Reply To: School Wants to Downgrade from IEP to 504


I feel like you are writing about my son, who’s in eighth grade. He just had his IEP tranasition meeting for high school and it went much better than I thought it would. Here are my two cents based on my experience:
-your son absolutely needs to keep his IEP
-social skills training is essential, even if he lacks the social skills to be on board
-use forced choices and incentives to get him to participate in available IEP resources
-encourage the school to keep data on his other health impairment issues, which for my son are defined as following instructions, annoying others and touching
-focus on decreasing the frequency of his targeted behaviors rather than eliminating them
-expose your son to regular physical activity such as going to the Y as a family, even if he is playing with kids much younger than him
-consider boy scouts or other groups where your son can be involved and you’re in the background as needed
-find physical volunteering experiences (we load shelves at food pantry and cut underbrush in forest preserve) you can do as a family – be prepared to be happily surprised when your son interacts in positive ways outside of your family dynamics
-look for opportunities for you son to play with/mentor much younger kids, particularly with similar issues – it may be very stressful for you to monitor at a distance but he may rise to the occasion and amaze you
-network to find older kids with issues similar to your son to play with/mentor/watch him – also with the inherent stress of potential “double trouble”
-remember that though it feels like it’s only all on you (because by default it mostly is!), your son is taking everything, learning, processing and maturing, but damn, he’ll make sure you’re the last to know
Good luck, been there, done that, still there, still doing it, exasperated, exhausted, and hopeful as I ask “What is the lesson in this for me right now?” Anders aka Adamsdad