Monday, April 20, 2015

IEP Meetings

    IEP meetings. Almost every, special needs parents' apple of discord. Why is it that so many families have to fight to get what their child needs AND deserves? I mean, these people go to school for a career, in which they are to help mold and teach children. Why is it that they seem so adamant to make us fight to have their needs met?

    Those of you who have followed our journey since the beginning, know what we went through with our local brick and mortar school. You also know why I pulled my son, and home/cyber school him. (here's the skinny: By day 4 of kindy, Liam quit speaking, eating and only cried and rocked. His shirts were ruined from chewing. Bus came on morning 5 and all hell broke loose. We pulled him. After a week of silence, he opened up and said the teacher had placed him in the hall for most of each day. The lunchroom smells made him sick and the noise in the gym made him cry. NO ONE told me! We started meetings. They argued that he wasn't autistic ("a clinical dx is NOT the same as an educational dx.") I ended up getting the State involved. They then decided they should give up the fight. I then told them to shove it, and home schooled.)

    Fast forward to 3rd grade. Two cyber schools later. My son gets speech therapy, occupational therapy, AND physical therapy. The three T's that the local school fought so hard to not give him. He also gets in home behavior therapy. (Which has decreased in the last year.)

    What makes me so angry is that, as his mother, I could see where he was lacking. Yet these "professionals" kept arguing with me. It took YEARS to get someone to listen to me, to get the right evaluations by QUALIFIED professionals. (I say qualified because I even had an OT outside of the school district, tell me that he didn't need OT or PT. Yet, here we are. With new therapists, that CARE to do their job correctly.)

    I guess my point of this post is this: As a parent, YOU know your child. You know what they need. You know them better than anyone else. Don't ever let the school, or "professionals" dismiss your concerns as trivial. You keep fighting. You go over their heads. If you still don't get anywhere, you go over that person's head. You are your child's advocate. You put on those proverbial boxing gloves, and enter the famed fight club, and you don't give in. You get what your child needs and deserves.

    Then you have a libation, and pat yourself on the back. You are a special needs parent, and when needed, you are a force to be reckoned with.