29. Insights Into Our First COVID-19 IEP Session


Hello and welcome to the If We Knew Then podcast I’m Stephen Saux.

And I’m Lori Saux.

We’re in the mid of our IEP we did one session it carried over to our second session which we just had we thought it would be the end we just schedule the third session somewhere in the middle of our IEP we infamously have IEPs I think our last last year we sat for a total of twenty one hours twenty one hours over three full days so really twelve hours or or get in yeah we’re getting off easy effect on those twelve hours seeing that last year was twenty one but this is these are like these %HESITATION zoom ours yes which seems like they could be could be more efficient but what we saw in this last yesterday we saw on our second session was something we had never seen before we had finished our everyone going through in our our team saying what they need to say setting the goals finished the team reports yeah and and then we got to the part where they go over placement right and here is one thing they share is they shouldn’t be changing your placement so if they try to change your placement need you tell him now they they can’t change replacement medco bed so that’s something that we want to share because I got to tell you that even though we were prepared we had a lawyer there there were still a moment when we approach that part of our I. E. P. where I got a little nervous listening to the way they were talking in the words they were using that they were gonna try to pull one over on us so there’s a new section what is it called section K. that’s just Haley was the Los Angeles school district we are in the alley UST but there’s probably something in and the different school districts they might be very similar this might be something that different districts do and that’s why we want to share it they might be called a different letter but this was section K. night and you know when you’re in your I. P. I think it’s super important to listen and to be present not just hear them but we really listen because you can tell when something’s coming by the way they talk are there a lot of signs yet there’s like at the tones and even on zoom in very Brady Brady bunch ask kind of look yeah they they’re just like oh should we talk about K. okay yeah let’s talk about section K. and and I thought it was funny so I was like %HESITATION what’s that you’re gay just I do try to bring a little bit levity because you know honestly it’s my time and I’m sitting there for three hours so although I’m very serious and very prepared if there is a moment of levity these are you know for the majority it’s people on our team that we have a relationship with and I and I really don’t enjoy I enjoy even less when it’s so heavy and and burdens so I’ve been known to have a little bit of levity and and some of that levity comes honestly when telling stories to get off track when they were talking about Liam being non compliant or being able to stop an activity that you like to transition and one thing I always keep in mind is sometimes the bar they put up for lamb is higher than the bar that any typical stood I know any bar that Sophia had to rise to she was given so much more leeway to make mistakes and to learn and to grow but I find sometimes the conversations that happen in these IT peas are so stringent that I have to bring it back and remind them who we’re what we’re talking about and that I can go into a classroom any given day and see the behaviors and a multitude of the students that don’t have IT peas and it’s not a big deal but if mine so my son should be held to some different bar than his peers just like he’s a lot in education with its peers he should be given the same allowances and I really believe that so I did make a %HESITATION about a little levity and comparing you know the Lakers the Lakers just one a night and I’ve made a comparison when they were trying to hold the bar up to say well I can guarantee that if I went to the principal’s house but he was watching the Lakers last night and just turned off the TV I think I’d get some non compliant behavior for that transition because their time out transitions and I think sometimes honestly people need to be reminded that we’re talking about human beings and they laughed and and it was the point got across yeah that helps me when when I’m parenting just you know as parents Steven and I were %HESITATION when were changing it took us awhile to remember like %HESITATION you can’t just say alright we’re done you need to give people a heads up I need a heads up that we’re moving on to something else I need a heads up that you’re going to change runaway bride to turn off my turn off when Harry met Sally I’m gonna need I’m gonna need a heads up I I want to watch my movie and if you take it away mid without any warning I’m gonna get a little peeved you know so I think that’s it for me it’s really important to always keep that conversation alive that we’re not just talking about goals are PLP is we’re talking about a human and human behavior and we’re all humans and these are not behaviors that are foreign to any ten year old correct so back to K. yeah after the levity came after let you hear like we get to K. and and you just hear it’s %HESITATION it’s almost the same tone that I take when I’m going to try to trick my kids into eating vegetables Hey you know what we’re gonna do now I’m not I’m telling you it wasn’t far from that so that makes my ears perk up to go ani I think there’s going to be