One of the biggest challenges I’ve had in my adult life is the struggle it is to have open communication with schools. Throw in IEPs and teachers who get personally offended when I ask questions and you have an armageddon.
This isn’t an “Autism” post per se because my youngest was diagnosed with Pervasive Development Disorder – PDD. Diagnosis is different from 20 years ago – now there are a million labels under the umbrella of “Autism Spectrum Disorder”.
School stuff causes me extreme anxiety. I’ve been doing IEPs for 17 years (my daughter got her 1st one at 3 years old and she is now 20). I know the policies and procedures and rules and laws. You would be surprised how many people are placed in a position they know NOTHING about and expect the parents to just sign. “Just sign it, it’s fine.”
- I was supposed to give you a 10-day notice invitation to discuss the IEP, but I gave you 24 hours. “Just sign it, it’s fine.”
- Even though I am about to wave your rights and say you declined to show. “Just sign it, it’s fine”
- And we are going to leave everything the same as it was last year since you aren’t here to talk about it and that is what is easiest for us. “Just sign it, it’s fine.”
- I have 60 more of these to do – and even though it’s MY JOB – which I wouldn’t even have if it wasn’t for your children, let’s just move along to the next kid. “Just sign it, it’s fine”
Oye Oye Oye~ !!!
Xander is going into third grade and this is the first year he would be eligible to be “held back”. He also has more testing this year than he has ever had in his school career. He is not mainstream (grade level skills) ~ YET. I knew all of this coming into the year and it had a great influence on my decision to walk away from my job. Last year it was difficult to run my business while spending hours a day making sure he comprehended the daily lessons. I know firsthand that early intervention is E
XTREMELY important and while he is young, it is the most crucial time to get him caught up. My kids will always be my #1 priority and I couldn’t do it all.
The whole reason I share this topic today is that I had a chaotic morning with school stuff. Xander was moved to a different school a few days ago by accident which spiraled into a whole mess of Speech/Occupational Therapy and regular classes tornado cluster. I reached out to the new teachers, praying I wasn’t the annoying “in their face” parent. Even I hate that parent. But I had no idea what to do and it is my responsibility to get Xander into his classes. The new teachers were so kind. (enneagram 2 or 9’s I think LOL) and figured it all out. And they gave me a small bit of news that the “Just sign it, it’s fine.” lady NO LONGER works at the school! PRAISE GOD!
I walk into each school year with kindness in my heart, wanting to get along and work as a team to get my kids the best education that works for them, and I was terrified this mess would ruin these brand new relationships for the rest of the year.
My point: Hey Autism parents, I see you. I know sometimes it’s easier to get along and to “Just sign it, it’s fine.” and let them read to you what they think is best. But I am giving you permission to ask questions if things don’t seem right. I am cheering you on if you think there is an error OR you have a better idea and you bring it up! It is NOT disrespectful to want to understand what the plan is for our children and honestly, WE ARE NOT THERE TO MAKE FRIENDS. No matter how much we want people to like us, our responsibility is to our children, and their education – that trumps all. The IEP laws are in place to PROTECT our kids. To give the parents an opportunity to have a voice! We all know our children better than anyone else claims to. It’s wicked uncomfortable and causes mass anxiety, but God gave us these kids to protect, defend and set them up for success. I believe in you!