Is It Friday Yet?


This is a long week, and today was a long day that started really early for a girl with autoimmune issues who doesn’t do early mornings. Well, even before being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia I was never a morning person, those issue just make it harder to get up and get moving. But this morning I had a mission. I was taking on the special education department of my son’s middle school. The biggest debate within myself this morning was, do I take a half a xanax or not? I opted for not and for a car ride full of deep yoga breathing (it totally didn’t help my nerves).

When I got there, my advocate (and co-worker) was already there, which in itself lowered my stress level quite a bit. When we were called into the meeting you could feel the tension, and it wasn’t pretty, but I was lovely, LOL. I smiled and greeted them all graciously because I knew I was about to have all of their heads on a platter. We might as well start off sweet.

As I think I mentioned in another blog, my son did not meet one of his fourteen IEP goals this year (even though he’s on the Honor Roll). I requested all their data from their work with him on is IEP goals because according to special education state law, they are required to keep data on all special education students. This means that all along they should be tracking his progress from September to now in measurable sources of testing. I was given a graph from the end of March through yesterday. I allowed them to thoroughly explain the data, and it did provide some valuable info about the last two months.

Then, I asked about September through March and the blank stares began. Why? Because there was no data from September to March. They had data from the end of March because my son started using a computer program that tracked data. So we had a bit on a problem. Problem number two arose when they mention that they just didn’t have time to work with him on his goals. Oh no, no, no, people. YOU created the goals. YOU had a full year to work with him or meet with him and change his services, goals, etc.

It was around this time, that I smiled. I smiled because I won. I waited for them to move on to the next bullet point on my list, which they attempted to argue with me. The wanted my son to go into a developmental reading class five days per week next year. I’m not saying that’s a bad option, it’s actually a good option, but unfortunately it means my son would have to give up Social Studies and Spanish, two subjects that he received no academic support in and maintained an A+ average. I looked at the plainly, and said just that. I want my son to go to developmental reading every other day, and continue to take Spanish so he doesn’t become one year behind his peers.

Social studies isn’t a subject where if you miss a year you become completely lost. If you miss a year of a language, it’s a big deal. Not to mention, I felt that my son worked his ass off this year and it was important to meet him half way. They were NOT pleased and wanted to go on record that they didn’t agree with me. My advocate jumped in with reasons backing up my decision, and again, I politely smiled and said I was making the decision in the best interest of my son.

I could have made it a truly ugly meeting, but I have to deal with these people for the next 10 years with three kids coming through the school. I could report the school to the state for violating my child’s IEP, but I won’t. I think it’s enough that everyone at that table knows that I know my rights. I left there feeling very good about how it was handled, and that I did the right thing for my son. I also got them to commit to summer tutoring (which I haven’t told my son about yet…he won’t be thrilled), but they wouldn’t even consider that at the last PPT.

All in all, it was a good meeting. My advocate said to me in the parking lot, “you know you didn’t need me at all for that” and that made me feel good, but honestly, just the mention of bringing an advocate scares the crap out of the “team” and sometimes that’s a darn good thing. I bet they don’t screw up my son’s services again any time soon.

My guess is that tomorrow I will have a migraine due to the stress. I didn’t realize how much it all was weighing on me. My neck is already very tight. I’m going to try some preemptive ice on my neck.

I believe tomorrow begins a few days of rain here, so that won’t help. The good news is that other than my class, I don’t have too much on my plate.  I will have time to nap!


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rebekah Miller
    May 22, 2014 @ 04:20:32

    I’m glad things went moderately well. I hope you don’t get a migraine because migraines are just the worst.


  2. Julie Ryan
    May 22, 2014 @ 20:49:56

    I’m glad the meeting went well. I think it’s always good to have an advocate when it’s an option. Just knowing we have someone there in our corner often gives us the strength we need.


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