When I walked into the IEP meeting with Norma and Dayon (my advocates) the reaction was priceless. The adapted PE teacher knew them from some conference and looked at me and said ” I thought you didn’t have an advocate?? Do we really have to do it this way??” To which I replied “I didn’t have an advocate, but after everything that has transpired since last Friday I decided this is what is best for Diego” Dayon intervened and reassured her that they were not here to yell or scream, but only to help me with this process.
I was floored, talk about unprofessional and awkward!
We walked into the meting room and goodness I was so nervous!! It is very intimidating as there were about 8 people from the district sitting in there.
Thank God I wasn’t alone.
Anyhow, as I sat down Dracula apologized for our phone conversation the day before, I accepted it and apologized for raising my voice.
As the meeting proceeded I was amazed at the difference from last Friday. All of a sudden I was being praised for being a pro-active and concerned parent (not psycho crazy mom from last Friday), I was talked to and not at, and Dracula was being downright friendly and acting concerned. I am sure this was due to the advocates presence.
So the entire meeting boiled dow to this: Diego will qualify for an IEP under Speech, OT, and Psych services, the services are minimal in hours, but they have a good plan. Once Diego hits kindergarten, I will call an IEP meeting to address his needs again and modify as needed. Although Diego had a fantastic day when the SLP visited his class, she did see his social issues. I told her to imagine him on a bad day. They have not qualified Diego under autism, but according to my advocate the label doesn’t matter as much as the services and Diego is getting the help he would if they did qualify him under autism. The district is phasing out special day classes and bring the support to the regular classroom and so once Kindergarten starts we will see how Diego does and decide whether or not to ask for a personal aide at that time.
I took the IEP home to review and sign when if I am comfortable. That meeting was so very different than what I thought it would be and I believe that is due to the two advocates that were sitting beside me.
Once I got home I held Diego for as long as he would let me and prayed and thanked God. Then I took my butt to sleep, because I had developed a horrible migraine.
We have won a battle in what I am sure will be many.