Annual IEP meetings are like root canals…painful, exhausting, feeling like it will never end. Today was annual IEP day.
Compared to years past, it went surprisingly well. I didn’t cry which was a first. For those lucky enough to not experience IEPs, let me explain something…there’s a reason there is a box of tissues on the table. It can be incredibly emotional for the parent as your child’s disabilities are dissected.
There was a time I felt hopeless, so did the educators for that matter. Without going into specifics, it was recommended (many times) that my child would be best served in a special ed classroom. My response was always a firm NO. Because that’s not what the world looks like…as an adult, I am surrounded by all types of people, many of whom have taught me patience, tolerance and compassion. As a mom, I’ve seen my child fight and beat extraordinary odds. When professionals said she wouldn’t thrive or meet certain milestones, she met them before “the normal” child did. I use quotes for “normal” because who the heck wants to be normal anyways?!? It was important to me that my child be included in a general ed classroom. Just as I’d want my other two children to learn around children with various disabilities…
BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT OUR WORLD LOOKS LIKE!
For several years, skeptics believed my child’s emotional/behavioral challenges would restrict her from learning in a gen ed classroom…well I’m thrilled to say that today in her IEP the biggest issue was rushing through work and spelling…WHAT?!? This is coming from a child that wouldn’t pick up a pencil. Zero, I repeat ZERO behavior issues!
Is her IEP file as thick as War and Peace? Sure is.
Did I advocate for more hours than it took to write War and Peace? Yep.
Will there be more battles and wars to win down the road? Without a doubt.
Am I going to celebrate the fact that my child is thriving in a general ed classroom when professionals said it couldn’t be done? ABSOLUTELY!
“Kid, you’ll move mountains.” -Dr. Seuss
by Lucy Riles, Life of Mom Founder