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I got a call last week from the secretary of the special education department at our school.  She told me, in a happy voice,  “Now that Elizabeth will be 22 years old, she is now done with Option 23.  This means she is finished, done.”   ……..

You see, we opted for what is called Option 23, which in Ohio means that a student can stay in the “school system” after graduation until the age of 22 years old. For us, this meant that in the post secondary school ( the college program)  we had an IEP to direct her goals etc.  It also meant we were still linked to the school in terms of IEP meetings, talking to the director of special education about reports and the like.

“You can come and pick up Elizabeth’s diploma at the high school office whenever you want to…..” Read the rest of this entry »

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I was just having a conversation with a new friend who asked me about our experiences with the school system as Elizabeth was growing up.  I told her that it was a struggle to have them truly understand how Elizabeth worked, her true needs and then of course, the ability to adapt and modify as her needs changed and as she matured and grew.  Her special needs of sensory processing disorder ( SPD) and dyspraxia made it very challenging!

I continued to tell her about the need for strong advocacy and how because of it, the school did listen better and we did, for the most part, work as a team.  But the thing I did stress to my friend was the need to remember and make sure others remembered what the ‘I” in IEP really stands for.  I think so much of the time, it is easy to forget this. Read the rest of this entry »

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