for bad behavior, David takes it personally and gets upset because he NEVER misbehaves.   Since we do not get outside services at home for him, my husband and I were content to have the IEP in place in case he needed the extra support.  It was a crutch.  And now that crutch is gone.

Middle school is looming in the very near future, and in any area, middle school is tough.  But here, in Providence, it is a nightmare.   I would never allow either of my sons to attend the neighborhood school in our district.  My daughter attended it over 10 years ago, and it was horrible back then.  The final straw for me there was when some girls jumped another girl and slashed her face with a knife in front of dozens of other students.   Next year David will begin 5th grade, the last year of elementary school.   I am not overly concerned about next year, but I really worry about David in middle school once 5th grade is completed. 

I am so proud of my son.  He has a thirst for knowledge.  He loves to read.  He is a captive audience in all of his classes.  He would rather go to a museum than an amusement park.   His teachers choose him to help other peers when they are struggling.  His progress reports and test scores could not be higher, and his teachers spoke so positively about his accomplishments.  So why am I still so conflicted with this decision to revoke his IEP? 

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