I would like to invite you to wear either you Smarty OR Fancy pants to this post. Both are appropriate I think
When your child is diagnosed with autism, the lingo starts. You have to start to learn a whole new language, and it looks a lot like alphabet soup.
ASD, FAPE, IEP, LRE, BIP, PDD-NOS, ABA, OT, IDEA………
Throughout my career whether it be in education or healthcare, there is one thing I have found to be true, big words are king. The bigger and more confusing the better and if there is a ridiculous acronym that can go with the word, even more perfect.
Quick question. What is the purpose of education?
Here’s my answer. Educate and focus on the growth of your child.
Simple. Child focused.
Fancy pants words are distracting and distancing. It’s like a mom who sits down to play with her child but gets interrupted every few minutes by a salesman selling books on how to spend time with your child.
The same holds true for teachers. Anything that pulls the teacher’s attention away from educating your child is a distraction. Like spending time learning yet another way to talk about the exact same concept, but with this year’s new “language.”
ie…data, data-informed, data-driven, data indicators, data-inspired, data-led, data wall, data literacy (eye roll)
I truly wish education was user friendly.
Unfortunately, I can’t take the system away, but I will commit to making it easier for you.
So, in the spirit of simplifying the IEP, educating students with autism, and making sure the focus remains on your child, let’s get started.
Free and Appropriate Public Education
Free primary through secondary school for a combination of 12 years.
Individualized Education Plan
Least Restrictive Environment
Think Goldilocks here. Not too much, not too little, but just right.
Least Your child has the right to be placed in a classroom where he can function at maximum capacity with only the help he requires.
Restrictive Your child needs the environment where he functions and learns the best. Not too restrictive and not too free, but exactly the amount of special education support required to assist.
This could mean a special education classroom, a general education classroom with a special education teacher assisting the student or a combination of both.
This depends entirely on what your child’s needs are. If your child outgrows their current needs, the IEP can be changed to reflect this growth.