a show going on right now and they pull up the screen and they say well we’re all we need you to do is sign right here well go ahead now they pulled the pull to screen and they said we’re gonna share the screen so mom and dad get a look at what we’re doing I was like what this is an ever have before even without a zoom yeah it’s like okay mom and dad are gonna see so okay and we’re we’re assuming everyone of these other people have been injured in in these room AP is already which is true everyone’s done multiple of them all over %HESITATION teen PT and a resident from the district and the principal and done most of the multiple these so they knew it was coming affect our attorney probably it was coming we just don’t know what you said it was nature I’m she might have known it was coming but she said she knew what was new as well well it may I my ears perked up to and and plus when they call you mom and dad when you’ve known them for six years and and they know your name and they’ve also been calling you know Lori and Steven are Mr Mrs socks for hours of the zoom for six hours now they’ve been calling you as I pull up a a form for my for my dad he can check off a couple spots and they just gonna check these directly here two things off the top so sign here because ling %HESITATION gets pulled out of he has the way was present us has services where summer Pushin but some are pull out and we’ve and they established they said and we’ve decided that that is best for Liam to pull him out then I’m gonna check this box to say that because he’s pulled out of the classroom he will then not have paraphrase because we don’t know I think the right word to the paraphrases he will he would leave class and then not get the full curriculum of the classroom and in the winter we hear that correctly like for them that word makes us because whenever they’re talking about curriculum they’re talking about pulling them off or cancer alternate curriculum and then since you went to the second one and she said and then this one right here we’re gonna check off because it says while he is in those services he is going to animate a paraphrase not be taught by a professional teacher yeah would you not be not receive instruction from a highly qualified teacher I honestly I respect teachers that work hard and we’ve had we we have had some really great teachers out there that actually care about educating our son and haven’t creating clothes from firemen suffer wonderful writers yeah one for the most part though we experience a lot of either they don’t have the knowledge of what’s in the IEP or that it’s even a legal binding document that they’re supposed to follow or that they’re the ones that are supposed to follow it there’s a big gap between an I. E. P. and people understanding who is supposed to implement that and that’s why a lot of the times I end up picking up the ball because people don’t think it’s their responsibility and honestly I don’t have time to really care about making people know what their response he is and if I can be a part of it to where I create a little bit easier it helps me so I’ll make a schedule and make sure things are on on course will sit next to Liam during distance learning and teaching we don’t have a problem with that the problem that I’ve always had is then when he has a consequence for the fact that they’re not doing their job that then he has a consequence and not something that we do just don’t abide to because it should be about to be clear we’ve had several teachers that we really like having great and the ones that we feel aren’t ones we recommend for eye peas many of them are held in such regard for their ability to teach typical kids in their typical clash and they’re fantastic teachers it’s about adapting to supports and people who learn differently and people that learn differently and IT peas and reading those and and learn about assessments and and learning and and doing those things and that’s where we find that there is and could be a a bridge it need to be crossed there’s a gap in the need for education there’s a need for training so we read both of these and this is this is what I encourage you to do is right away I was like now I’m not signing that because I could read the sentence and the sentence said if you don’t educate my son I’m now saying that’s okay but he doesn’t get the curriculum you’ve just checked off that you said he wasn’t gonna get the entire curriculum right so don’t but you don’t sign it here on the table right now do not sign it it is not lawful do not they cannot tell you they are not going to educate your child so don’t sign it says Steven immediately and I think it was something like when you’re got goes Hey that’s not right and he said you know what I thought I thought I was like why would I put this here if I was the school district why would I do that and why would you do that Stephen well I said so this is some way of covering the district’s liability and what did they they said yes yeah I mean I could believe it I was out and that I mean and I’m right back to his honesty yeah in that respect it was it was probably one of the most honest yes IT pays because we we we did experience on it like people I I don’t think it was distraught by it as well because I got because I asked and so we’d we debated and and explain fully why wouldn’t thank each one and as we were saying that you can see the cursor going over to the little because we’re she’s sharing the screen and and you can see the cursor going of that dot that