Aug 032013
 

This prayer stems from many IEP meetings where persons profess to be of religious faith, but then behave as wolves in sheep’s clothing during IEP meetings.

Do people forget that they answer to God first, NOT the school nor “the system” ? In the IEP meetings I’ve been in, I often wonder if God is proud of the outcome on behalf of his young child.

Now this is NOT a condemnation of religious persons, by ANY means. However, I do think we can all work a LOT better together as a family of God serving Him and each individual child, rather than as persons trying to serve “the system” framework in which we are working.

Here’s an “Interfaith Education Prayer” for advocates and parents (as brought to me through prayer) — for all who care and want to share in doing what is right for the Glory of God:

“Dear God, We ask that you bless this IEP meeting with all that is good and righteous. Please help each individual be mindful of her duty to You in providing the proper services for <child’s name>. Let us all focus on what is needed to provide an appropriate education, with necessary supports and services. Should anyone’s heart be focused on what the “system” requires rather than what <child’s name> requires, we ask you to prod their heart and remind them of their duty in serving You by serving the <child’s name> with the best educational outcomes possible. Give everyone strength to work for what is right regardless of systemic expectations that have traditionally blocked their paths. We ask that You keep everyone focused on behaving kindly towards one another, seeking solutions rather than seeking to be “right”. Please help everyone be as sheep in one flock, working together as one, and let no one act as a ram or goat, pushing his or her self-serving way onto others. Please remain in our midst as we work. Thank you God for helping us all work as one body, serving You for the sake of this child, <child’s name> . Amen.”

Here’s a version for family and friends praying the “Interfaith Education Prayer” on behalf of a child and his/her parent, preferably at or before the time of the IEP meeting:

“Dear God, We ask that you bless <child’s name>’s IEP meeting with all that is good and righteous. Please help each individual be mindful of his or her duty to You in providing the proper services for <child’s name>. Let everyone focus on what is needed to provide an appropriate education, with necessary supports and services. Should anyone’s heart be focused on what the “system” requires rather than what <child’s name> requires, we ask you to prod his or her heart and remind them of their duty to You in serving <child’s name> with the best educational outcomes possible. Give everyone strength to work for what is right regardless of systemic expectations that have traditionally blocked their paths. We ask that You keep everyone focused on behaving kindly towards one another, seeking solutions rather than seeking to be “right”. Please help everyone be as sheep in one flock, working together as one, and let no one act as a ram or goat, pushing his or her self-serving way onto others. Please remain in the midst of the IEP committee as they work today. Thank you God for helping them all work as one body, serving You for the sake of <child’s name> . Amen.”

If you think this prayer will work, feel free to link to this page for anyone who needs it. Maybe by calling out to God across the country (together) we can start to remove Goliath from our midst. I believe we need to pray together to ‘fix’ what is broken in our system. If we do, God will hear us, especially as a collective of all of his children.

The human nature in all of us comes out when issues are heated and we become as “rams and goats” butting the sheep out of our way (as in Ezekiel 34:17-20 – Old Testament). In doing so, the rams and goats may get what they want, but at the expense of the rights of the sheep, and in sacrifice of their close relationship with God.

I’ve seen parents who’ve been pushed and shoved one too many times turn into rams and goats themselves, and then you have a room FULL of rams and goats, which leads to NO good solution at all.

Bringing religion into IEP meetings may remind those who bully to work more WITH others as equals in the family of God (as they should) and as equal members of the IEP team–which includes everyone in the room.

I know school personnel could NOT open a meeting with prayer because that would bring in the issue of separation of church and state, but they CAN pray before a meeting. Also, a parent has a right to individual religious beliefs and I don’t think they could be legally stopped from praying in the school, although it may need to be outside of the meeting.

Parents could always pray the “Interfaith Education Prayer” (IEP) outside the school before an IEP meeting, or friends of the family could pray while an IEP meeting is in session.

Foundational Reasoning: The major religions are all based upon the Old Testament. Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all believe in the same God.. One God who was the beginning and end, and who is written about in the Old Testament. My thoughts do not center on which is “right” in any form or fashion, but rather focus on what God would expect of us as adults who profess faith in Him.

Many Blessings,

Sandy

Aug 022013
 

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Q: My child recently started school and has been struggling. His teacher thinks he should be evaluated for learning problems. She is having difficulty providing the help he needs. Should I continue to send my child to our public school or do kids get better special education in private schools?


Answer about special education in private schools:

Whether your child will get “better” special education in private schools depends on how readily your public school provides special services and how good those services are.

Some public schools provide excellent remediation programs and do a great job. If your school is willing and provides the needed services, I’d say it would be worthwhile to see if they can help.

If, on the other hand, you have to battle to get services, then you probably won’t get the highly effective instruction your child needs. Services vary widely even when it comes to special education in private schools, so you have to evaluate what your child needs. Then see who will be most likely to provide the services your child needs.

Even with special education services specified in your child’s IEP, he may not get what the school says he will. For example, our child would go to the reading program and watch baseball, play games, or cut out snowflakes. Our school’s personnel just didn’t seem to get it or didn’t want to get it.

We tried being nice and they patted us on our heads and acted like we were idiots in regard to our son’s educational needs. After years of battling, our son was STILL reading on a first grade level even with their “special” services.  Thus, we removed our boys from public school. I don’t regret the removal one bit because dealing with *our* public school was a nightmare.

When starting out, you might want to go with the public school for a time and see if your school turns out to be one of the good ones. If they are, it could be great!!

However, I recommend keeping a close watch on your child’s progress. YOU should monitor your child’s progress. Don’t just go by what the school says.  If your child struggles, but the school says he’s doing GREAT, he may not really be progressing. It always pays to keep an independent eye on your child’s educational progress.

I think it’s important for you to know that there is no obligation to provide special education in private schools. It’s not unusual for a private school to offer no individual special instruction. They often expect the child to attain the same level of academic progress as all of the other students.

The main exception is private schools which specifically cater to children with specific learning disabilities.  If you have a specialized private school nearby that serves children with learning disabilities and you can afford the tuition, it could be your best option.

homeschool instead of special education in private schools

You may find it beneficial to look at the Pros and Cons chart regarding educational alternatives. It’s my two cents for what it’s worth.

Best Wishes to you.. It isn’t an easy road, but if your child gets what he needs.. It is AMAZING how wonderful these special minds can be!! 😀

Sandy

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