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Saturday, February 27, 2010

IEP Meetings

Recently I had an IEP meeting for my younger son.  The team is certain that they have the "right" placement for him, and they want me to pull him from his current class, three months before the end of the school year, and place him in another program.  They are certain that the other children in his class won't even notice, as he will be included for lunch, recess, and his specials.  And they will provide the most wonderful help with the transition - the social worker, who I do like on a personal level, with be there every step of the way to ease things for him and for us. 

The only problem is, I've been down this road before.  I know that promises made in an IEP meeting often don't translate into the reality of the situation down the road.  I also know, from personal experience, that the "team" is often trying to sell a class, that may or may not be as good as they claim it is, that may or may not even have the same teacher, or be in the same building the following year, and that they are more interested in filling their class than they are in making accommodations for your child. 

I am also not naive enough to belive that the other children in my son's class "won't even notice" that his placement has changed.  I did go to elementary school once upon a time, and I am quite certain that things haven't changed that much - kids are cruel to the "different" kids. 

I am so tired of being talked down to, patronized, and sold a bill of goods.  I don't doubt that some of the members of this team are good people, or that they are just doing their job, but I am also so tired of my child being a pawn.  I am an educated person, I know my children.  I have heard conflicting advice from so many "experts" for years now, and I am no longer dazzled by an advanced degree or years of working with children with disabilities in outmoded ways. 

But right now, I am also just tired.  When does this end?  This is my other child, the one who I thought was okay.  I can't be strong all the time.

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