September 23, 2010 by Marj Hatzell
It’s that time of year again. Every year in Late October (usually around Halloween) my kids’ IEPs are due. Meaning, the six to eight weeks before that time are filled with paperwork, paperwork and more paperwork. I have forms and questionnaires to fill out, phone calls to make, prescriptions to get, you name it. Can you say busy? Because, you know, I need more things to do.
And, nothing is more of a slap in the face about your child’s progress than an IEP. Prepping for it and coming up with goals is one of the single-most depressing events we have to endure. Especially for Bugaboo, who obviously has MUCH MORE to deal with. Look! He still can’t talk! LOOK! HE’S STILL IN DIAPERS! And he can’t hold a pencil! He only makes contact 30% of the time! He has decreased his self-biting to 22 times a day! HOORAY!
You don’t say.
Sometimes, I just want to screw with them for fun. You know, for kicks. Just to get a laugh. Because, if I can’t laugh and poke fun at our situation, no one can. One of these days, when they ask us questions about each domain (Self-help, vocational, academic, social, motor, behavior, etc) I want to throw something really outlandish in there. Like, instead of “recognizing letters and numbers” I want to throw in, “will read War and Peace.” Instead of “increase success of elimination on toilet” I want to put in, “Will install bidet and toilet in master bath.”
Wouldn’t that be funny? C’mon. There ain’t much fun in autism sometimes. We have to create our own, see.
I mean, why not? Why not aim high? I’m all for age-appropriate goals and setting the bar at an obtainable level but just once I’d like to aim for the stars. Just for sh*ts and giggles. We could add, “Become child prodigy on piano” instead of “music therapy” and “build a chicken coop or dog house” instead of “load the dishwasher”. Our house would really start looking nice. Seriously! We can make them educational goals! Really! Pulling up carpeting is fine motor and gross motor practice, y’all. Cooking dinner is following a multi-step activity. And I’m thinking that it’s less interesting to address “increased verbalizations” for him and go WHOLE HOG and just add in “Recite the Gettysburg Address.” We could rent him out for parties and he’d have monetary support for life. Think of the endless possibilities.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to read up on PDD-NOS, ADHD, IEPs, FAPE, OCD, LRE, ABLLS and ABA. ASAP.