I used to dread IEP meetings. I had to sit with the group that works with my child and I have some pretty ugly feelings for a few of the team members. I love Zach's teacher, the school nurse, the aides and the physical therapist. I used to leave these meetings discouraged and I felt like many of the team members looked down on my family.
I usually wanted to strangle the speech teacher and principal
Last night as I was falling asleep, the old dread began to creep up. Then I realized that this is a new school and a new crew. I honestly think the new crew was a little worried about this child - he looks pretty bad on paper - so maybe I had a little justified feeling.
I got to the meeting and the therapists are super nice, super encouraging, and kept saying how much they love Zach. Nobody pitied me. Nobody made me feel like a lousy parent. They were encouraging and made me feel like Zach has worth. (Of course I know he has worth... it's just nice to know that other people think so too.)
Zach's teacher especially loves him and appreciates the fact that I have a sense of humor. As I was leaving, she said, "Now, can you just teach the other parents to be like you?" Of course, this does not hide the fact that Zach is operating well below a kindergarten level... But at least he is in a place that takes this information and tries to help him - instead of giving up.