The IEP &the Question

We had King Ben’s yearly IEP meeting last week. I’m always amazed at how many people are at these meetings. On one hand it makes me really happy that he’s getting so much support. On the other hand I’m sad that he needs so much support. I missed the first part of the meeting because it was scheduled for an hour before school starts and I needed to stay home to put him on the bus. We learned a long time ago that he doesn’t do well at these meetings.

Side note – I’m the King’s grandma and I basically co-parent with his mom, my daughter. His Auntie, younger daughter, also lives with us. Ben knows the words “Mom” and “Grandma” but to him they are just our names. He just knows that we are the ones that take care of him…parents.

Anyway, I missed the first part of the meeting and boy did I miss a lot. They’ve had no problems with him trying to elope. He’s not hitting. They are completely dropping his Behavior Plan. This is after three weeks at the new school. THREE. WEEKS. I was so nervous about the change in school but, WOW, what great news.

Then we move on to education goals. He is so far behind. He’s in third grade but academically closer to early K. He’s been bounced from teacher to teacher and this is his third school. I’m not surprised he couldn’t focus on learning. We’re going to be focusing more on that now especially since the “behavior problems” are gone.

Then, as the meeting is almost over, the question…. “Do you have ABA at home?” No. We do not. They put on their smiles and tell us how much better he would do with ABA. We put on our smiles and assure them we’ll start working on getting ABA for him.

But here’s the dilemma…should we get ABA? The doctors and the teachers all promise it will bring miracle changes for the better. Many autistic adults have said it was stressful, painful and like being tortured. When it comes to who to believe I have to go with the autistic adults.

As always, how do we know whether we’re doing the right thing or not? We don’t. I guess as humans we never do. All I know for sure at this point is next year there will be another IEP meeting and the question will come up again.

10 thoughts on “The IEP &the Question

  1. We don’t have ABA either. I know it is not the same thing, but since ABA’s focus is on giving tons of positive reinforcement for preferred behaviors, I just give tons of positive reinforcement for preferred behaviors. But it is not nearly as in depth as ABA, It’s just what we prefer to do for our dynamic. Great news about the behavior plan! And that he can start to work on his learning! Go King Ben!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This is going to sound clichΓ©, but that’s just because verbal language is so limited πŸ˜‰. In reality, my brain is totally jumping up and down and doing happy cartwheels in response to (the majority of) this post (I’m sad for you that there have been the stresses of behavioral problems and delayed conventional academic progress) πŸ’πŸ˜˜

    But I’m so ecstatic for all of you that you are bypassing conventional “therapies” like ABA πŸ’–πŸ’–

    You already know (but I’ll repeat it for the benefit of your awesome readers) that I’m an adult on the Asperger’s/autism spectrum. I’m adult-diagnosed, which means two things:
    1) That I was never subjected to ABA myself (whew!), and
    2) That I never had the benefit of an IEP (dang)

    I know that an IEP might have helped me, so I grieve a little for the lack of opportunity there (although I don’t know much about IEPs, since I’m a Generation X who also doesn’t have children).

    I never suffered the trauma of ABA or the bigger trauma of its aftermath/residual effects, but yeah, in being connected with over 1800 Asperger’s/autistic adults, I can say with certainty that you’re doing the absolute right thing by declining it πŸ’ž

    It’s easier said than done, and it’s also easy for me to say from where I sit, but try not to worry too much about The King’s school progress πŸ˜ŠπŸ’. He’ll move along at his pace, and it may become a case of The Tortoise and the Hare 😊

    I was left back in kindergarten for not doing my daily work, and there were plenty of people who figured I’d never amount to much. I’d like to go back now and face those people with my doctor’s license in hand πŸ˜ˆπŸ˜‚. It took me 8 college major changes and I didn’t graduate med school until I was 32 (most were 7 years younger than I), but I did it. Even my supportive, encouraging parents had begun to wonder, the they always supported me, and I’m forever grateful for that.

    I’m almost 40 now, still in practice, and I just realized I was Asperger’s/autistic last spring.

    There’s ALWAYS hope, as I know you know 😊. King Ben is amazing and one of my greatest wishes is to meet y’all someday!

    You and your daughter are doing this parenting thing right! I admire everything about you all πŸ˜˜πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ‘πŸΌπŸ™ŒπŸΌπŸ’–πŸŒŸ

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I just πŸ’žπŸ’πŸ˜˜ you so much! I’m actually not worried at all about him being behind. I just wish he knew more words so he could use a tablet to help him express himself better. Sometimes I can see he just doesn’t have the words or his mouth won’t say the words. We tried to hold him back before K. They wouldn’t do it. He’s on the very young side of his grade level. His bday is Sept 2. He’s in a moderate/severe autism class at a regular elementary school. Well, not regular, it’s a Music & Arts magnet school. Perfect for him. His class is 3/4/5 grade, so he’s really young but doing well so far. I’ll make them hold him back in 5th if he’s not emotionally ready for middle school.
      I’ve already decided that our families shall meet. We aren’t that far away from each other & I have a PriusπŸ‘πŸ˜„. No idea when. The universe will tell usπŸ‘πŸ˜Ž

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Oh my freaking goodness… Sept 2?? That’s my birthday!!!!! πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰πŸŽŠπŸŽ‰ High-fives to Ben!! πŸ–πŸ½πŸ–πŸ½

        And you’re a Toyota girl to boot!! I drive a Tundra pickup. I think we’re from the same awesome planet, and it ain’t Earth πŸ˜‰. Maybe Vulcan?? πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ’˜.

        Just for the record, the feeling is so mutual it’s not funny – I β€οΈβ£πŸŒŸπŸ’–πŸ’“ you too!!

        Liked by 1 person

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