Tuesday, June 3, 2008

IEP Update

It turns out that my Brain Dump/Freak Out was a good thing. I mean, it completely sucked, but I ended up really learning a lot, as well as realizing what a wonderful blogging community I am part of.

It definitely led me to some knowledge that I wouldn't have had otherwise. If not for the freak out, I would have been far less prepared for Jack's IEP meeting yesterday.

So if you are KC, Jessica, Niksmom, De in DC, Kristenspina, Ellicott City Mom, Feener, Joeymom, Girl, Kelley, Linda, Monica, Kelly, WherestheBox, Ange, Sue, laughingatchaos, Casdok, Robin, Canape, Jenni, m, Thrift Store Mama, C, Brittany, Maddy, KAL, Tech Savvy Mama, Vickie, Tulip Mom, The New Girl, Lindsay, Qutecowgirl, the other Jessica, H, WhyMommy, Catnip, or anyone else who called, emailed, or commented during my freak out season, know that you really made a difference with me. You brought my mental state back to a place where I could focus on what I needed to focus on. And some of you didn't give me just moral support, but also concrete ideas to start with.

And by the way, I don't know where all of you ladies got the memo about the specific book that apparently every special needs parent but me had read, but if you still have a copy of said memo, let me know. Is there other information on it that I should know?

I want to send a special little shout out to Joeymom. If she didn't write this post for me, she might as well have. It was invaluable. As was the idea for a presentation by me about my child. I wrote one up, put an adorable picture of Jack on it, and read it at the beginning of the meeting. It really made a point, not just about how I know my child, but about how I was prepared for the meeting.

That document, now a part of his file, also laid bare some truths about Jack and his real need for support in school. The county psychologist who finally showed up to observe Jack in his "typical" morning preschool also helped. She really made a difference because she saw how markedly different his behavior is with and without support.

As for the IEP itself and the decisions we made, it left me feeling optimistic. It's not the absolute best case scenario, but it's pretty good. It's good enough that I'm strongly leaning toward sending him to kindergarten next year. We're waiting to see the final document to go through it thoroughly before we make any decisions. Until then, we're thinking it over. But I'm encouraged.

I feel like the IEP team listened to what I (and the psychologist) had to say and were willing to make changes and concessions from what they had originally put in the draft IEP.

Again, thank you all. I felt all of your support with me. Without your advice and the weekend to prepare, things would not have gone as smoothly. If I didn't contact you personally via email to thank you, know that I meant to. Know that your words mattered. Know that your assurances that this IEP is not a document written in stone helped. Know that I cried when I read each of your comments because they took away some of my uncertainty, fear, and doubt. Know that they gave me the confidence to get Jack the services he needs.

Know that this little community we have here matters.

24 comments:

  1. It sounds good. I'm so glad. And I think it's exciting about Jack starting kindergarten next year!

    Congrats for making it through like the shining mama that you are.

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  2. Awww, I'm sitting here all gooey and mushy and soooo happy that things went well. You are so right...this community matters in so many ways! I'm glad you are a part of it; you bring something vital to us as well. xoxoxoxo

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  3. I am so glad the meeting went well and you feel better about the whole situation. Regardless of what you decide about kindergarten, all this research and preparation can only help in the future! :) And thank you too, for the moral support when I had my little episode on my blog last week. It is an amazing place this blogosphere!

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  4. I'm so glad it went ok. We can talk more Saturday if you need to - any questions about what they offered, if anything needs tweaking and how to do it - I've been on both sides of the table.

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  5. Oh, babe. I'm sorry I wasn't around for all this. But it sounds like you (more than) got the support you needed. I'm so glad. And the best news of all, of course, is about Jack, and his needs being met.

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  6. Hooray! You are so awesome and I think that K is the place where Jack should be. As a former teacher, I only wish that all parents were as interested and informed about their child's education as you are. Knowing your child and willing to go to bat for what you know they need is critical to their success. But who read your blog already know this and aren't included in this group!

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  7. so glad to hear. that joeymom post is awesome !!! what great ideas !!

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  8. Oh, hooray. I've been checking in all day to see if you had posted. I'm so glad it went well!

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  9. To walk away from an IEP feeling good, feeling positive? Well, that's about the best feeling ever.

    Hooray for you! And yes, this little bloggy group is unbelievable.

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  10. glad something I said could help. While I'm not a mom I feel as if I'm going down the same road since I have two little ones and trying to figure out what's best for them when I only see them 80 hours a month.

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  11. I'm so happy to hear you are feeling more confident and positive about the situation!!

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  12. Finally got a chance to check in and am so glad to hear it went well.

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  13. I've been blog stalking you for yoru post on how the meeting went. I'm glad it went so well - I knew you'd kick ass for Jack!

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  14. Glad it went great! We're all rooting for you- and for your boys! **HUGS**

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  15. great to see you on saturday!

    sorry I did not know you were in the midst of this...

    glad you are hopeful and had a good testing/mtg.

    you are a great mom- you really are :)

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  16. Yeah!! Glad to hear it went well. I thought of you all day Monday.

    ~C

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  17. I'm so happy for you and Jack that the meeting went well! If he does go to K this year he'll do very well, partly because his IEP team sounds like they're on the ball, but mostly because he has you, in his corner, fighting for him. ((hugs))

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  18. I just wrote a really long post high-fiving you then my browser crashed! GRRRR.

    Quick recap. As a former SLP I always loved when a parent did a presentation on their kid. It helped me know the kid better and let me know that this was an involved parent and that any goals we set for her/him, were goals we could actually achieve.

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  19. If course I'm the one with the computer crash WHILE I was trying to leave a comment that day. I think it was evening. Anyway, I didn't attempt it again but oh my gosh it sounds like it all went SO well! Presenting yourself so well also presents Jack well. All the people involved know you are engaged and they must work WITH you and not try to just tell you what's going to happen. Good for you and good for Jack!

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  20. I am so glad the meeting went well and that you feel stronger and more full of resolve - this blogging community is an amazing thing isn't it?

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  21. I have been thinking about you. So glad things went well.
    xo

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  22. Yeah! This is great news. Hugs to you and Jack. (Sorry, Quinn. Oh, okay, hugs for Quinn and Sam too. But I draw the line at Alex.)

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  23. That is awesome about the presentation about Jack - I have heard of that idea but not done it. I need to do that before school starts in the fall!

    So, so glad that you felt more confident going into the meeting and were able to influence the outcome for the better. You did an awesome job!!

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Thanks for commenting! May you be visited by unicorns and kittens.