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B.I.P, Easy As 1-2-3

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We had Connor’s IEP a couple of weeks ago.  It’s taken me a while to digest it and decide what I think about it. 

I requested this IEP.  Yep, as much as I hate these meetings, I demanded this one.  For months I’ve been asking for them to include a behavior intervention plan (BIP) in his IEP, and I finally got them to do the functional behavior analysis (FBA), the precursor to the BIP, and get it implemented.

With the meeting, I went way out on a limb and became the super pushy parent.  It’s an uncomfortable role for me, because I have a tendency to want to be liked.  And I want my son to be liked, and to have people really want to help him.  But I was determined that he needed a 1:1 shadow during recess, which is when he has the most social problems, and I wasn’t going to get it by being Sally Suck-Up.  Connor doesn’t apply skills that he’s heard in a social story, or been reminded of verbally.  He needs to learn them in the teachable moment.  Makes sense, right?

When a child on the spectrum has an obvious deficit in social skills, and has at least three incidents a week of hitting, why would there not be a behavior plan?  I mean, it boggles the mind because it is the opposite of common sense, right?

So we got it.  And that’s a good thing, even though it took until nearly the end of the year.

But there’s more.  According to the FBA, his primary motivations are escape and attention.  To a lesser degree, tangibles.  So here’s where I’m confused.  They’ve started doing this “social mapping” thing with him, where they sit him down with a paper with all these happy, sad, and angry faces.  They talk about whatever he did, how it made the kid feel, how it made the teacher feel, yadda yadda.

Doesn’t that give attention to the incident, which is one of his motivators?  Shouldn’t they refrain from doing that, until maybe the next day?  AND, consequences so far have been missing PE and missing some other activity.  Isn’t escape the other motivator?  So aren’t they feeding into both of those things that he is trying to achieve?

And guess what?  I emailed this question to the district autism coordinator, who did the FBA and wrote the BIP, and she never responded to me.  Just totally blew me off.

And that made me feel…

Don’t get me wrong.  There should be some kind of consequence for his actions.  But it seems like he’s getting exactly what he wants with all the attention he gets for doing these things.

But since I’m just a…

I guess I’ll just give it some time and see if it produces any results.


About Flannery

Kid, husband, dogs, my mother, full-time job, maximum stress, minimal relaxation...sooner or later I had to vent. AND we moved from California to Texas. I could start a whole other blog about that.

8 responses »

  1. There’s an Educational Psychologist (maybe 2 or 3 of them) that I really, REALLY want to send that last picture to!!

  2. There’s nothing tricky about what you are saying. If escape and attention are what he’s looking for, they are giving it to him! What?!! You’re going to have to show them that angry face again and then get them to eat that last picture since that’s what they’re trying to serve you… (just imo of course).

    Btw, I’m glad I speak English because the last two pictures would be quite confusing if I didn’t speak the language…

  3. You are NOT a pushy parent – you are your son’s prime advocate. Do you work with a behavior specialist at home or in the community? I have found it helpful to bring additional advocates with me (ones who know all the psychobabble); their presence seems to give the school district the idea that you’re not going to put up with their dawdling.

    I’ve also brought an education lawyer with me – now THAT was a fun meeting.

    At that IEP meeting, The Boy asked his teacher, “When are you going to stop talking like a politician and just answer the question?”

  4. And to think all Alex had to do was to smack a girl (she hit him first and he played repeat) and they put him on a BIP faster than you can say Paula Dean.

    Lord, they sound like the same rocket scientists at my school…

  5. The pics are funny!

    Yeah, I don’t get their action plan either. From my perspective on the Spectrum, especially as a kid, I could give you the right answer about how it made the other person feel, but I didn’t understand that I was supposed to feel badly for making someone else feel badly. It’s not a lack of empathy per se, it was a kid logic kinda thing. They made me feel bad, so I made them feel bad, and now you’re pointing out that when I made them feel bad, it made them feel bad. Um..yeah…got it..

    Consequences for sure, but it doesn’t have to be missing something, and perhaps instead of making him point to faces..could he maybe get some tools, scripts, actions, on a better way to handle it? Just sayin’.

    Stay strong sister!

  6. You are completely right, and not at all pushy as a parent, so stop being so sensitive! I”m an EC teacher, and if a parent has a concern, it’s the job of the EC Dept. to do something about it. That’s why we have less people to work with. You absolutely should complain to the main boss about your question not being answered, that’s a basic right your IEP entitles you to.

    The action plan sucks. let it go for like a week, then ask to reconvene to discuss it again is my advice.

  7. What are you in the second emoticon? A person with a bloody nose? Yes, people who are prone to bloody noses should not question anything the school district does. It’s a fact.

  8. Pingback: Educational Psychology Degree Online » Education Degree Guide -

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