you just checked off and she uncollected we like okay well there’s one down one to go and then we talked about that one and yeah the cursor went right over there and click that and you know honestly I think T. I think teachers want to teach and I think the pandemic has been hard on everyone and and I can identify that it’s a challenge and identified that people had to re learn some job so I do think that it I think that’s why I really enjoyed the site P. as long although it was very taxing and challenging is that there was actually honesty and I feel like most of the other IDPs we’ve ever sat in Dave said stuff and then tried to cover or done things that are illegal and you know try to make excuses for it thinking we wouldn’t know and for the first time we actually received honest answers and the first you know the first one really was when you asked if it was a liability and they went yeah and so I said so we’re gonna uncheck those boxes and we’re not gonna sign and this is going to tell you not to sign them because one they have to educate your child and they can’t not give them the curriculum so what I said instead of that instead of checking that box what I want written into the IEP is that any curriculum that Leah Mrs is to be given to them and the parents to be made up with the accommodation because as a combination of extra time to make shots and you’re right that you know shorter assignments extra time that will be able to be made up with his accommodation of extra time and I want it in the I. P. so now I do not only I’m not going to check your box but now to make sure that you don’t try to come back and say that he can get educated because he was in a service now I want it written in the I. E. P. and I said that and you can say that you have a voice I said it nicely I explain myself why but you have a voice so please use it and you have the right to say that and you have the right to ask for that accommodation and you have the right not to sign as long as those boxes are checked it’s unlawful so then after all that’s put in the A. P. what’s gonna happen is yes he’s going to have the services were he’s pulled out and at that time those assignments are crude and organize for him to take home and then he could do that at home over the weekend later that that day however you do it you turn in later and accompanied by the fact that he’s or she is allowed to bring their assignments in a little bit later or have a little bit more time then everything’s done here she did not miss really anything in the classroom all assignments were done properly to the accommodation right and you ask for that accommodation it’s it it’s a basic I’m sure everybody has that but if you don’t please ask for the accommodation of more time and make sure it’s written in your IP and don’t be afraid to ask for that and I did point out that this is something that should have been happening since the beginning of Liam’s education that he should have been given the assignments and I also pointed out that last year one of the things that I discovered was that he had been getting bad grades because when he would miss work because they were pulling them out they wouldn’t give him the work to make up it went said at home they wouldn’t give it to me at all so then he was failing to different subjects within completes right then it reflects poorly on him and then they have grounds to try to pull them off curriculum or put him into a special day class or a different placement or whatever because they say that he can’t do the work well he can with his accommodations and then I did also remind them that that happening was a violation of the implementation of a site P. and then kindly said but that’s a different story but we can go into that if you want and they didn’t want to which was nice so the second part the second thing to check off was about the teacher not teaching him and then I are highly quite highly highly qualified well if you have resource %HESITATION I’m not sure what they call it everywhere else but here it’s called resource and if you have a resource teacher that support your child in their academics the maple here she had a class or portion or push in and instruct instruct that student now the pull out is the is the main thing they’re gonna pull out an instructional that’s a highly qualified teachers well the resource teacher and so what this is this was my hope my hope was to take the things that were challenges and turn them in to good things for us and so those two things are challenges right so when they say that he’s not gonna be taught by highly qualified teacher we point out that he should be because the other resource teacher who is highly qualified and then also sometimes when you’re getting service says they will substitute the highly qualified teacher with an assistant that’s illegal that’s not a highly qualified that’s not a highly qualified therapists implementing your services so know that I don’t know how it works for everyone so that was a really great time the door was opened to say and let’s go ahead and make a note in the I. E. P. since this is been a problem because it has been a reoccurring problem but you won’t know it’s a problem unless you ask for your service logs and when you ask for your service logs whoever did that service has to sign in and so you will get a list of how many services were implemented by the provider and how many were implemented by their assistant and you might be shocked to see how much actual instruction is coming from the therapist