My husband - who is a big supporter of my writing - has been very busy, and just caught up on a couple of weeks of blog reading. "Good stuff, really good work you've been doing lately." he told me. Then added the caveat: "You might want to post something funny soon."
In other words, it's gotten a wee bit heavy around here lately. Can't argue with that. It's true. And while I do genuinely feel the need to lighten things up on the blog, I can also only work with what I've got, and I know I just don't have a funny post in me right now.
Fortunately for you, I have friends. Funny, funny friends. And it turns out that I, too, am funny when I'm yakking with them on social media (translation for my Luddite friends - murdering time on FaceBook and Twitter).
And one of these cyber-friends (just as real as so-called "real life" friends, don't you believe otherwise) has written a hysterically funny post on "Ways to make your next IEP awesome."
Yes, this is "awesome" with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Because IEP Meetings*? Well, the term "torturesome" comes up much more often than "awesome" -- unless you take these ideas to heart, because then you too could have the funniest IEP meeting ev-ah!
So, go! Read! My friend is Lexi Sweatpants and her blog is Mostly True Stuff.
The post: "Ways to make your next IEP awesome."
And if you look down to the bottom to see the crowd of bloggers who offered up suggestions for this post, who were part of the autism brain trust, as it were, you'll see my name listed. Two of them come from me. Whoo-hoo!
There's a third one I came up with that didn't make it on to the list, and I'll share it with you here, as a little bonus: "Wear an eye patch, and every time they look away switch it to the other eye." You're welcome.
So go, visit Lexi and read all of the rest and get your laugh on. I promise I'll be funny again here, some time soon. (But probably not tomorrow when I'm telling you about bringing my nephew Simon and his girlfriend to see Mom today.)
*Note: If you don't know what an "IEP" is? (First off, consider yourself incredibly fortunate and know I envy you.) It stands for "Individual Education Plan" - and is basically the contract between the school district and the Special Ed student that spells out what is needed for the child to receive the "free and appropriate education" to which they are entitled as citizens of this nation.
It the sets educational goals for the student - both short term and long term. It specifies the classroom setting - inclusion or specialized classrooms; number of students and/or student-teacher ratios. It outlines the teaching methodologies, accommodations and additional therapies necessary to educate your child. And? It is legally binding.
If a miracle has occurred and you live in a school district that is truly seeking to do right by its needier students, this can be a wonderful thing; written as a true collaboration between the family and knowledgeable educators, creatively coming up with a great blueprint for your kid's education.
And if you have a Special Ed kid, and have sat through an annual IEP meeting, I will pause now for the laughter and/or tears to subside.
Because in 99.9% of the cases I know of, that is not the case, and it becomes instead a battleground wherein the family tries to get what their child needs written into it while the school district tries to eliminate as many services as possible and write the thing so vaguely that you have nothing to hold their feet to the fire with, when they fail to properly educate your child.
A bad IEP meeting resembles nothing so much as negotiations between the White House and the Kremlin at the height of the Cold War. It can get ugly and mean and above all ridiculous. You walk out of a bad IEP meeting ready to go to war because people who do not know your child are planning his education, not with his best interests in mind, but hell bent on their singular goal of saving the school district some money. At the expense of your child, who is just so much collateral damage.
And then you fantasize about doing some of the things listed in Lexi's post, instead of grinding your teeth while trying to smile and appear reasonable.
OK, I'll shut up now, because I have clearly stopped being the least bit funny, and am at risk of turning into a giant buzz-kill. Mea culpa. Go read Lexi and laugh. G'night.