Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Elli meets the bureaucrats. (Or Jer's Soapbox)

Several of our children have been involved in IEPs over the years (Individual Ecucational Plans).  Kids who are receiving special services are required to have these in order to evaluate their progress and develop goals for their improvement.  With Elli, the progress is extremely slow.  This year, as part of the process, we have been asked to fill out a questionnaire.  The questions we are being asked about Elli have had me literally laughing out loud.  We are ranking her on an "Always to Never" scale for these:

-Stands up for others who are treated unfairly.

-Says nice things about herself/himself without bragging.

-Makes a compromise during a conflict.

-(This was doubly hilarious) Makes eye contact when talking.

-Stands up for herself/himself when treated unfairly.

-Does what she/he promised.

If you know Elli at all, you know that these questions are completely irrelevant to Elli's life.  As her educational plan is made, other bureaucratic balderdash becomes apparent.  In an effort to make things fit into their box, the legislature requires that kids have math goals, science goals, etc in their IEPs.  OK, that's really great in many cases, but have any of the people who create these guidelines ever been to Kauri Sue Hamilton???  Having a goal for Elli to be able to do addition up to 10 + 10 is more outlandish than setting a goal for me to part the Great Salt Lake.  It ain't gonna happen!

We are certainly grateful for Elli's FANTASTIC school and WONDERFUL teachers.  We will continue to check the boxes and fill out the surveys that must be filled out in order for her to attend.  I just wish those who were creating the standards and requirements would take the time to understand a little better just what these children need.



  1. I have two brothers with low functioning Down's. Every couple of years they have to have a full psychological and physical evaluation (taking hours in some cases) to prove that they still have Down Syndrome. Unbelievably, they have not been cured. Geesh indeed.

  2. These same beaurocrats ought to come to your house and get an eyeful of what a great job you and your wife accomplish in raising your beautiful, individual children.
    Some of that same stupidity (oops) outlandishness came out recently with beaurocrats making imaginative, child play a crime when they pretend to shoot a gun with their little hand, or build a legos gun, or shoot a bubble gun. Loved the title of this blog.:o) Ps..I'm 66, and for my 8th birthday all I wanted was a cap gun and holster like Roy Rogers had...never went on to shoot anyone or upset the beaurocrats! mm,vancouver,wa.

  3. Morning Bro - I so get this! An honest suggestion - before you date and sign the next one - fill it out - make a copy - and then the next year just put on the form the date and sign it! While I will never understand how you cope with and raise your family - I'll continue to be inspired by and love it! I do, however, have some small understanding of how the beaurocrats think - I've had to manage them for many years now! The big secret is that they don't care what the form says - they just care that they have it!

    And like MM above - I never went on a shooting rampage either - and all my kids "made" their own guns out of whatever was ready at hand - so there wasn't much point in them not having toy ones! ;)

    love you guys - hugs - aus and co.

  4. I am glad you are laughing instead of crying over the extreme waste of time. Oh, the boxes in which the bureaucrats crate themselves!

  5. ok, ok. i am probably going to regret this. . . but i am feeling bold today. In the 1970's a federal law was passed- 94 142 that says, in essence that " every child is entitled to a free and appropriate education. . ." and now children have IEP's. A HUGE reason here, is that before most of you were born, children who had different learning styles were "parked" in special education classes - sometimes for the rest of their lives. If you talk to people who attended these classes- many times there was no attempt to provide any type of education. Many people report just watching movies all day. So, yes, while the system certainly could use some improvement- things actually were much worse. i for one say- hurrah for those devoted individuals who spend their days in any related capacity of trying to provide an education for children. . . and yes, jeremy i know you feel the same way. Requiring schools to retest children identified in IEP's is actually a safeguard- an attempt to prevent some child from being labeled and then possibly forgotten. It is an expense for school districts to provide psychological testing and evaluation every 3 yrs. - and it may seem ridiculous- but it is a safegaurd to protect children who might otherwise be overlooked and or neglected in a busy school system. sorry- i am old, i know. But sometimes the historical background may shed new light? love you guys. aunt debbi

  6. Aunt Debbi-- I love you! Don't regret reminding us of the absolute blessing her education is. I know that most of the "bureaucrats" have the best of intentions and most things are done very efficiently and with great care-- so I am SUPER grateful for them and for everyone who works and fights for the privileges and rights that Elli receives. I would fill out forms every day if it were the only way for her to continue to go to the fantastic school she attends!! There ARE some things that make us kind of exasperated-- like the need to take Lexi in for vision evals every so often just to prove that she is still blind. Ha. But I do completely understand the need for the psych testings and evaluations. Two of the three tests seemed very worthwhile and appropriate. The third one was so difficult to fill out-- almost every question didn't pertain to her and yet you didn't have an option of "not applicable." It said every question had to be answered, and yet there wasn't an answer that fit in any way. So it had us kind of rolling our eyes... That being said, of course there has to be some standardized tests or we wouldn't know who qualifies for special help. I wish I could remember the name of the three tests so I could say which one was poorly written... Anyway... point taken! Thank heaven for IEPs, even if there is some imperfection to the system! We LOVE the resource teams that help our kids!!!!!

  7. We gave up on the "system" and decided to home school this year. Best/worst decision we ever made! The kids love it and would refuse to go back. I'm slightly overwhelmed on a daily basis. Had no idea what I was getting into. Thought it was temporary, just a year or two. Noww they are asking if I can teach their college classes too! :). Luckily, I know they will change their minds by then. 2nd, 3rd, and 5th grades.

  8. My daughter, Makayla, also attends Kauri Sue. This is her first year there as a kindergartener. We have loved that school and know she is where she needs to be. I agree with you about the IEP....sometimes it makes me feel like a failure as a mother. Thanks for your blog and post. I love reading about your cute family. My sister, Missy, is Christianne's age from Ferron. She probably knows the Seamons family well. :)