or the supporter or the resource so it’s a really good thing to know is just really a really great thing to now so you know what’s going on and it’s possible you may enjoy the services you’re you’re getting from that a system right now but they’re not supposed to have the assistant is not supposed to be implemented and that was a huge thing that’s what something that they fell back on during quarantine was they said oh well we can’t do zone with them because they’re not the call apologize therapist okay well this isn’t the same person who you tried to other could do assume they’re me remember that so this is a conversation and this is just even if you never act on its information to just now the person who’s supposed to be implementing your services is the actual provider not the eight so that is information put in your pocket and save it in case it comes up and that’s the law that’s that’s it that’s the rule so it was a really good time to address that and to say let’s please put this in the I. P. because it’s happened so many times where it will start off will get everything clear and then as the year goes in L. A. P. season comes in those providers get really busy and bogged down and all the sudden you start to notice that somebody else maybe even someone who doesn’t know your child may be a substitute teacher we’ve had substitute teachers who are not providers just so you just want to stay on top of it and you don’t have to honestly if it’s not a problem for you you do you choose your battles but this is just information that I want every parent to know because knowledge just knowing it’s powerful and it’s a strength and it’s a tool that you can use and a lot of times they don’t try to pull the wool over your eyes if you actually know the rule and you can actually look up on your district’s website too and I’m sure it’s there and so if you ever wanted to site if you didn’t have a lawyer which we recommend if you didn’t have a lawyer you you might even be able to cite the exact words from the district’s website and I guarantee if you can do that your they’re going to perk up and listen because they know that you’ve you’ve armed yourself with the knowledge what was admitted to the section K. is new and we knew it was because we’ve never seen it before I didn’t at first I was thinking maybe we just hadn’t seen it because this is a zoom IP and where maybe there’s some additional things are that they need to do but yeah this is something they’re probably going to try to implement in their eye peas even once we get back in person eye peas but it’s a new thing so we really wanted to spread that word because it’s probably have not been I wonder how many people have signed up on it right well I mean what it sounds the way it’s presented as so many things can be it sounds like %HESITATION okay I’ll check that if you’re trusting you know the group that is on a nineteen ships sailed long ago I always bring it back to I was me back to the car salesman I remember getting when we bought the civic right and then we went through this whole eight hours of negotiating and we and I mean I I two hundred Bucks off here three of us out there you know throw in some when attending and then like okay great now we’re gonna go to the financing and they want to sell me on the insurance I like an extended warranty and like now I don’t want to I just don’t like it it’s eleven dollars it’s it’s a great deal and I don’t want I mean I do we just went through this whole thing and he goes out he just made me he does look to me like you we think in this is not a smart thing you’re about to do so because of that you know what all right I can do it for seven hundred and one no I don’t want it I don’t I don’t want to do it can get me out of here like I’ve got the car I want at the price we got it he rolled his eyes again got up talk to his manager I’m going this is crazy he comes back good I just talk my manager got listen I don’t want it because I’m gonna give it to you at cost I’m telling you I don’t want it and it goes it goes no no well you would you cost them to take that cost off of your your sticker price so it’s not gonna cost you anything I have a quota have to sell this a certain more this is certain mark to get some kind of rebate from Honda and that he does not want a dealership the Disney the quota and so you’re trusting this person they’re telling information making it rolling their eyes making you think that you’re doing the wrong thing and yet you dive in and realize now they’re good they’re good they can present to you in a way that makes you feel stupid if you don’t check that box and you know what it’s what status is the education system and this is our IP and this is our district and what makes it even worse is that is during a pandemic so they’re doing this to parents and children during such a highly stressful time already that this is what they do normally but now they’re doing it more and in a pandemic which shame on you shame on you LA UST shame on you for any school district that does that it’s it’s it’s shameful that in that zoom you may have ten eight ten twelve boxes of people there and you’ll see yourself it is very possible that you’re the one of the whole group that doesn’t have a job because this band band pandemic you’re the one stressing you’re the one that doesn’t have an income you’re the one that she’s trying to get stuff done for your trying to educate your son or daughter trying to educate your child doing their job it’s more than frustrating what’s