a teacher told me I should just do what she said since she is the professional

What is Your IEP situation or expertise?:

I am not sure what type of information that you are looking for and what area you are looking at. My background:

I have a daughter with Down Syndrome who will be 20 years old in October. She has a hearing impairment and is non-verbal. We live in Green Bay, Wisconsin and she attends Syble Hopp School. This is a school where only disabled kids attend. Our school district has sent her to Syble Hopp since she was 3 years old. They have a contract with Syble Hopp to implement the IEP's that are set up.

We are in a different situation than most parents--the state of Wisconsin is stating that they only deal with our school district when discussing an IEP and then the school district often tells me that they need to do what Syble Hopp says. I would say that in the past 5-6 years I have had a number of problems with this system.

As far as the signing of the IEP I don't actually sign an IEP after the fact. When I come in to a meeting they tell me to sign an attendance sheet. This sheet is then at the end of the IEP when I receive a copy. When I filed a complaint one year the state told me that I approved the IEP and signed it. I questioned it one time and they told me they needed my signature to show I was at the meeting. I don't think this is the way it was set up originally. I can remember signing a copy after the fact many years ago. As far as the IEP goes...yes I often regret what happens at those meetings. In my case the teachers at Syble Hopp read off what they want in the IEP...then they say do you agree? So much is thrown at you at a time that your head is spinning and at this point I just say yes because they argue with anything I have to say. (Parents really don't have equal rights --even though they say they do). I have gone back and have asked them to change things on an IEP after the fact. Sometimes they just do it --other times they insist on another meeting.

An example of how they will not listen to me: I wanted it written in the IEP that they send me a summary of what Maria does during the day since she is non-verbal and cannot tell me. The staff at the school told me that the state wouldn't allow that. I called the Wisconsin DPI and they said it was done all the time. I went to the next meeting and they still refused. They said they would give me a summary but wouldn't guarantee it each day. I showed the school district what they sent me and at the next meeting when this came up the district is asking for a couple summaries sent to them each week. Again ---not in the IEP. Since my daughter is non-verbal I feel that this should be automatic. What they were sending is what the class was scheduled for and not what my daughter was doing on a daily basis. I still have no idea what she does in most classes.

Another example: the school has not allowed my daughter to take part in Special Olympics even thought they have a school based program. They have said that she isn't ready. This has been going on for years. I checked with the state DPI and since it is school based it can be put in the IEP as extra curricular. Again they refused and said they didn't have to. I pushed the envelope last spring and said that if she wasn't included in Special Olympics I did not want her in that gym class with the teacher who does not want her....they took her out of gym the day after the district talked to them...another case of what I consider discrimination and abusing the IEP process.

I don't know if they helps you with your research but I have a lot of disappointing IEP stories. I feel that the IEP process is a joke and a waste of my time since they never listen to me anyway. One year a teacher told me I should just do what she said since she is the professional....This is why I dread these meetings each year.

I feel as though I am rambling at this point. If you would like any further information about what happens in our school district please let me know.


Gretchen Rizzo