Want to know what overwhelmed looks like… well… it looks like me. Since Sam’s IEP, I have done what I do best – educate myself. I have read the full IDEA statute. I have learned terms like LRE, FAPE, ADR, Prior Written Notice, and, well, IDEA. I have become a minor expert in Special Education Rights.
What this minor expert can tell you is this system is BROKEN. Totally, completely, absolutely, broken. I am at a loss for words at broken this system is. We as parents to kids with special needs need are forced into horrible positions of fighting for something for our kids which should be so simple – an appropriate public education.
As you know, Sam’s IEP did not go well. The results were off and clearly done by people that don’t know Sam. Since the evaluation was completed in January, Sam has mastered reading (in two languages), figured out how to hold a pen in such a way that allows him to write, and has generally just grown in his social/emotional world. This kid is thriving in his mainstream preschool. He has friends. He goes on playdates. He is starting to understand his actions can have consequences. Taking him from a mainstream environment and placing him in an isolated classroom would be a huge setback for Sam.
But hey – what do I know, I am just his parent.
So, here I am, almost 2 months from the start of kindergarten and I have no idea where Sam will go to school. I have tried to be reasonable. I have tried to negotiate. I have hit a brick wall.
So now, we are at the point of no return. Do I accept a placement I know is wrong for Sam or do I lawyer up and fight the good fight or do I throw in the towel and place Sam in a private school. No clue – but in the meantime, I write angry emails, read up on the laws, and plan all the possible variations of Sam’s future.