You know you have a child with special needs when…

– You compare ER’s instead of grocery stores.

– You compare your child’s oxygen saturations.

-You view toys as “therapy.’

– You don’t take a new day for granted.

-You teach your child HOW to pull things out of the cupboard, off the bookcases, and that feeding the dog from the table is fun.

-The clothes your infant wore last fall still fit her this fall.

– Everything is an educational opportunity instead of just having plain old fun.

-You cheer instead of scold when they blow bubbles in their juice while sitting at the dinner table (that’s speech therapy), smear ketchup all over their high chair (that’s OT), or throw their toys (that’s PT).

-You also don’t mind if your child goes through the house tooting a tin whistle.

-You fired at least 3 pediatricians and can teach your family doctor a thing or two.

-You can name at least 3 genes on chromosome 21. (You really know your toast if you can spell the full names correctly)

-You have been told you are “in denial” by at least 3 medical or therapy professionals. This makes you laugh!

-You have that incredible sinking feeling that you’ve forgotten

SOMETHING on those few days that you don’t have some sort of appointment somewhere!

-You get irritated when friends with healthy kids complain about ONE sleepless night when they’re child is ill!

-Your vocabulary consists of all the letters OT, PT, SP, ASD, VSD, IFSP, etc.

-You keep your appointment with the specialist even though a tropical storm is raging because you just want to get this one over with… waited 8 months to get it…..and besides, no one else will be there!

-Fighting and wrestling with siblings is considered PT.

-Speech therapy occurs in the tub with a sibling.

-When potty training is complete, you take out a full-page public notice in the Washington Post.

When the Doctors/Specialist/Hospitals etc. all know you by your name without referring to your chart.

-You keep a daily growth chart.

-You calculate monthly statistics for the number of times your child vomits, and did this for more then one year.

-You phone all your friends when your child sits up for the first time, at age two.

-With a big smile on your face you tell a stranger that your four year old just started walking last week.

-Her medical file is two inches and growing.

You have a new belief…..that angels live with us on earth.

Top Ten Signs…That You’re Going to Have a Bad IEP Meeting

By Colleen F. Tomko

10.  The IEP invitation lists “drive-thru” hours.

9.  When you get to the meeting, the staff want to know what you are doing there.

8.  They give you complimentary white flags and tissues.

7.  Your child’s student ID # is 666.

6.  They try to convince you that the attending speech therapist really is the janitor’s identical twin.

5.  You find yourself explaining that…the regs say they can use IU’s for related services, not I-O-U’s.

4.  The special ed coordinator says ‘Have we got a place for your kid”.

3.  They think “inclusion” is some type of venereal disease.

2.  The staff is bumming because their label maker burned out.

1.  You over hear the staff talking about the Least “Resisted” Environment.

The IEP – (a Dr. Seuss-like version)

I do not like these IEPs

I do not like them, Jeeze Louise

We test, we check

We plan, we meet

But nothing ever seems complete.

Would you, could you

Like the form?

I do not like the form I see

Not page 1, not 2, not 3

Another change

A brand new box

I think we all

Have lost our rocks.

Could you all meet here or there?

We could not all meet here or there.

We cannot all fit anywhere.

Not in a room

Not in the hall

There seems to be no space at all.

Would you, could you meet again?

I cannot meet again next week

No lunch no prep

Please hear me speak.

No, not at dusk. No, not at dawn

At 4 pm I should be gone.

Could you hear while all speak out?

Would you write the words they spout?

I could not hear, I would not write

This does not need to be a fight.

Sign here, date there,

Mark this, check that

Beware the students ad-vo-cat(e).

You do not like them

So you say

Try again! Try again!

And you may.

If you will let me be,

I will try again

You will see.


I almost like these IEPs

I think I’ll write 6003.

And I will practice day and night

Until they say

“You got it right!”