Wednesday, January 29, 2014

IEP Day ... Dun Dun Duuuun

Today was the dreaded IEP meeting for Mak. For those who don't know that means individual education plan oooor make you feel like you're an inch tall meeting. The teachers are ALWAYS very nice.  She wouldn't be receiving services from anyone not understanding and patient and nice! BUT I don't care how nice you are, when charts, graphs and numbers come out that say your child is not mainstream and needs all this extra help you feel small. You didn't produce a stand alone child. You don't have a child that is capable of mainsteam education.  That's a blow, it's a punch to the gut. No amount of Starbucks, wine, chili cheese fries covers the blow. No amount of "she's a sweet child" makes it better. Every IEP is a reminder. Now ... NOT every child with an IEP is severe. You need an IEP for speech or OT anything extra so many kids have them. Even if it is for a small moment in time for your kid to have an IEP it's still a reminder that your kid needs extra help. To me that suuuuucks! I'm glad she can get these services, but it's still not a meeting I'm counting down the days too. For the record I'm not claiming this is how all parents feel ... This is how I feel. I don't don't even bother putting makeup on OR a decent outfit on for these things.  I like hearing how nice she is, but the nuts and bults of it is she's intellectually disabled and that still hurts my heart no matter how you slice it.
Ok so todays IEP was on the better side of the spectrum.  Mak is doing really good in her new program.  She's even used as a manners example in a 5th grade class! Yes!! I said manners and Yes!! I said 5th grade.  She also is a mediator.  The 5th grade teacher and speech teacher said she has settled many arguments between fellow students! Bottom line that's why we have kids ... To be good human beings.  At 10 she's a better human being than most adults I have come across. She also took charge of a science experiment (in the mainstream 5th grade) and successfully completed it. Amazing! She was in a group and the group as a whole couldn't figure it out until Mak says "this is what we need to do" That's my girl! They always start with the good stuff then they say "The Goals". The same stuff ... subtraction, vocab, articulation and so on. Still not on track for high school diploma and that's Ok because at the end of it all I'd take Mak not being college bound and being a generous/shining light over college educated and ugly hearted any day of the week.
In short IEPs suck! They take up your day, they're a reminder your kid isn't mainstream, BUT I wouldn't trade her or my clan of kidlets for any other. I know many parents are really focused on school (as you should) and reaching that excellence mark. Take a step back, marvel at what your kid CAN do! It's amazing! Many may never reach that mark so if anyone reads this (besides my mom. Hi Mom) then I hope that's what you take away from my day today.  They said she probably won't read ... She read me 2 books this week. They said she might not be able to tie her shoes ... masters it. So hug 'em. Love 'em and be thankful they're here.

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