Wednesday, April 21, 2010

IEP Meeting de-brief

Done for another year. What did I learn? That I am getting better at these meetings? Yes, I am. Although I still dread them and spend weeks prepping and stressing out.

How did it go? Pretty darn good really. I have to say, the people on Shea's team do seem to know him and they do listen to us. Which is always good.

Any surprises? Yes, no ESY which got me raising my eyebrows but I let it pass. The ESY last summer was minimal and so lame that I ended up saying, "Why bother?"

See! I don't fight every single battle. I pick and choose. In all honesty, I believe it is a budget decision and there are going to be cuts everywhere. So, I am going to let that one go. Thank god, Shea is doing well enough that I feel like I can.

Also, no special transportation. Really? Bye-bye special bus? I asked, "Is this because Shea isn't "special enough"?" And, they sort of agreed, yes. Ok. I don't really have a problem with this since we live close enough to the school. I let that one go too.

The battle I will go to the mat for is placement for next year. And, they seemed to have heard me or at least pretended. Of course, they do not even know who will be teaching 1st grade next year. They always say that and I feel for them but I am still plugging for multi-age and I will write an epic placement document to submit to make sure they are all double-triple aware.

They listened to me about the harm of too much rigidity and what that would do for Shea's progress. They agreed that too much structure might make him recoil and back away. I was emphatic about how hard we have all worked to get him to the place that he is at and that I am scared to death that if we push too hard it will backfire. I also reasserted the fact that Shea likes to make strong connections with people and that if he likes a teacher, he will want to please them. Strong connections are key but it takes him a little while and 3 years with the same teacher would be beneficial for him. All my reasoning in support of multi-age.

They heard me, I think.

I know I am a squeaky wheel. I know that I get extra grease because of it. Am I proud of it? No. In fact, I am sort of pissed that it is the way it is. Yes, I am a strong advocate, articulate and confident but why should my kid get better "stuff" because of that?

It isn't fair. I know, I know, life is rarely fair.

I sometimes try to imagine if there is a big red flag on my kids files.

Warning: handle with care! Mommy bites and won't let go! Use tranquilizer gun!

Yes, there probably is. I am a product of the system. I am as pushy as I have to be to get what my boy needs. But what about the other parents? What if it isn't in their nature to fight and push? What if they don't have the time, education, articulation or even command of the English language?

Who suffers? That's right. The kids. The whole system sucks.


mommy~dearest said...

Haha... "mommy bites...".
congrats on a successful IEP! It does feel good when that happens. We lost ESY for this year too. But like you, I hardly thought it was worth it anyway. Kudos to you!

Heidi on Vashon said...

Sorry I'm just catching up with your blog after 6 wks! Glad it went well and that you have a team that supports your wishes for Shea.

At middle school, we were able to move into a 504 plan and make Aspy-like accommodations. Some teachers forget my son will talk--alot, and loudly--and sometimes out of turn. His encyclopedic knowledge and impulse to correct a certain teacher resulted in completely unwarranted punishments and after a FIGHT, I won.

I too turn pitbull. Sink in teeth. Go hard. Or else injustice.

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