When I Realized I Needed My Own IEP — 5 Minutes for Special Needs


Well hello there stranger! I’ve been MIA for a month and I’ve missed your posts and interactions. But as of today, I’m back, and can’t wait to catch up on some great posts here!

What have I been doing all this time? (Besides doing the happy dance upon the arrival of my new escape Kindle?)

I was apparently re-enrolled in Special Needs Parenting 101: Moving Forward Often Means Moving Backward. And it was like that dream I used to have in college – the one where I wake up in class on the day of finals and realize I didn’t attend lectures or read the book. But for this one, I couldn’t wake up.

Here’s the syllabus for my recent refresher course:

  • Revamping my oldest daughter’s medications (always a joy…) because her moods had plummeted in recent months.
  • Repainting her room to cheer her up (and also as the next installment in the Reclaim My Home From Craziness project).
  • Working through her 2 week meltdown after I painted the room in colors she picked. Because attachment disorder is just like that. Even 8 years later.
  • Discovering that she’s failing math, after doing great until a month ago.
  • Realizing the math grade coincides directly with the moment the IEP team decided she was doing so well she could stop receiving pull-out support for math.
  • Living through hell every day because of the homework battle for said math.
  • Watching her self-esteem plummet, and friendships start to strain…. because of, you guessed it, the math.
  • Reinstating pull-out services with the IEP team today.
  • Reeling from the mind-numbingly easy change that seems to have instantly cured my daughter.
  • Feeling relieved (and I have to admit, a little annoyed) at the unbelievably perky child who’s replaced my brooding-for-the-past-month one.

It’s a class I have a feeling I’ll be taking over and over and over and over again as a parent of special needs.

You’ve probably audited this one more than a few times too. Who knows? Maybe we can get honorary doctorates in it someday.

One can hope, right??


Email Author    |    Website About Laurie

I'm a wife and mom of four girls - two with bipolar, ADHD and developmental delays. It's a daily journey to live this life well and help my girls do the same. As a speaker and life coach, I'm committed to helping other parents thrive in this wild ride too!

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1 Lena March 6, 2012 at 2:24 pm

Yep, I think it’s time for my own IEP too. In mine, I need some accommodations for my emotions involved in the whole special needs parenting process. I can tell you my eligibility category without any formal testing!

2 Laurie March 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm

lol! How efficient! I don’t think I could, unless there’s a category for “generally losing it” somewhere on the form. 🙂

3 Becca Bernstein March 7, 2012 at 11:46 am

What does IEP mean? Did I miss that somewhere? Sounds like you’re going through a rough period and I’m sorry. When I go through moments like the ones you’ve mentioned, I try to get some walking in. Walking, for me, is the best way to maintain my sanity. My thoughts are with you!

4 Laurie March 7, 2012 at 5:20 pm

An IEP is an Individualized Education Plan – a document created by teachers, parents and other faculty involved with education for a child with a disability. This title was kind of a joke about that…. since parents end up being as special needs as their kids after raising them! 🙂 And yes, I LOVE walking. Getting a crazy-hyper labrador retriever has made that a normal part of my life again and I’m so thankful!

5 ConnieFoggles March 8, 2012 at 12:49 am

A group IEP for parents would be such fun. Let’s add eating to calm down, staying up late because of stress and talking to ourselves out loud to the list of assistance we need.

6 Laurie Wallin March 9, 2012 at 2:46 am

Love it! Now you’re talking, girl!

7 KDL March 8, 2012 at 1:57 am

Sorry it’s been rough lately, Laurie. I have been there, but not recently. Thanks for the refresher :-). My IEP would read: reminders to do the things she already knows how to do; frequent breaks to enjoy things that SHE enjoys; and encouragement to ask questions because sometimes that is what gets the ball rolling again.
Why is it that schools think they should pull supports when the child is succeeding? Doesn’t it show how good and important the supports are? And why do we have to wait until they’re failing before we can figure out what’s wrong and address it? These are my new gripes.

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