IEPs for Aspberger’s Syndrome – My son no longer qualified for IEPs or Individualized Education Programs from his school for his Aspberger’s Syndrome. How did he come so far, so fast.
In the middle of my son’s third grade year I received notification that my husband and I were being summoned to his school to discuss his progress and plans for the future in regards to his IEPs and the special education he was receiving from his school in regards to his Aspberger’s. It was a meeting I knew had been planned for a while.
Jayson’s progress since his Aspberger’s Syndrome diagnosis, both socially and academically, was astounding. I knew that he was getting to a point where he no longer needed the specialized education the school was providing. He was “making it” on his own now. The night before our “meeting”, my husband and I were trying to predict what exactly was going to happen at the meeting. We theorized, in short, his school was coming to the conclusion that my son “no longer needed” the services and we were simply going to have to sign off on their recommendations.
The meeting itself was a bit of a surprise (especially to my husband). We had expected an informal meeting with his teacher where she would explain that my son just didn’t qualify for the services any more and that would be the end of it. Instead, we sat down at a conference table in the principal’s office and we were joined by my son’s: principal, teacher, school social worker, school speech therapist and school resource coordinator. All of them were armed with notes and folders. My husband gave me a “what the heck is all of this?” look and the meeting started.
Each member of the committee began speaking glowingly about my son’s progress through the years since his Aspberger’s diagnosis and subsequent entry into Kindergarten. Whew! My husband and I relaxed a little. The committee did indeed conclude that there was very little to do for my son as his progress was substantial and that he “didn’t need” any further specialized services or education. Sure, they acknowledged that my son still had certain issues with Aspberger’s. Issues that my husband and I were fully aware of but… the committee was right, my son didn’t need their services any more.
The surprising part of the meeting came after their request to terminate the IEPs and the compliments to my son were given. They wanted us to explain to them how my son had “come so far, so fast”. We were dumbstruck. Was it the individualized attention he was receiving from the school? Was it speech therapy? Was it occupational therapy? Was it youth sports? Was it specialized diets? Was it painful attempts at urging my son to be more social at any cost? What was the “it” factor…
We weren’t prepared for the barrage of questions. The truth is that we never really had time to reflect on them. We were too busy trying to manage the Aspberger’s diagnosis in every effort to get my son as far as we could. Anyway, we both rambled and stuttered for 20 minutes to the group about the different programs and methods we had tried. Which were successful and which didn’t have much of an impact (all of these are in our OCM Autism Section which outlines all of our efforts through the years). In short, we babbled so much that ultimately we explained to the group that ALL of the efforts (ours and the schools’) had a positive impact and enabled my son to progress and succeed academically and socially. They weren’t surprised and surely knew that these efforts (theirs and ours) helped. They left us with “what ever it is, keep doing it and we’ll keep an eye on his progress.”
When the meeting was over, the car ride home was stunningly silent. We realized that we had just accomplished something that we didn’t think was possible 4 years ago and we were left wondering about the entire period.
Since that meeting, I’ve had time to reflect. Although my husband and I probably came off like babbling idiots, we were correct in telling the committee that ALL of the efforts had an impact. I’m beginning to realize that there was one thing above all that had the biggest impact on my son’s progress with Aspberger’s that I didn’t tell them. I’ll post what I think was his greatest influence very soon, and it was the IEPs.