I knew as I was sitting there that day that I was nervous. I generally don’t get nervous about this anymore or at least I haven’t in the past few years. I generally have an idea of what will occur. I have an a strong assurance that everyone is on the same page for Elizabeth, her needs and her goals for the future. So really, what was there to be nervous about?
Yes, I am talking about the IEP process. Trust me we have had our fair share of those that have been so stressful and overwhelming but once we hit middle school things got better. In huge part to the work of the intervention specialist and her willingness to work with and for us and Elizabeth.
But as we all know time passes, and as such these golden years of middle school are now closing out and we are in the transition process to high school. It is amazingly hard to leave what you know and love and HOPE to recreate the good, while making positive choices and changes for Elizabeth and all while meeting a new intervention specialist and support staff.
I was nervous alright. I am sure so many of you can relate.
I had actually met with the new intervention specialist in February, to say hello, share a bit about Elizabeth and provide her with a copy of my book. I love that my book can help everyone understand Elizabeth and her disorders as well as giving them an understanding of where she started, how far she has come and the depth of our belief in her. Having done all the above, you would think the meeting would be without anxiety. It was not.
I have to be honest here and state I made some mistakes on the IEP, I did not add some things that I should have and I did not clarify some other points. And I let some things go, things I knew I should have spoken up about. I can’t say why I was not as detail focused as usual. I can only say I was not….I feel I did not do my best this time. Maybe I did not want to come on too strong? make too many demands? put anyone on the defensive?
I will say that it is NOT a good feeling to replay the whole thing over in your mind and to wish you had said this or that, or to wish you had asked for X to be done, but were a bit scared to because you just did not want to hear the new specialist was not of the same line of thinking. I replayed things again and again, and made mental plans in my head to fix things in September, but me being me, I COULD NOT wait that long. I feared my lack of whatever would somehow hurt Elizabeth and I promised myself to always always try to do right by her. So I emailed the new teacher.
In the email, I found such a great release of words to make my case, such a great flow of thoughts to help her understand and such a wonderful peace when I was done.
I write about it a lot in my book, but we have to listen to our heart. To be guided by it and to do what we know we need to for our children. That still quiet voice is so loud sometimes….
I am so so relieved and happy to say that my email was very well received and that we have a meeting time scheduled for this week. I am equally happy to say that the new specialist was open and receptive to hearing our thoughts and concerns. Actually, she was quite encouraging and upbeat.
I guess we all need to know that however long we have been on our own journeys, and however long we have been fighting for our child, we can still make mistakes, feel afraid or forget to speak up and make a feeling known. I will say the gift of this whole thing has been to learn this and to know that that feeling in our hearts that we all have just does not let you down…follow it!
Wishing you all a good week.