This week has been a different kind of week for us. Today was Champion’s first IEP. The days leading up to it felt consumed by the impending meeting, despite the fact that we were busy with so many other things. Knowing it was so close, it just sort of lurked in the back of my mind all week.
It was both a sweet experience and a salty experience. On one hand I was pleased with the assessments of Champion. I felt that they did a good job of capturing who he is and what his strengths are. I appreciated that my input was well reflected in the assessment report and that the numerous parent questionnaires I filled out were used and a lot of his scores were based on those.
We weren’t 100% thrilled with what was offered, however we did understand the school’s reasoning and really felt comfortable that they were willing to change things as needed and as Champion progressed. This was well reflected in the fact that it was put in this current IEP that another IEP would be held in about two months to visit some areas we were concerned about. This gives him a chance to get started (he’ll start in about a month), get acquainted with his new routine, with his teachers and classmates. Overall we feel okay with that portion.
The more salty part now. I don’t know if I will ever get used to all the advocacy in this life as mom to a child who definitely needs my voice to be heard. I am so grateful for all the services and all the professionals who have worked with him day to day thus far. Once we’re settled into a new service I’m usually pretty good to go.
I think though whenever there is a big change, a new start to a service or a transition that is made, it seems as though Champion becomes a subject that can be explained in black and white
on a sheet in a pile of paperwork. I know its how everything is run these days and there are safeguards in place to protect him and the agency offering the service, but still he’s my son.
When it comes down to it, it’s not really this particular experience with his IEP that is bringing on these feelings, because it really was not the dreadful experience I was concerned it would be at all. And I really felt that the team cares about Champion and that they have a genuine interest in him. I think it just an accumulation of experiences these past few years that has caused me to dread all the assessments, plans, goals, measurements, progress reports, and everything else that comes along with it all.
So to wrap it up, all in all the first IEP wasn’t too bad, we survived and I feel Champion will benefit from the services he’ll receive at school and the support that will be provided. I am really glad that it will all be reevaluated rather soon from his starting school.
Now about how I feel about him starting school…I will definitely be hitting the keyboard with those feelings in the coming month.
Any tips, ideas, suggestions, or experiences regarding IEPs? Please share in the comments!