Thursday, April 29, 2010

You can't scare me, I'm a mom.

You've seen the t-shirts, especially if you are on Triangle Mommies and let me tell you that is mostly true. As moms we take a stand and don't ever let the mama bear out of the cage that is just bad news on everyone's part. Moms aren't easily intimidated and we tend to know what's best for our kids. We pride ourselves on knowing what is best for our children.

But there is nothing like entering a room of "experts" that surround you and tell you what your child needs in a class room environment to make you second guess everything you thought you knew. If you don't have a child with an IEP consider yourself lucky. You don't have to put on the full set of armor to fight for your child. Kindergarten is an exciting time for kids who are typical. First, you get to talk a lot about it and they will ask questions and will be very excited. You worry a little but in the end typical johnny will be just fine, kindergarten is a milestone.

For those with special needs kids, kindergarten is especially scary. It sets the tone for the rest of their academic careers. Will the teachers understand his needs and meet them. Does the school really care about what's best for your child?Will the kids notice all of his quirks and still like him or will he be "that" kid that they avoid. Will they actually follow what is written in the golden IEP. Joshua is going to have a hard transition and really struggle for several months as he learns a new routine. I want to go hold his hand and help him through it like only a mommy can but I have to let go.

His IEP meeting was on Tuesday. I've spent the last few days processing everything that happens. It really is amazing how intimidated they make you feel when you sit down. I had a friend with us who was our parent advocate (she did a great job) and his current therapists and 4 people who did not know him from his new school. 12 people in total.  There were several times during the meeting that we were shouting (not really but you felt like it) he needs more resource time and he can't be pulled out you have to go in the classroom and work with him. In the end we compromised and ended the meeting with the understanding that 4 weeks into school we will be meeting again to review his IEP. LIke I've told many, I don't feel victorious but I don't feel defeated either. All I can do now is rely on God and know that he has it all under control and just trust that as long as I'm in there advocating Joshua will be okay.

His school is year round and he was placed on track 2. This is good for him there will never be more than 3 weeks out from school so less likely that he will regress. He will start school on July 9.  He has three weeks left of preschool. After that we will have 7 weeks together before our world changes forever. How quickly it does pass.

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