more the pressure to think how many parents are probably been taken advantage of and and are are are up against a rock and a hard place and just go okay I mean you can come on how how strong can you be right guys so especially if you don’t have the knowledge and that’s what the banking on the you don’t know these things and that’s why we did not cast now you have at least those those little bits of information and there was one other thing that so when they do you have a limited time probably when they’re given when we started our IAP they started to pass around the sign in sheet that’s digital they’re taking too long to stop them which is what we did our lawyer did and say can we please not waste the time and can the rest of the people in the zone do this on a break or beforehand or with this information when before you go into your I. P. make a little note and send it so that way you don’t waste any of your time because we had a limited amount of time and now we’re going in for a third session so every minute counts and that’s a fifteen fifteen minutes at least at least in it because they’re bringing up the document you get a hand over the it’s a sign and shouldn’t take away your time because your time and especially if you have a lawyer you know you’re paying for that time and and don’t let them impede upon your processing time another thing they did was the person from the district that we had this whole conversation with for over three hours three weeks ago was gone and it was a new person and immediately to me it’s a game and they they play games and so you know I had to re settle and not be unnerved by the fact that now they’re like switching people out because you just had this whole IP where we explained everything and hopefully you guys go and you have a great I. P. you get what you need for your child and you’re done in one sitting but for us like I can now look around and see where the game is and it shouldn’t be a game so I’m not willing to participate yeah we were we were on our first session the district representative told us a hard hard no one something that we felt really strongly about and we went on and on about it and then I was present us that we just need to move on because we’re just in a stalemate and this is going to slow things down so we said let’s let’s put it behind us and we’ll come back to it so we didn’t come back to it because we get to the end of that session our day was done well the second session respecting how okay that represent me back what so maybe she had sent a chance to think about where we’re at no there was someone else and this person was not resisting so it made me think there is yeah it’s a game yeah it’s a it’s a way I would match up a game I would have the heavy heavy heavy come in yeah and say no we took improv people we know all about get caught back up okay we had to do weeks of good cop bad cop okay %HESITATION and you say no hard no hard no and the other guys like let’s think about Hey don’t be so refining segment can I get you something to drink yeah we know the game yes a good cop comes in second so then you have a hero you have a hero to attach too you have this good cop that you’ve just attach yourself to making the district look great and you can then have an enemy you can say %HESITATION that last person all that what that was that backup is terrible right so you have a place to direct your frustration anger and it’s not in the zoo meeting they’ve they’ve made it so that now this meeting is all good direct energy which can bring your your guard down and it’s a strategy so it’s a game and it’s unfortunate that it’s a game so this is what I say try not to bring emotions into it try to just have someone that you can take notes on so if something comes up you can talk about it be present in the moment try to breeze through things really listen to everything that’s been said and do not be afraid to stop them do not be afraid to correct them because it’s being recorded right and then you request a copy of that recording beforehand so I went to an audio recording of it because in zoom it’s a little different just make sure that you have it on the record that you’re requesting the audio recording if you have a lawyer they’re going to record it for you and if you have the means to the ability to then you can record it I guess on your your phone just so you have all the notes because you might need to use them if you go if you have to go downtown and fight the district so you present and listen and stop them I cannot tell you how many times they tried to readjust might what I had just said and I stopped and I said I want to be perfectly clear this is the situation that happened or we had someone say well that happened a year and a half ago when I was in there so you know I’ve been doing a great job so we’re just gonna go for it and I stopped and I said I’m gonna make this clear no that’s not how it works you are doing a great job but this is something that was supposed to be corrected and nobody did it and then there was a pandemic so we’re not going to do that and please use your voice eight you get better if you use your nice voice but use your voice to speak up because you’re speaking up for your child and don’t be afraid to do not be afraid to say you are wrong this is the situation tell me where you got that information please put that in writing for me your views all of these things like any other calm conversation that you would have with any other adult in your life or any other human in your life