Last week was our IEP meeting, it was the first that our High School team was coming in to begin the planning for next year.
So far, 8th grade has proven to be a very rough road of communication, leaving me feeling like I am fighting too hard for what should be.
I walked into this meeting on edge, which is a rough place to start. I have written before about these meetings and the variety of emotions I experience. I always walk in feeling like I am the most prepared I can be, but lately, there is always an element of surprise- which just leaves me in a very bad place. I come from this place of wanting and believing in transparency, that we all want to be on board to offer and supply ALL we can for our children to succeed. In the pit of my heart, I still hold onto this, I have to, in order to move ahead. Our school system needs to remember that we do not like surprises, we do not understand the 100 pieces of paper in front of us nor the language it is written in, and that as parents, we are going to fight and fight for all we can for our children.
If you told me a few years ago that I could and would be able to stand up in a room full of educators and administrators with confidence to know what my child needed, I would not have believed you, but I did. I will be the first to admit, I do NOT know it all, in fact, I know less than I would like to when it comes to the IEP language. For this reason, I have an advocate with me. She provides accuracy of info I need, security for me to feel protected and gives me the power I need to confidently stand up for our son!
I am happy to share that the High School team seems incredible, the info offered gave us hope and a feeling of confidence for him to not only transition well BUT, to also be offered an opportunity to be seen as an individual.
The most important tools I can offer to you is to feel heard, to be understood and to know that we as parents have rights. Don’t question your gut, don’t be afraid to ask questions and if you want to take some time to review what is being said- do that.
I know it will be a long road, and we will have bumps along the way, I will ride out the bumps and continue to learn and stand up for what is best for our son. It is what we all do for our children. Those of us that have kids with special needs, we may do it a little more often, and that is just the way it is.
Here’s to all of our babies and getting them what they need to be the most successful they can be.