The other day, I finally received that all important piece of paper. It’s the letter informing us of B’s new school placement in his special needs preK class.
It’s hard to believe that at only 3 1/2 my son is already indoctrinated into the public school system. This year, it’s like B (and myself) are sophomores in high school. I guess that’s what happens when you just dive headfirst into IDEA.
It seems like only a short time ago (January 2010, to be exact) that he started speech therapy services through Early Intervention. But, in order to be eligible and to transition fully into Part B services by Fall 2010, that meant that as soon as we were in EI, we were trying to get out!
After all the phone calls, interviews, evaluations, tests, and meetings, B was determined eligible to start Fall 2010. Cue the next phase of craziness. We survived dreaded registrations, the initiation of crazy bus schedules, and such fun things as parent teacher conferences and fundraisers. And, of course, the introduction to the bible of our lives…the IEP.
Oh, the IEP…the always revised, never truly complete document that will give the thumb’s up (or down) on my little boy’s progress. The “guideline” for his aftercare to work with especially when his teacher did site visits. The new level of jargon that I have to explain to my parents, the daycare, the woman in the checkout line…
B did very well at his school. He was so excited to go to a “big kid’s school” and ride a “real” bus (wow, they have five-point harnesses on these seats!). Sure, the 6:45 AM bus pickup was a bit of a rude awakening…and who on earth wants to ride the bus almost an hour to get to school? It didn’t matter – he loved his teacher, the assistant, the SLP, and the OT, so it was good enough for us.
Just to add on a little more excitement (because, you know, what I wrote above just wasn’t enough), we went through a rough period of bouncing around aftercare facilities. The one we originally started with in September 2010 decided in December that, “they just weren’t able to work with his IEP” and that “he was just too much for them”. Completely ignore the fact that I
warned informed them of his special needs and that he was a bit active. Yeah.
We enrolled him in a new daycare, only to be asked not to return after one day – after six pages of handwritten notes detailing just how disruptive he was towards the other classmates. Oh, and that he was a “potential liability” because he almost opened the emergency exit door in the classroom (the bar seemed placed a bit low…). I guess that’s what happens when you tell the director of his PDD-NOS and SPD diagnoses but then she completely fails to
warn inform the teacher.
The third one, recommended by his special needs teacher, has proved to be the winner, one that actually welcomed him and understood what an IEP actually was. Thank goodness.
After all this, we made it through the school year. Once June 16, 2011 passed, I started it over again. This time around, though, I’m a bit more seasoned. While it pained me so to request a transfer of schools, it was the choice of that or find him a different daycare. And as you quickly skimmed through above, there was no way I was going the headache of finding a new aftercare.
Oh, and did I mention that during all this I was pregnant? Now we have a daughter that needed daycare too. Yeah, I was not about to split them apart.
So, I got that piece of paper…and finally breathed a sigh of relief. Well, until Orientation, the bus pickup, Back to School night, the fundraisers, all that jazz. For right now, I’m just going to sit back, look at my son, and know that all the &$*#@(^! frustration, anxiety and confusion is totally.worth.it.