Tiny Coconut

I have things.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Not-So-Individualized Education Plan

At N's IEP meeting last week, we were told about how extremely bright he is, how charming he is, how much fun he was to test and observe. These are all things that make a parent's heart smile, and they surely did mine. But they weren't what I wanted to hear, not really. What I wanted to hear was, "N has XYZ Syndrome, which means that he will be getting ABC therapies and treatments, and you no longer have to worry about diagnosing or treating or understanding him, because everything you need to know can be found under the heading of said XYZ Syndrome on Google, and we'll be taking over for you from here on out."

Clearly, what you want is rarely what you get.

They did also tell us that my 4.5-year-old tests two years behind himself in his peer interaction skills, putting him in the first percentile for said skills. Considering that I've been going around saying, "I'm thinking he's at about a two-and-a-half-year-old's level in social skills," and that that is EXACTLY where he tested, it's somewhat gratifying to hear. Considering that it means that 99 out of a hundred children his age are better at interacting with their peers than he is, it's somewhat terrifying to hear. (It's a number I'm used to, though, considering that his height at weight are often at the same level...I'd say he's one in a million, but he's really one in a hundred.)

In the end, they told me that my son, while really behind in one or two areas, does not qualify for special education. I'm still not sure what to think about that. The explanation for why he doesn't qualify makes sense--they think he has the skills, but is choosing not to use them, for whatever reason, be it anxiety or personality; still, that means that a class that tries to teach him how to say hello to another child when they meet is likely to be a waste, since he knows what to do but doesn't want to do it.

And yet, all this leaves me rather bereft. Because, ultimately, what they told me is that he needs help, he's far behind, but it's up to me to fix it. Again. Still. And I'm not sure about my ability to do the job. I have the passion, for sure, but not the training, and certainly not the patience. I think I may be just a wee bit too close to my subject, to be honest.

Still, I don't regret this process. The school psychologist told me she'll be watching out for him in kindergarten, and that all I have to do is say the word and she'll do a mid-year assessment or an early intervention or whatever he needs. Plus, any future IEPs will have this assessment as their base, and I won't feel the need to justify asking for help; it'll be right there in their files that there is indeed a deficit that could one day need addressing.

And besides, how can I regret doing something that resulted in an 18-page document that talks nonstop about my all-time favorite topic: my children.

All of this has left me feeling rather raw and anxious and yet gratified and pleased with myself at the same time. Very mixed emotions. Very raw nerves. Very much in the same place as where I started. Very determined to move him forward, however I have to do it. And I CAN do it. I think...

I'm a good-enough mother; I'm a good-enough mother; I'm a good-enough mother...

free hit counter