An alternative to the traditional IEP
Individualized Education Plans are intended for people who "qualify" for a dis-ability, but, since we are all individuals, how about something more empowering?
Cover photo from: James Wainscoat on unsplash
I've been through the assessment and IEP/accommodation process for myself. I know what helps, and what does not. I studied learning disability support. I know the comfort (and stigma) of a label. I created an un-official IEP for my son with his teacher and school, because he is NOT learning disabled, none of us are! He just learns differently than expected. I do not believe in forcing children to learn when they don't want to. I want my kids to learn when they are eager to know, and when they are willing to work hard to master a skill, that is of interest to them! Learning, discovery, and mastery are major components of the joy of life, and I refuse to rob my child of this opportunity!
Of course, I have an advantage to believing in this process. Because I can look at each person's unique design/psychology, and see where their skills and interests lie, as well as why some things may take longer to develop or be more frustrating.
This is not Scientology!
I do not know much about Scientology, but I read that it is a belief in multiple lives, clearing trauma, an alternative way to address mental illness, and valuing creative individuals, that was later turned into a religion to raise more money.
Do I believe in multiple lives and clearing trauma? Yes!
Do I believe people can recover from mental illness? Well, I have cured my own severe anxiety, major depression, bipolar diagnosis, and dyslexia, with self-understanding, self-acceptance, and self-care.
Do I believe that creative people matter? Yes, but I believe we ALL matter.
Am I ever going to turn my work into a religion? NO, because I have ZERO interest in being famous or striking it rich! I purely want to be of service with what I know, because it has done amazing things for me, my family, my clients, and my community.
So, what is the AlternativeIEP?
Quite simply, it is looking at who someone truly is, clarifying with them that what I can see in their Human Design, Soul Contract, Gene Keys, and Astrology charts resonate with them. Seeking correction on any misunderstanding, and speaking with the person about what they would like in terms of support or pure "back off", in order to have a more enjoyable and effective time at school, home, or elsewhere. In some cases time and observation is required to see if other ideas come to mind. It is an ongoing conversation until something that works is found. Once we have a working solution that the child is happy with, we can present a letter to the child's school, home, or otherwise (approved by the child for its accuracy), so that a simple plan is put in place.
This is alternative because... it is done without taxing the child through psycho-educational tests, without passing our judgement on who qualifies for support (quite frankly, anyone requesting support qualifies for support!), and we empower instead of using canned statements like "famous so and so had this label and he/she turned out to be dot dot dot, ...". We just look at the unique individual, their unique psychology/design/behaviour/skills and say "yes, we see you do ABCDEFGH very well, do you want some support with XYZ?" and if the child says "NO!", that becomes a valid answer!
A caveat to the alternative method... Using the traditional method, all roads lead to conformity. Using an alternative method, there are no promises on where the child will lead his or her life, but you will have a map and a likelihood of where he/she is trying to go and when, and you will feel proud that your child is shining bright, using their unique skills to create something they are proud of, which in turn fosters health, happiness, freedom, and empowerment. Who doesn't want this for themselves or their kids?
If this is of interest to you to discuss further, reach out!
Family Dynamics and Life Purpose Specialist
MSc Psychology/Neuroscience (Stress & Health)
In collaboration with Stephanie Kozak (founder, owner, and lead teacher at Mother Earth's Learning Village, specialized in Early Childhood Education, Life Skills, gifted in Intuitive Education for Sensitive Children and Children on the Spectrum). If your child's current school can not accommodate their Alternative IEP, it is possible and likely that Stephanie of Mother Earth's Learning Village can. At least for long enough to empower your child, with the self-confidence to see that his or her rights and uniqueness matter, and can be respected. Whatever amount of time you can afford to spend in an environment like this can build the foundation of self-value, self-love, and self-confidence needed to be able to advocate for your/their needs, even if you decide to go back to your current school, or on to anything else in life.
This also takes pressure off the public school system, who are already doing more than they can. By taking time out of school to heal, and then (if you choose to) returning a stronger and healthier child to the system, who can empower others, if they so choose. Win win. See: Time to sew the education system back together
Here is another article that you might find interesting: Learning Disabilities and Sensitivities - Protection or something we should fix?