The Long Battle to an Individualized Education Plan

Getting my child to be evaluated for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) should not take years to happen, so why is it so hard for parents to get the process started?

Speaking from my personal experiences as well as other parents who have children who require IEPs, our stories are all the same.

When I initially requested my oldest son be evaluated for an IEP, his school informed me of the steps that would be taken to get it started, but my son wasn’t evaluated for four years. I thought I was the only parent who went through this, but since then, I’ve heard several stories from other parents, some living in other states, who are also fighting to get their children assessed.

My son is now in the 3rd grade—mind you, I requested this process in his kindergarten year and we’re just now having meetings to get this into place to assist him. He’s been able to have teachers and parents every year who have assisted in getting him through school and have patiently taken the time to understand who he is and what he needs. My son has ADHD and oppositional deficit disorder. His teachers have effectively created an IEP for him.

Now what about the kids who don’t have that on a daily basis, who will assure these kids have what’s needed?  

On a recent trip to Washington, D.C., I met a grandmother who fought for over four years to get the process started for her two grandkids. She constantly talked and met with with leaders and teachers at their school.

How many other parents and guardians are fighting to assure their children have services in place to properly assist them?

But I am happy to say there is a light at the end of the tunnel for my son. My son’s school is now being run by a new charter organization. With the previous organization, I was repeatedly told it was a long process and they were working on it. I was also told that the school doesn’t pay for the IEP process but the state does. After asking around, I found out the school actually funds the process.

I now finally have the process started. The new administration met with me within a week of my request for my son to be evaluated.

But it’s ridiculous that it took a new administration to get it done.

We’ve now had the opportunity to meet and discuss my sons needs and the steps that will be taken. Hopefully he will now be able to truly succeed. Along with dedicated parents and teachers, it will only get better from here.

Parents don’t settle. Be persistent.

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