Thursday, December 9, 2010

IEP meeting

Today was Zach's IEP meeting. Every year special education kids have a personalized education plan with goals that teachers and therapists want the child to achieve. As the education world has become more regulated, the goals have gotten more quantitative and more is on the line for the child and school.

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.

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