I feel like I won the lottery! Ok, well I looked in my bank account and THAT was a false sense of euphoria. However, I did win a HUGE, long fought battle with the IEP team. I’ve written of my (legitimate) strife with the (often condescending) team of professionals and their complete inability to recognize that a part of my daughter deals with Autism. She doesn’t have a low functioning case of it, but the very fabric of her deals with a lot of the social challenges, learning disabilities and repetitive behaviors that interfere with her learning and maturity. SO…after a (ridiculously long, drawn out) period of time of asserting myself and DEMANDING an independent evaluation; I got one. A DAMN good one too. The best part? She agreed with me. Not 100%, but even better. She validated my often ignored pleas for diversification of her disabilities and a diagnosis that truly reflects who she is and how the three, yes three, disabilities she has that challenge her every day.
I don’t get to post a lot of pictures of buckets full of sunshine and happiness, so I’m taking advantage of it now. There are still many challenges to face. She failed the grade. Again. They didn’t do what it took to help her. I’m still disgusted, aggravated and angry at the lack of her education’s delivery and quality. But I’m truly going to move ahead (queue “Let It Go”!) JUST KIDDING! and look forward to her summer session and success in transitioning to middle school. I know there will be a few handfuls taken out of that bucket of happy up there, but it’s OK. She’s 11 and that is a tough age all by itself without adding three quantifiable disabilities in there. However, I have proved my point and shown them that she was more than just the ADHD they wanted me to drown out with medication (I’m not anti-meds at all, I just didn’t think it was best for her situation).
(^^ I couldn’t find a picture that truly represents what a REAL IEP folder looks like but I can tell you one thing, it’s not this small.)
The nights I spent awake with worry about her education are far from over. I know I will face many more challenges as the years pass. However, I do it with my eyes wide open and my ears listening. I will no longer allow the school to make me feel like I am always wrong. I have always stood up for my children and that will not change. You can face the IEP team and you can persevere. You may need a really big chocolate bar, sundae or huge fist pump while walking out, but go ahead. You deserve it! (I know I did)