because they don’t have the power that they pretend to have because there are laws that support us and protect us and we need to know those laws and we need to speak up in a state that’s the way that we make a change and when you start speaking up a lot of times it changes right there in the room you know I do I try to go into it with a compassionate empathetic heart but I have learned not to bring emotion in with me and just to bring the facts and to really really here what’s being said and to stop and I stopped I don’t wait until the end of a conversation I will say while I wait till there’s a break I don’t like I don’t talk over people but I I make a little note on my laptop and I have no open the whole time and I take little notes and then when that person’s down and they go Mr Mrs socks do you have any questions I will go note by note and have them answered that if something’s inappropriate or inaccurate or something that I just want to get on the record okay here’s another thing compensatory services they %HESITATION you them if they didn’t provide services they are you those services a little tidbit the schools were open even though you weren’t in school because I say well the schools were closed they were not closed this is after this is in March or whatever after the pandemic right A. O. U. compensatory if you have services that they did not provide and this was a really great little thing that came from our lawyer was the schools were open because a lot they’ll say well the schools were closed that’s it that’s a little key phrase that the schools were closed so we don’t we don’t have to they weren’t closed I miss it more times because we’re not close they were open they need to provide compensatory services for any services you miss yeah we did this and learning the whole this is not it does today were not closed so your school most likely unless it’s a private school accepted funding if they then say they were are not going to provide the services that is unlawful that is embezzlement embezzlement so they do or use our services the school was open any services that they didn’t give you they owe you because unless it’s a private school they receive monies and grants to provide those services right state and federal monies yep so I want you to put that in your pocket because I don’t like being lied to and I don’t like my friends being lied to and I don’t like that they do it to parents of children with IEPs who need supports and hard going through enough on any given Monday not to mention how that is compacted during the pandemic and they’re taking advantage of us and I don’t like it and it’s unlawful and we’d like it to stop and that’s why we’re sharing our information with you now we’re going to have more information after after after I go around and hopefully it will be about the end of R. I. P. but I just want to share that with you I will share with you that I was nervous I was sure that when they got to the part about placement I have my throat got tight and my stomach dropped like it always does because it’s a feeling of helplessness because also I knew that if they tried that the law is there’s a bunch of laws that protect you about having to provide assessments haven’t it’s a whole assessment process before that they can change a child’s placement and they cannot do it and the pandemic so I knew that but I also knew that if they did try to change the placement that I might have to fight for it and sometimes I get tired of fighting so %HESITATION we are with every single one of you when you step into your IP load yourself with knowledge if you can get a lawyer an advocate someone who knows the law to sit in that room because then it also helps it helps if you stay the peaceful one and not emotional to have your lawyer say you know that’s against the law you know you can’t do that and you know on the outside you wouldn’t I don’t think I would ever believe that what you’re fighting for your going into set up a plan for Liam and you actually have to look have a lawyer tell the school and stopped the school from doing things that are illegal that that’s a shame it’s a shame and it shouldn’t happen I’m trusting in the evolution of all good things that there will come a day that that does not happen but until that day comes please bring with you what you need educate yourself on the laws %HESITATION go to idea go to your district’s website and there’s lots of information out there so look up special education make sure you are ready and and you have with you the tools that you need to have a successful IP so we will talk to you again after our conclusion and share in hopes to giving you some of our experience but it may help you have a successful IPO and receive all the support that your child needs to access their curriculum good luck to you any questions drop us a line or inbox go to our website if we knew then dot com you can send us a message and we’ll get back to you we don’t know everything but we will try really hard to find an answer for you if we don’t know the answer I promise you that thank you good luck friends.

Please follow us on Twitter @ifweknewthenPOD you can drop us a line on our Facebook page @ifweknewthenPOD or visit our website https://www.IfWeKnewThen.com to send us an email with questions and comments. You can join our mailing list there and get alerts of future podcast episodes. Thank you again and we look forward to you joining us on the next episode of IF WE KNEW THEN.

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