Tuesday, June 4, 2013
You know, I taught for 14 years (only three in a public school, mind you) and conducted more IEP meetings and parent conferences than I can count or remember. But I began to look on them completely differently after I had a child, and especially after I had to start attending IEP meetings as a parent. And I'd like to think I lead them with more empathy.
A teacher with no children, especially one without children with special needs, (my daughter's teacher, for instance) can have no idea of the dread and anxiety with which a parent of a special needs child approaches an IEP meeting. I am fortunate to live in a state in which I am entitled to see a draft of the IEP in advance, but there's no way to approach this meeting wholly calm. My insides are all in a dither and will be until a few days have passed after the meeting. We've been happy with the services provided, and I think next year will probably be good, too, but if an IEP is in the picture then you're going to have to listen to some information you'd rather not have to hear.
How much to share on this blog is a bit of a conundrum for me. I've certainly alluded to have a child with special needs before, and I'm not a bit ashamed or embarrassed to share more. In fact, I think it might be helpful for me and perhaps others out there in the blogosphere. But I hesitate because I'm not sure it's best for my daughter. I'm not sure it's fair for me to share deeply personal information about her here. When she's grown up, it can be her choice.
So, all that to say I have a daughter with an uncertain future. I worry more or less by the day. I'd love to reach out to others with similar concerns. Do you have them? We can always email!