Tuesday, November 25, 2008

The Deed is Done

I'm pretty sure that Jack's aides, teachers, and principal know that I've hired an attorney to help us at his next IEP meeting. The big tip-off was when I gave the principal a letter asking for Jack's comprehensive file, and then itemized a laundry list of things that I didn't know existed. (The principal then asked, "Are you bringing someone to the meeting?")

To their credit, they have remained very nice and supportive.

I really hope it stays that way, because I just officially alerted them to the presence of the attorney and my educational consultant. The lawyer wants to contact the school to request an earlier IEP meeting than the school originally suggested, and I agree that it needs to be done.

But I wanted to warn the special educator who will receive the phone call. So I explicitly laid it out for her in a note in Jack's communication notebook, which is our usual method of conversation.

I have to say, sentences such as, "My attorney will be contacting you..." don't slip easily off of my tongue. Or out of my pen, as the case may be.

I am so hopeful that Jack's team continues to be as wonderful as they have been thus far. Because they mostly seem to agree with me, and it is the power tier above them that seems to be rejecting our requests, I hope that they understand.

I did end my note in the communication notebook with a paragraph about how much I appreciate everything they do.

Obviously, regardless, I have to do what is best for Jack, no matter what. And I truly believe that this is what is best for Jack.

My hope is that any unpleasantness can stay in the IEP meeting room and not in the classroom. Based on what I know of Jack's team, I think that can happen. But cross your fingers for us anyway.

24 comments:

  1. I should send you an "I'm with attorney" shirt. ;)

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  2. Wow, we're not there yet, but I do hope things go well at the IEP meeting. Intellectually I know it can be frustrating and you come out of it without nearly as much as your child needs, but I don't know anyone who's going through the process.

    Will be calling on the forces of good to be on you and the lawyer!

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  3. It sounds like your team really loves Jack so signs are good they will keep anything from the meeting in the meeting and not in the classroom. Also, since it is the higher-ups and not the team that seem to be the problem, maybe the team will secretly be delighted if having the attorney/consultant forces the system to give you what additonal support Jack needs. It wouldn't be the first time those actually doing the work have been constrained by those in administration.

    Good luck.

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  4. Fingers and toes crossed. And I totally agree with maryelena's comment -- usually it is a question of the school district trying to save money, not the teacher's/aide's opinion, that determines what help is willingly provided. I am so glad that you and Jack have a pro in your corner. Good luck!

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  5. Good luck. I hope everything works out for Jack in the end.

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  6. It's terrific that you have all your ducks lined up - looking forward to hearing how the meeting goes. I fear we may need to head down that road within the next six months too. And Jack's team really does sound supportive.

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  7. It sounds like you have a really great team so I'm sure things will be fine.

    Can I ask what role the attorney plays? No need for details really, I'm just unclear/interested in the process.

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  8. Wow - wonderful and scary! I hope everything goes well with the meeting and the team. :)

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  9. It is so nice to hear how supportive the school staff has been. I think they ultimately want the best thing for Jack but their hands are tied in too much red tape. I'm crossing my fingers for you!

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  10. I think that since you have a good rapport with the team and I'm sure have already expressed your frustration/disagreement with the administration, it can stay professional and productive. If you were getting what you needed, the lawyer wouldn't be necessary.

    Good luck and good work, Mom.

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  11. If you get what Jack needs, it ultimately should make things easier in the classroom for everyone. They know you and I think they understand.

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  12. This is great. I know it's hard to think about having to take an attorney with you, but it's what Jack needs. Know that I'm thinking of you and Jack with the IEP meeting and everything. You are doing the right thing and please let me know if there is anything that I can do for you. Either to help or just support.

    Also, on a side note, PLEASE tell me that you'll be at BlogHer09 because I'm going! I haven't reserved a room or registered because I'm still looking for a roommate, but I can't wait to meet you.

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  13. It makes such a difference to have teachers who really care. So far, I've had the same experience. Look forward to hearing about the IEP.

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  14. I've heard that often times just bringing an attorney into the picture is enough to get things done. We've always been very lucky to get whatever we need on our son's IEP but I know people who have had to fight a little harder and they've said just having a attorney gets things moving. I hope it works out that way for you guys!

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  15. got my fingers and toes crossed for you! Jack is so lucky to have you guys in his corner. Once again, GO TEAM STIMEY!!!!

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  16. Yowsers. fingers. crossed.

    You go, Mama Bear!

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  17. Good luck! Hopefully, everyone will remember that the atoorney is simply there to help make certain that Jack's needs are served. Continue to keep the focus on Jack's needs (vs. parental desires) and you can't go wrong! :-)

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  18. I think sometimes the staff who can't really make the decisions appreciate it when you bring in some guns, so-to-speak, to force the hand of the people who can.
    You're doing a great job, lots to be thankful for this year!

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  19. Yes cross fingers.
    I hope everyone understands (and sounds like they do) that we do everything we can for our kids.

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  20. Ugh... I am officially stressed out for you. It's amazing what we are willing to do for our kids, isn't it? If it was for me, I would probably avoid the problem, but for the kids, man, lawyer me up. I hope you get that meeting soon, get what you need, and get on with it.

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  21. Fingers duly crossed. Much luck to you and Jack.

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  22. Oh sweetie, that sounds so scary to me!

    I hope everything goes well for you babe. Truly. It sucks that you have to take the legal route to get those higher up to take action.

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  23. Let you attorney do what needs to be done. First of all he is great (and I'm not just saying that because a little birdie referred you) but because I know he knows his stuff. And it's so much harder for the person he is emotionally involved.

    Good luck!

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