Today was one of the roughest days Diego and I have had.
The fight with the school district began today.
This morning was D’s school district assessment. I prayed for patience and for the people doing the assessment to have a clear and focused mind. I was prepared with a letter from the psychologist, a letter from his current teacher, the 12 page progress report from Diego’s social skills group, and the most recent OT report. All of these were copied and ready to hand over to the school district.
Right when Diego and I walked into the room, we were met by the psychologist…we will call her Dracula. I introduced myself to Dracula and attempted to introduce Diego, but was immediately told Diego could go over to play in a certain are and that I could sit at a certain table, in a specific chair.
I made sure that D was comfy and went to my assigned seat. I took out all of the reports I had and attempted to hand them to Dracula, she gave me a curt “I have them.” I told her that there was no way that she had them because I just got them this week. She took them from my hand and then Dracula sat across from me and said that none of the reports/letters stated Diego had Asperger’s, just the behaviors of.
Here we go….
I asked her what she meant, as it is pretty damn apparent from those letters/reports that Diego has a diagnosis of
Her response was none of these say “Diego has Aspergers”.
I said ok, I will get the psychologist to write a letter with that sentence exactly.
This was not starting well…..at all…
I immediately called the psychologist right in front of Dracula and informed Dracula I would have her letter by next Tuesday. Our psychologist was appalled that Dracula was so caught up in what seems like such a silly detail, but I explained that this is how the school district does.
Our psychologist assured me again that she would have the letter ready by next Tuesday.
Then Dracula looked at me and told me there will not be an OT assessment.
She said that the OT is on maternity leave and that OT will have to be assessed at a different time. I told her that I understood people having babies and all, but that OT was a very important component of the assessment.
Dracula gave me a blank look.
I told her that I would not sign an IEP that didn’t have an OT assessment attached to it.
Then Dracula (in an attempt to drain the life from me)said that we can just reschedule this whole thing.
NOT GONNA HAPPEN!
I told her there was no way that we were going to wait another 3 months to get this process started and right then God intervened.
The child next door did not show up for their assessment so the OT from there would do Diego’s today.
I was comforted by this, I felt like at that moment God was right beside me and made sure that I knew He was.
The rest of the assessment went along.
I had a long talk with the SLP about Diego and the fact that he didn’t “talk like a little adult”, which a lot of children with Asperger’s present with.
I was defending his diagnosis.
Is my education about Autism Spectrum Disorders so much more than theirs that I know that there are no two children that present alike and they don’t??
No my child is not a genius, nor does he sound like he is a 45 year-old man, but he does present with like 20 other things!
The entire morning was like this. Three hours of fielding questions, assessments, and vampires attempting to suck the life out of us.
There was a ray of light in the room which was the adapted P.E teacher. Her daughter has autism and she was able to point out a lot of Diego’s behaviors to the vampires that they would not have noticed otherwise.
Needless to say Diego and I were exhausted at the end of it all.
The morning ended with going over the time and place for the IEP meeting, at which time Dracula did say that Diego will have an IEP.
Hurdle #2 cleared.
I thanked them for their time (must remember my manners 😉 ), and took Diego to Target to get his little golf set.
He did such a great job keeping it together and trying his best.
Once we got home the weight of the day hit me.
Diego was over it too and had a pretty nasty tantrum, poor munchkin 😦 .
It was our first major tantrum since Christmas Eve.
These school people are no joke!!
But no matter how tired I am, my will to fight for my baby stays strong.
Later on, still in work mode, I called and left a message for the principal of the school that D will attend next year, she called me back four hours later! Fantastic!!
I gave her the reason for my call and she said that she was so happy that I was thinking ahead and advocating for Diego. She said that she will call the resource specialist for arrange a time for us to meet next week!!
THIS is the difference between a district run school and a charter school that runs independent of the district.
This gave me hope.
Anyhow the IEP meeting is next Friday and Rickey is going to come with me. He is a calming force and I won’t feel like it is five against one.
Together we will fight the vampires 🙂