I called it. We need to convene an IEP meeting to change accommodations for the bus. Case Manager Dude called me yesterday to set up the time. We talked about it and agreed that we would remove the verbiage from the IEP that restricts him to the front of the bus. We also talked about changing another accommodation. Because of all the trouble he had in transitioning from one class to the other last year (and by trouble I mean other kids bothering — which either meant they were mean or he was misinterpreting) — we added an “escort” to his transitions. Case Manager Dude would like to change the term “escort” to “shadow”, because they both imply different proximities. An escort needs to be at Movie Boy’s elbow, a shadow can tag along behind at a distance of about 20 feet. We want the latter, but have the former written into the IEP.
I am in agreement with both these changes, so hopefully the meeting will go quickly. I let Case Manager Dude know that while I agree with both changes, my standard operating procedure at all IEP meetings is:
1) Always tape record the meeting.
2) Never sign anything at the table.
I am glad we are meeting on such a mundane issue for this first meeting. I will get to feel out the other side of the table and see how they are and what their approach is.
I am also including Movie Boy in this meeting. He initiated the requests for these modifications by asking me to change them. That sort of communication is huge and I want to reinforce that, by showing him that in response to his request we (parents, teacher) are convening a meeting and making it happen. We might not always act positively on his requests, but at least we will take the time to sit and discuss the possibility. It is important for him to see that.
Also, I find that when Movie Boy is in the room with us, everyone minds their manners a little better. The stakes are higher, it would seem, if you lose your cool in front of a student.