Sunday, November 18, 2012

A Marriage IEP

Wouldn't marriage be easier if we all had an IEP that your spouse HAD to follow? For anyone who isn't aware... an IEP is an Individualized Education Plan for any student that needs special accommodations to be successful in school. So my speech students often have IEPS. It identifies areas of weakness and gives accommodations for the classroom that teachers have to follow to make the student more successful. Things like "sitting near the teacher", "longer time for processing", etc. Wouldn't marriage be so much easier if we had one of these? The Individualized Marriage Plan will be referred to as the IMP from here on out. Just think... at the first sign of trouble, a team of professionals comes in and does a thorough analysis of where the problems are and lays out a plan to address them. They set goals for the individual but also lay out what accommodations and supports are necessary for the marriage to be successful. The spouse has to honor what is in the IMP. So for example... I have a horrible habit of saying "What?" after most things my husband says. My ADHD makes it hard for me to process right away, and before he can usually repeat himself, I answer the question. It just takes my brain longer to figure it all out. It drives him CRAZY! The worst part is that there are times that I actually didn't hear him, but he doesn't want to repeat it because he figures I just wasn't paying attention. If I had an IMP my accommodations would be "wait time" and "repetition when needed" as well as the possible "break things down into smaller steps" and "Speak at a clear reasonable volume" My goal would read... "By November 2013, Given a statement from spouse, Ann will use wait time to process what was said, reducing the use of the phrase "What?" with 80% accuracy." And my spouse would have to accommodate my IMP. For my husband I would write "By November 2013, When given a compliment by his wife, Erik will respond with 1 thing he likes about her on 8/10 trials." Goals would be monitored every 3 months and a report of progress would be sent to all parties involved. How nice would it be if your partners needs were clearly written out so that there was no question how to meet them? What goal would your spouse write for you? Try to write one and see if you can monitor it and see the impact it has on your marriage. *Disclaimer- My marriage is not in any trouble right now. In fact we are better than we've ever been but this thought kept popping into my head because I feel like I'm an adult who has been dealing with ADHD forever and functioning so it shouldn't impact my life, but it does and wouldn't it be nice if there were accommodations to make people more accepting?

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