25 Things I Would Rather Do Than Go To An IEP Meeting

I’d rather change my name to MC HB, aka Tenacious Cakes, and tour the country spitting mad rhymes about the dangers of Easy-Bake Ovens than go through another IEP meeting. Out of frustration and exhaustion, I am sharing this funny list of the top 25 Things I Would Rather Do Than Go To An IEP Meeting because – y’all, I think my soul’s going to die if I don’t find a way to laugh.

Full disclosure: I wrote this post angry. I felt it, and I lived it, and I am not sorry for the content. Having said that, I need to tell you I am no longer angry, and we are happily in another state and school district.

Preparing and going to an IEP Meeting for your special needs child can often feel like torture. You need this checklist to help and you need this funny list of all of the things I'd rather do than go to one of these meetings! #specialneedsparenting #autism

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do not want to continue preparing for my son’s meeting scheduled for tomorrow.

See, if you want to make the most of the conference from hell, you must prepare. 

There is a lot of legal jargon you must get through to understand your child’s rights.

Then there are the acronyms…

So. Many. Acronyms.

IDEA, ADA, FAPE, SP, OT, SLP, SPED, ABA…

OMG! WTF. 

Honestly, it’s best if you hold a special needs education degree, or someone close to you does, or you have an advocate, or you have a crap ton of free time to peruse our nation’s SPED law.

ALL PARENTS WITH SPECIAL NEEDS KIDS HAVE TONS OF FREE TIME – said no one ever.

This entire process feels like next-level @sshattery-level cruelty for new moms and dads of special needs kids. 

It’s maddening.

And when you think you can’t take anymore, it’s time for the meeting.

I’ll set it up for you. 

This meeting has everything: stressed-out, dead inside school officials, deadlines, paperwork, pressure, and a mile-long list detailing everything your child cannot do. 

SO. MUCH. FUN.

I have been a total stress case over my son’s next IEP for over a month now. I have been studying for it like a final exam, and today, I needed a break.

So, I put together this list of everything I’d rather do than read case law, study acronyms, and attend the meeting.

25 Things I’d Rather Do Than Go To Another IEP Meeting

1. Recite the unedited lyrics to “Get Low” by Lil Jon to a group of Senior Citizens Def Poetry Jam style. 

2. Bathe a feral cat.

3. Run down the beach next to Giselle Bundchen in matching bikinis on live television.

4. Get my Lady Business waxed into the shape of a question mark.

5. Roller skate through Walmart, asking strangers if they are “The Gatekeeper.”

6. Get stuck in an elevator with Jay Z and Solange Knowles.

7. Explain all of my Amazon purchases to my husband – in person 

8. Hang out in the airport smokers’ lounge while suffering from an active stomach virus.

9. Eat sushi from the sketchy restaurant in the Atlanta Airport.

10. Sing the Star-Spangled Banner at the Super Bowl, drunk and naked, raising my finger to point up when I hit the high notes. 

11. Argue with an overly enthusiastic mother who feels powerful because somebody gave her a clipboard.

12. Cover my body with spray adhesive, roll in glitter, and offer myself up to the Mississippi mosquitos in July.

13. Post a photo of myself with my tongue out on Facebook.

14. Drink a tall glass of curdled milk after ingesting whatever is in that Tupperware container in the back of my refrigerator

15. Touch everything at the Pediatrician’s office- toys, doorknobs, magazines-without washing my hands or using Germ-Ex after

16. Wear a Leisure Suit to all of my daughter’s ballgames without offering anyone an explanation

17. Clean the port-o-potties after a Phish concert without gloves

18. Balance my checkbook.

19. Star in a Urinary Incontinence Commercial

20. Trade-in Wifi for Dial-Up

21. Go Live on Facebook from my bathroom during a colon cleanse

22. Parallel park

23. Wear crocs

24. Watch a marathon of Sarah McLachlan SPCA Dog commercials with my overly sensitive nine-year-old daughter.

25. Go back to high school

Do not get me wrong. 

I would walk through fire for my son.

That would be easier because, at least then, I would know the outcome.

See, there’s something about going into the IEP Meeting. You may be scared or intimidated, but you know your child’s needs.

You go to the meeting thinking you are an essential part of the IEP team because, according to the law, you are, but that’s not always how it goes.

The unfortunate truth is that you must stand up and speak up at the IEP meeting with confidence, or you will not be heard. To do this, you must empower yourself with knowledge so your faith will be unwavering. 

You may not want to hear this, but you have more work to do.

Let me help.

Start by reading posts like this and this.

Then, study the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Many states have a Community Parent Resource Center (CPRC) that offers support and training to parents of children with disabilities. You can find yours here.

I also found a lot of helpful information here.

I know that millions of special needs parents struggle with IEPs this time of year…April, which is also Autism Awareness Month.

You should be aware that IEP meetings are not supposed to be painful.

I want you to be aware of your child’s rights.

Please speak up for those who do not speak.

Like my son, Nathan.

Strong people stand up for themselves, but stronger people stand up for others.-unknown

15 Must Have Tips For Parenting A Child With Autism

IEP Meeting Tips for Parents: How To Prepare For An IEP Meeting Like A Boss

26 Signs You May Be An Autism Mom

50 Tools Every Autism Mom Should Have in Her Calm Down Kit

Preparing and going to an IEP Meeting for your special needs child can often feel like torture. You need this checklist to help and you need this funny list of all of the things I'd rather do than go to one of these meetings! #specialneedsparenting #autism

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