« What do you Make of This? | Main | You Were Where?! »

September 24, 2009


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Moxy Jane

Ugh! I'm so glad - and not at all surprised - that you jumped on this right away. Have you heard anything back yet?

Moxy Jane
Austin, TX


You are so right! However as a teacher, and you will find this soon enough, that SE isn't always communicative with the classroom teacher(s) about this and often the next year's teacher isn't given that information. Some SE programs are on top of it, others are not.
Not that ignorance is an excuse, but as you said, teachers are very, very busy and if they are not given the information, they can not be effective in acting upon the IEP.
Just this past week a student I have in class this year had an IEP scheduled (from the previous year). I wasn't notified of it until the sub walked into my room to release me for a meeting.
I'm glad that you were on top of it. The teacher probably felt like an idiot. I know I would have and then marched right into the SE office and asked why the information hadn't been passed on correctly.

Student Mum

I completely understand, My eldest (Teen-girl) has an IEP. She has Dyscalculia (like dyslexia but with numbers). It was diagnosed early in primary school, but she is the only one in her huge secondary school to suffer with it, which I find hard to believe, so its a learning curve for the teachers & learning support staff. The times I have spoken to a maths teacher - Dyscalculia - oh, I didn't know. what's that? I haven't heard of that - this from the head of maths!? IEP - oh I didn't know she was on one! It's so frustrating & unnecessary. I hate having to explain every time what it is and how it impacts or doesn't on other classes. We have worked so hard to prevent her being identified solely by her learning difficulty (she is in the top English class). I just cannot wait until she has done her maths GCSE and never has to think about math classes again!

busy bee suz

I hope that you bringing this to light will help DB and others this year, as well as the years to come. Seems we must always be the advocate for our kids.


That is frightening! If teachers aren't aware of things like that, they might make insensitive comments to the students, and worse, they won't have the information they need to teach them properly. I'm glad you are sending the letter. Hasn't school been in session for a few weeks at this point?


So Frustrating! I had 2 kids with IEP's and all 3 had issues, so I know exactly what this is like.

Jen on the Edge

My older girl has TS too, so I understand the need to step in from time to time. Normally, I send the teachers an email at the beginning of the school year, but this year I waited a couple of weeks so that they could get to know her first, without any preconceived notions. During the third week of school, when it was clear that she was starting a new cycle of tics, then I emailed the teachers to let them know what to expect.

I hope that the Vice Principal is responsive to your email!

Jenn @ Juggling Life

She did know he had one, she just hadn't read it. I would venture to say
that her Honors U.S. History class is not full of students with IEPs.

On Thu, Sep 24, 2009 at 10:05 PM, wrote:

Jenn @ Juggling Life

Three weeks. This is so common.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 4:59 AM, wrote:

Jenn @ Juggling Life

I used to communicate with the teachers the first week, but he really wants
me to stay out of it--he's 16 years old. He really doesn't need his mommy,
he just needs the teachers to comply with the law and read the damned IEP.

On Fri, Sep 25, 2009 at 6:02 AM, wrote:


My youngest has had an IEP for 14 years now. (she's entitled to services until she's 21). Not only are most of her teachers unaware, but often the princple, vice principle and surprisingly transportation. (They told me they were canceling her privlidges last year because she was "old enough to drive")
As a manager in a disablity service agency, I am no longer surprised at the laxity in reading much less enforcement of the IEP. In truth, the entire disability system from birth to three on up to adult employment services is under funded and over burdened.


I hear you, sister!
I've run into this, which is why we no longer run through the hoops to attempt to gain an IEP for one of my own kids. I fought for him all the way through middle school while the counselor and his teachers balked at the idea of a kid who takes Honors and AP classes having (or even needing) an IEP. It was a part-time job for me during the first quarter of every school year, just educating all who needed to be informed about his special needs. (Our elementary school wouldn't even give him an IEP. By keeping it unofficial, they didn't have to deal with the paperwork.)


This is not something we ever had to deal with - it sounds incredibly frustrating. Your personal experience will make you a much more empathetic teacher!


Thank you for being a proactive parent. I often had parents hid their child's disability or difficulty (I worked at a private school, so we didn't have the same strict guidelines on IEPs). I had a kid who was blind in one eye and NO ONE TOLD THE SCHOOL. The kid didn't tell, the parents didn't tell. I found out at parent/teacher conferences in November. It didn't go well.

Lisa @ Boondock Ramblings

You should not have to write that letter. Teachers should be more alert to these concerns....that is a BIG issue.

The letter was needed.


