January-February IEP meetings can be among the hardest for teachers and parents alike. While some IEP meetings are regularly scheduled for January or February, many occur because the program is not working and a parent has requested a special meeting.
Chances are you have experienced what I call the “dumb parent treatment” in dealing with some professional relative to your child. Here’s my description of it:
“The “dumb-parent treatment” is an unspoken attitude that seems to imply parents do not understand their children or that parents’ opinions are unimportant. If the parent sees the child as functioning at a higher level than the school or the physician does, then the parent is not viewing the child objectively. It can be conveyed subtly or not so subtly, but the attitude says you are only a dumb parent who does not know anything. How dare you question the opinions of professionals? It is something most parents will deal with at some point in their children’s lives. It is not necessarily about the parent’s intelligence or sophistication. I have spoken with professionals in various fields who were treated similarly when they attended meetings regarding their own children. Excerpt used by permission of the publisher from "Parenting Your Complex Child" by Peggy Lou Morgan © 2006 Peggy Lou Morgan, published by AMACOM, division of American Management Association, New York, New York. http://www.amacombooks.org/”
The stress of these meetings are has been memorialized on a coffee mug which reads "I survived an IEP". I love it.
I have put a new article on my website called Team Building Advocacy which you might find helpful in preparing for your next IEP.
Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
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