Friday, June 6, 2008

IEP from Hell..........NOT!!

This was not our first IEP ever, Daniel had them when he attended Early Intervention (with a wonderful group Ms. Kim, Ms. Val, Ms. Terri, Ms. Amy, Ms. Donna) this past year. Well now he's almost the Big 3. When you are 3 yrs old you are no longer in early intervention but you must move on to bigger and hopefully better things......PRESCHOOL! If you've been following this little journey of ours you will know that I was not completely comfortable with this. Sending my child to preschool for special needs children is very, very difficult. At least for me! Every time I think about it I get this quivering in my chin and I can feel myself getting warm and tears start to well up in my eyes.

So today we had our first IEP for preschool. This was when all of the people from his EI in one school district (the city we live in), all the people who will work with Daniel from his new school district (the city that has the POHI preschool), myself, dad (Lonnie) and Daniel. Its a bit intimating at first to walk into a room with 10 people. Half of them know your child already and they are saying what they want for Daniel and what he has done, and the other half were trying to figure out how to best get Daniel everything he needs to fully succeed. I will tell you, walking into this I said to Lonnie. We are NOT signing that IEP until I can take it home and review it and make sure it says what I want and blah blah blah....

But that is not what happened. I SIGNED IT!! I was stressing BIG TIME. I heard every ones horror stories, and how you have to fight this and fight that to get this and so on. Well I have to let you in on a little wasn't like that with ours (at least this time). I was so psyched up before we went to the IEP meeting, I was reading all this stuff on the Internet, the laws and what I needed to say to get what I wanted, I had notes....I was prepared. And it turns out I didn't need any of it!

Everything I wanted to make sure was on there.....was already on there I didn't have to ask. They asked what equipment we have, where we were on a device for speech, can he do this, OK we'll work on this, and that. If you need this equipment we can get it on loan through the district. We got the amount of time I was hoping for (plus they said it would probably be more than that). Everyone was very nice. I got the warm fuzzies that are a requirement for meeting Daniel's needs. And I SIGNED it. I'm OK with it.
I did warn them that if they see a person sitting in the car outside the school Monday through Friday during the hours that Daniel is in school, that it was OK. It wasn't a stalker, or anything it would probably just be me, sitting in my car weeping uncontrollably. I know he will be in good hands, I trust that these people are good people and they will care for Daniel. I will be crying because this little person that I have worked so hard (harder that I would have imagined) to protect is now not within my sight...I can't watch and monitor and speak up for him. I am not there, and please please please God, don't let him think that I am gone, don't let him get scared and think I left him. Don't let him feel alone, or sad. (Aw crap! here I am crying.....I just can't fathom leaving him with someone other than family, its just never happened before) I don't ever want my child to feel he is alone. I don't ever want my child to feel rejected or hurt by another person or child's comments or looks.

I even told the new group---put that big sticker on Daniel's folder, that I am a high maintenance mom, that I'm a pain in the ass, that I am overprotective, and that by all means......YOU WILL take care of my child in the best possible way or you will have the wrath of Mom on your ass! and I meant it!!

So in a couple of months, watch the blog, because I am sure we'll be trying to deal and cope with the fact that I have no one at home for 3 hours a day to take care of. UGH. I hope when its all said and done and school will start, Daniel will flourish and be a social butterfly and absolutely love being with a group of children who he can play with (instead of being stuck with mom). And that I will love this group of people as much as I have loved the group of people that have worked with him this past year. I just hope they love Daniel in return (you can hate me but don't hate my son!)

Through the whole 2 hour meeting Daniel sat and played with his cars and trucks. He's such a good boy, I was very proud of him. We were wrapping up the meeting and it was silent as we were reviewing the papers and all of a sudden I hear this LOUD rumbling, slow pht pht pht noise that lasted anywhere between 15-20 seconds (doesn't sound like a long time but it was!) and I quickly turn my and look at Lonnie who is holding Daniel. I was just so shocked, I just looked at Lonnie like OMG I can't believe you just FARTED! You are an absolute pig! Lonnie's face looked slightly embarrassed, but then I quickly glanced at cute as can be Daniel and he had this look of satisfaction. He just looked around at everyone like....."Oops, was that me?!" At the same time Lonnie was looking at me saying "It wasn't me!" Everyone in the room started laughing, including Daniel!) Then to make it even more embarrassing Lonnie says "usually I'd take credit for something like that but ...... that was pretty good, he had some longevity to that one!" Of course, I wanted to crawl under the table and hide.

Well there you have it.......That's Daniel!!! He obviously felt comfortable with them too, and he was just letting us know! Sheesh!


MeghatronsMom said...

HURRAY! Not all IEPs are hellish- I have had a few here & there that were easy like yours. I am so glad you got everything you needed. What a relief!

As far as the school thing, you won't know what to do with yourself at FIRST. I did cry for a while cause she was in some one elses hands & it meant she was growing up. She started to gain new skills & I relaxed. And I will let you in on a big secret: I started to ENJOY my time alone. My house went back to being clean. I could take a mini nap if needed. I got even more organized with appointments, home "therapy" stuff, etc.

It will be okay! He will gain & florish as he has already done so well!

LOVE the fart story! Made me horse laugh out loud! Your hubby has my kind of sense of humor! I too think it was his way of letting you know it would be okay. {{{{hugs}}}}

Justinich Family said...

I felt the same way going into our IEP, and it did not turn out too bad. this year might be different because I really want him to have PT, and I do not know if I will get it. I was LOL with the husband comment. That was funny.

ummmhello said...

Everything you said about making sure Daniel was taken care of, and never felt alone, made ME tear up just reading it. Isn't that how all moms feel? And I'm sure it's amplified for you. You guys are doing the right thing for him, and I hope to see it turn out beautifully for him (cause of course you'll post fabulous things here in your blog about it, right?!)