I agree, you shouldn't have had to write the letter, but the reality is, you did.
Very well written, and I hope they pay attention.
If I haven't said it before, you are an amazing mother. I don't even "know" you, but I admire your mothering.


Your dedication and full understanding of what a 16 year old boy needs in this case is something you should be proud of. Most moms helicopter in the moment they feel they should and that is probably embarrassing for their child.

I had scoliosis at 13 and the kids always made fun of me in gym class. My mom refused to talk to the school because she said it would make it worse for me. So she just altered all my gym clothes to make me look 'normal.'

phd in yogurtry

I am Mom, hear me roar! You go, Jenn. You did an important service.


That is so frustrating! You'd think the whole POINT of the guy is to apprise teachers of each situation and how best to handle it! ARGH!

Grumpy Momma

I have a preschool age son with an IEP. I was also a math teacher at a private school. We NEVER read the IEP's (we were not allowed to under privacy concerns). We were told by "higher ups" what to do -untimed tests, seating arrangements, etc. Also, while there is certainly more special education awareness in teacher programs, there are literally hundreds of different diagnoses that kids could have (no, I'd never heard of "dyscalculia" either), so I would get frustrated when a parent would expect me to know EXACTLY what "central auditory processing disorder" was and how to accomadate it.

I am not currently teaching, but it is hard not to get a little defensive with all the "teachers should....". It's often NOT the teacher alone who is responsible for gaps and/or miscommunication.

Just Jamie

A good reminder for us teachers...


When you have you own classroom, you need to demand an IEP-at-a-Glance for every kid who has one. A handy, easy-to read chart detailing areas of support, frequently used accommodations or modifications, and quick notes. They are a lifesaver. It makes it possible for you to be familiar with and aware of needs in as little as one week.

Also, DB may need to be a better advocate for himself. No teacher will be phased by a kid who says, "BTW, I work with a speech pathologist. I like to participate, but it can take a minute, okay?"

That IEP can, and should, follow him to college (totally awesome, he gets to register FIRST every term) but I can guarantee you college instructors don't take the time to acquaint themselves with IEPs. He'll need to address issues before they happen. He sounds like a pretty cool kid!

Jenn @ Juggling Life

I got an excellent response from the VP the next day, stating she was going
to start having summaries given to the teachers. I think that's great
because it is hard to wade through the whole IEP for the pertinent info.
Jake (DB) does talk to teachers when he needs to--which is why I've
respected his desire to have me back out pretty much completely. In his
freshman and sophomore years I did an email to the teachers at the beginning
of the year which worked well. He has made arrangements in the past to give
presentations on alternated days during the lunch hour. Still, the way TS
works is that their may be a week when it is really hard for him to speak
without stuttering--he gets by in daily life okay, but a presentation to 35
people is just too much.

Right now we are coming to grips with the idea that his TS and the
medication he takes may preclude him from doing what he (at this point)
wants to do, which is join the Coast Guard. I haven't fully looked into it,
but I'll bet it is a disqualifying condition.

We're just going to have to wait and see if his TS "disappears" at the end
of adolescence as happens for some. My mother is deceased, so I can't talk
to her about it, but I remember her saying she stuttered terribly until she
was 18 and then it just went away.

Thanks for the info on colleges--I knew it followed you, but I didn't know
you got to register first.


On Sun, Sep 27, 2009 at 8:26 AM, wrote:


Hope you get it worked out soon

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

A Cause that is Near and Dear to my Heart

  • A Cause that is Near and Dear to my Heart--Please click!

email and flickr

Cast of Characters

  • Danger Boy
    20 years old, plays water polo for Gannon University in Erie, PA. He's the strong, silent type. Studying PoliSci.
  • Grown-up Girl
    Dr. GrownUp Girl is happily home after finishing pharmacy school in Chicago. Busy building a post-student life with Dr. GrownUp Guy.
  • GrownUp Guy
    GrownUp Girl's husband and a most-excellent son-in-law. Oh yeah, he's Dr. GrownUp Guy, PharmD.
  • Mr. Fix-it
    Husband and father extraordinaire. He is gone more than he is home, but all his frequent-flyer miles keep this big family connected.
  • MVP
    23 years old, graduate of Colorado State Fort Collins with a major in Wildlife Biology and a minor in sustainability. He lives in FoCo with his girlfriend, Mandy, and their dog Rosy.
  • Social Butterfly
    18 years old, attends Northern Arizona University, majoring in psychology. She's my snuggle bug.

Blog Designed by:

  • Photobucket


  • Google Analytics
Blog powered by Typepad

BOSSY'S No-Book Tour

  • I am on Bossy’s (No) Book Tour