Let’s face it. When you’re a parent of a child with an IEP, you’re bound to get drowned by papers starting at birth. It starts small. Like the discharge papers from the hospital. It was a sweet and sentimental moment for me. Audric was a preemie, so those discharge papers were a big deal. I was finally going to take my baby boy home. We spent nine weeks in the NICU.
These were more than just discharge papers. I framed it. Then, a few years later, changed the picture. I kept the discharge paper under the picture as a hidden treasure. I was going to switch it back next year. Instead, I threw it away, frame and all. I forgot my discharge papers were underneath. 😒
Emotional Resistance and Self-Awareness Check
Since then, I’ve learned to let go. And not get attached to things. I still have emotional resistance, but I remind myself not to make it more than it is. I tend to get sentimental.
And when I first started my home e-filing system, my computer screen turned black, and never came back. The desktop was too heavy, bulky, and expensive to take to the shop to recover. I was a hot mess. Four years of paper reports and consults. I panicked. In a state of confusion and frustration, I couldn’t figure out what was scanned. I was scanning for hours and I wasn’t about to do it all over again. So I threw everything away and never looked back.
I’m just saying, you don’t need it as much as you think or feel you need it. And a self-awareness check is to ask yourself why you feel like you need a paper copy. We hold on to all that paper just in case. ❤
How to get started
Get a stack of papers.
Start scanning. Here, a scanner with a feeder makes the process go faster. But a single sheet scanner or your camera phone.
Save as you go. If you don’t have a flash drive, you can save to an online drive like Google Drive.
Filing conventions are what you name your documents when you save them. Make a main folder, then sub folders (Medical, Educational, Social Services, and Personal). In each sub folder, name the document: IEP_20170417 (four digit year, two digit for month, and two digit for day). Lastly, put the IEP document in the Educational folder. Here’s an example:
Amy (main folder)
➡ Educational (sub folder)
➡ IEP_20170417 (document name_date)
➡ IEP_20180605 (document name_date)
I don’t recommend scanning IEPs unless you have a scanner/printer with a feeder. Those reports are just too long. I’ve created a template to help you get started. If you have any questions, send me a message. Click here for the template.