Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Random thoughts and feelings of an IEP

As I sat in the parking lot waiting until closer to 8am, I looked at the school and wondered what they had in store for me today. I didn't want to go in too early and seem eager so I sat in the car and listened to H as he sat in the back seat asking me random questions and quoting from his movies. In the world of Autism, they call it scripting and these days it is never ending. The preschool teacher informed me yesterday he knows the entire Pledge of Allegiance. I wondered what kind of Pledge of Allegiance the educators were taking inside as they prepared for my IEP. Do you think they take a pledge? I bet it is a pledge to stick together through thick and thin and do what’s in the best interest of the child- sometimes, and the best intrest of their budget and staffing- always. I wondered if they would put me on the defense today by coming to the meeting tired, whispering to eachother, plotting against me. I also wondered if there would be any amusing debates among them as to which word would accurately, or appropriately describe a goal- just like you would buy a category in Jeopardy. Annoying at best.

During the IEP, I felt like an outsider in a place where I didn’t belong. The principal said few words to me because I was threatening her staffing and budget once again. Who knew asking for an Individualized Educaton Plan for my son would be so difficult. I was only asking for H to receive instruction from a certified teacher, not an aide from the lunchroom. This is the way I see it, but they of course had another spin on it. The teacher gave it a good fight and I was impressed but in the end they won their debate, only to leave me feeling helpless once again. Will my son ever be able to achieve the way his peers are able to? How much will this end up costing me in the end? Where will I find a tutor and how much should I pay her? Plan #2 in action before I can even leave the building, my head is spinning and my face is burning with defeat and anger.

In the car, H is still spewing his random thoughts and questions. He requests Burger King and I agree- even though I know his Dad would have a heart attack that I am feeding him BK and a coke Icee for breakfast. I am too tired to even complain and too stressed out over doing what is best for his education to worry about his diet right now. We head to BK and promptly order food for him and a Diet Coke for me, not healthy but the only source of comfort and treat I can riffle up for myself right now. I call N to discuss the details of the war that just went down in the school. She is my sounding board, listening ear and sometimes I can’t believe she doesn’t get sick of me complaining. She answers and we discuss the communist regime, AKA School District. We go over the same conversation as we do every day and during the conversation I am left to wonder if this conversation will forever continue and never end? Is the work we try to do in vain? Sometimes it is defeating to me when I can’t even get my own son’s IEP to go in my favor, how can I help make a change for other kids? Why is it that I even care? Maybe it is the controling, freaky side of me that just wants everyone to get along and mostly see things my way. My favorite saying is "If everyone would just do as I say, the world would be a better place." Well now, over the years, I have matured and realized this is simply not the case. I am not perfect and I digress. I just want a little simple, just a little control, just a little comfort. Don't we all deserve at least that?

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