Like for many of you, now that my son’s IEP is over I can finally breathe--even
if only to hyperventilate.
The incredible stress that often leads up to and occurs during an IEP (or Infliction
of Excruciating Pain as I’ve come to call it), can only be “outpained” by the post
traumatic stress that usually follows. There are the insensitive comments that
linger in our hearts, the raised eyebrows that are burned into our memories, and
the skepticism that sneaks into our unguarded souls.
Please don’t get me wrong, we have had good, affable and sometimes even surprisingly
pleasant meetings. And of course, there are also those individuals including many school people, who have made a very positive difference in our son’s future. And for those experiences and people, I am extremely grateful.
But for those negative, blind-siding, gut-wrenching meetings, I offer some humor. Because sometimes all we can do to save our sanities, is take a chill pill, maybe along with a mild sedative, and laugh. So here’s a new twist on an old favorite to help get us all through the aftermath of those difficult days. [Feel free to comment with a few of your own].
If team members were asked “How many IEP meetings does it take to change a light bulb,” this is what I imagine they might say:
Parent - “The light bulb is not the only thing that’s burnt out.”
General Education Teacher - “No one said I was going to have to teach changing light bulbs.”
Case Manager - “If you hadn’t wanted so many hours of service in that room, maybe
the light bulb wouldn’t have burned out.”
Transition Coordinator - “I think they cover that in life skills.”
Special Education Teacher - “We don’t need a light bulb, it’s not like they’re reading
Special Education Director - “We’ll have to just keep changing his placement until we find a room that has a light bulb.”
Resource Teacher - “The side benefit is that we’ll have to bring them up from the
Teaching Assistant - “We don’t really need a new light bulb, there’s enough light
coming off the television.”
School District Attorney - “The regulations don’t require light in the timeout room.”
Dean of Discipline- “Is there supposed to be a light in the time-out room?”
Assistive Technology Team - “First, we have to determine that the light bulb’s really
burnt out and then we can trial a flashlight.”
School Nurse - “I don’t know how many it will take to change the light bulb, but
all the special ed children will have to go home until we do.”
Secretary at the meeting - “O.K. then, how many minutes of light are we allotting in the IEP?”
Special Education Director - “We are willing to provide nightlights and maybe open
the door a crack; we feel this is more than educationally appropriate and all Rowley requires.”
Teacher - (Sobbing) “What do you people expect from us anyway!”
Parent - “I don’t understand why you’re being so difficult, it’s not like we’re
asking for a chandelier.”
School Psychologist - “The children are just lazy. If they really wanted to learn
they’d study by candle light like Abraham Lincoln.”
Janitorial Custodian - “I’d like to help you, but I’m not a part of the IEP team.”
Dean of Discipline - Dean of Discipline - "I'm just here to make sure we write it as 'change the light bulb.' The minute anyone uses the word, 'screw' this meeting is over."
Special Education Attorney - “The light bulb is the least important thing that needs
to be changed in that classroom.”