We are now half way through the year, and the question that you’re asking yourself is: is the IEP creating success for my ADHD child’s education? This can typically be an interesting time of the school year. Many situations exist among all of you parents with kids with ADHD!
So, those of you who are just starting down the journey of an IEP in place, please read my previous blog on “What is the Other Half of the IEP Battle?”. Basically, as a team member, it is important to continue to assess if goals are realistic, action plans in place are relevant to those goals, and if there are any signs of success. What kind of information do you need in order to answer these questions? The information comes from various places: executive functioning skills used, strategies used, grades, study habits, classroom behaviors as per the teachers, and your child’s input. We can’t forget that our children should begin to contribute and advocate for themselves. I actually think that every IEP should have a goal relating to the ability of the child to understand his own needs and advocate for those needs. This is another subject but they will need that capability as they move into that independent world of college where professors and disability offices do not want to talk to parents! Even if their plan is not college, they need to understand themselves, know they are not broken, and develop a healthy self-esteem as they move forward independently in this world. Remember, FAPE demands that our children with ADHD as well as other disabilities be prepared for “further education, employment, and independent living.”
You can see that many of the above overlap those areas of concern that you had when you first were granted the IEP. But it is a fluid document. Our kids’ abilities and expectations for them can change as they move through the semester. Ongoing assessment is crucial in order to make necessary changes. If you do have some concerns, remember you can ask for a meeting at any time. I would suggest that you do not wait for the annual IEP review that occurs in the spring. That next three-month interval is precious time that is needed for readiness for the next year. You are part of the team and really do know your child the best! If you have concerns, they are real and significant and should be addressed by the rest of the team to insure an effective IEP.
A little about the author and founder of ADD Advocate, Karen Lowry: I am a certified ADHD Coach. ADHD advocacy is my passion. There are so many school support challenges facing our children, that knowing your rights as a parent have never been more crucial. Effective ADHD coaching depends on effective advocacy for our kids. Remember, if you should ever have any questions about anything regarding school support, or just understanding about ADHD, IEP programs, 504 plans, etc…. Please feel free to contact me directly for a free consultancy session. You can contact me directly by clicking here!