January 23, 2012

An IEP for the Home?

My daughter has an IEP at school (Individualized Education Program) which is a legal document that lists all of her needs and how the school is going to help. We have an annual IEP meeting, where all of her therapists and teachers get together to discuss her progress, and we make goals for the following year. Here is where her services are set: deciding which therapies she'll be getting, such as speech therapy and occupational therapy, as well as how many hours of each therapy she'll be getting each week.

Also in these meetings, all classroom adaptations are discussed. For example, because of her vision and hearing issues, she needs to sit in the front of the classroom on the left-hand side. Since her vision AND hearing is better in her right ear and eye, sitting on the left side of the class puts her right eye and ear closer to the teacher. Other adaptations, such as giving her special scissors to use and a bench to put on her her feet for stability, are also brought up here in these IEP meetings.

While she is getting such great support in the classroom, it turns out we're not doing as well at home. This weekend we realized that for years, we've had A sitting in the wrong place at the dinner table! Our seating arrangement has always been me on the left side of the table, with A next to me at my right; across from me is my son, D; and next to D (diagonal from me) is my husband, J. Often at dinner A will ask "what did you say?" and we'll repeat ourselves. Sometimes I even check her hearing aide battery to see if it's still on! It never, EVER occurred to us that she was in the wrong seat! Her "good" ear, the right one, was facing nobody. She needed to be sitting in MY seat, so her right ear would be pointing toward the middle of the table. J noticed this issue this weekend, and it was like a lightbulb going off over our heads.

Oh. My. Goodness.

I feel so bad! How could we not have noticed this error in seating? It's remedied now, so hopefully A will be able to hear more at the dinner table. But gosh---sometimes I wish a professional could come in to our home and point things like this out!


  1. Better late than never! You should certainly NOT feel bad about not realizing that your usual seating arrangement wasn't the best for A. I think it's one of those things that probably got lost in the shuffle while you were focusing on so many other aspects of her life. The good thing is that you know now and can make an effort to see that she's in the right "spot" going forward!

  2. We've had one for speech related issues since school began (now 8th grade) and have to constantly give ques and reminders. It wasn't so bad when he was younger, but now I just come off as a nag! The consistency does help though!! We don't have to do any speech work over the summer by just not letting him fall into old habits. It WILL pay off to do a few of these little things at home!!

  3. :) You can't think of everything!!
    I wish someone would come to my house and tell me exactly what I need to change for Hanna! Wouldn't that be nice!

  4. I JUST had this conversation with Andy that I would LOVE to go into homes to help people set up the environment for success for kids! Don't be so hard on yourself! The good news is that you fixed it!


I love to read your comments!