Tomorrow morning we have the first meeting of C''s team at school to discuss the results of his IEP testing and to hear the recommendations the school will make. To find out whether they agree that he qualifies for services. IF he qualifies for services, what interventions they will put in place. And I'm really anxiety-laden about it. The stomach-in-knots and sweaty palms kind of anxious.
When we had A's testing done, she had already been in an intervention program. Instead of going into the mainstream kindergarten class, she went instead to a small classroom for kids from K to 2nd grade who had behavioral issues/learning disorders. The school was able to place her there because she had an IEP from New Jersey with diagnoses and recommendations for interventions. But between some maturing, the help she got in her classroom, the medications and the therapies, she was doing much better by the time the school got around to doing their own testing on her. So she wasn't qualified for an IEP by the school. They didn't feel that she needed formal interventions to function, that her issues didn't provide a significant impairment to her ability to learn and to receive an appropriate education.
I was new to the process, and I acquiesced. Caved to the "experts." I wrote up a 504 plan for her, to provide her accommodations in the event that she did have issues, and so far things have gone well - but still, I wish I'd fought a little harder. She's doing fine, really, but I think there would be tremendous benefit to her having learning assistance, extra tutoring, OT, additional help with behavioral adjustments. She has difficulty focusing in school even with medication, and I know that she's not even close to living up to her learning potential. But because there is no IEP, its up to me to provide all that she needs. And I simply don't have the resources, financially, or time-wise to get OT, private tutors, etc. Her meds wear off by dinnertime, and I'm not giving her more stimulants at night -- so homework just doesn't happen. Its either a knock-down, drag-out fight to get her to do it -- or she does it, but she's all over the place and I know she's not getting anything out of it.
Please don't take any of this to mean that I feel she's not an amazing, smart, talented, loving, creative and unique child. Because she is all of those things, and more. Every day I am blown away by my daughter, by her thoughts, her beauty, her maturity, everything about her. I love her with every fiber of my being. And I wish I could do more for her.
So tomorrow, I am already anticipating the worst. I know, there's no reason that I should, but its one of those things I do. I plan for the worst, hope for the best, and then if the worst should happen, I'm prepared. Except when it comes to my children, when it comes to the one thing in the world I care the most about, I lose rationality. I desperately want my son to get the things he needs, all the things he needs, not just the things I am able to provide him. I need the school for that. I know how impaired his functioning is in the classroom because of his issues. He's not cognitively impaired, not by any means -- but without interventions, I fear he'll be one of those gifted children who end up dropping out of high school and climbing into that hell-bound handbasket, because he never got help to function in the school environment. So I know more now than I did before, I am armed with better resources and information. And I know which words to use and what to ask for. What my rights are for appeal if we don't agree on what he needs.
I'm working hard to prepare myself to be calm, logical and rational. Calm. Logical. Rational. I can do that. I can do that. Now all I need is an infusion of optimism. Tell me that its going to go well. PROMISE me. That all my anxiety and fear amounts to nothing. Can you do that?
If you're the praying type, send a few up for my boy tomorrow. If you're not, just spare him some good thoughts.
Thanks. I owe you.