Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Sick To My Stomach

At our final IEP meeting back in June, it was suggested that we reconvene 8 weeks after the start of school to discuss AJ's progress and to make any necessary changes to his IEP.

Now, we assumed this meant discussing AJ's progress, reviewing and if need be revising his IEP, possibly changing the number of mornings per week he would attend if four days was deemed too much or too little, and maybe addressing/adding new goals.

Well, apparently, it also means we'll also be discussing placement.

Placement. Placement? Placement.

That's right. Each time the IEP team meets, it is the responsibility of the entire team, including Jeremy and I, to review all placement options. This, even though his IEP is written for the 2009-2010. While I don't see it happening, the very mention of AJ not being in his current program at Lowell makes me sick to my stomach. When I read the word placement, I lost it. Top that off with a ride to his school for a Market Day pick-up that went wrong when some lady decided to rear-end me and you've got a fantastic day. *Sidenote: We're fine, just a paint scratch. I'm sure she thought I was crying because she hit me.

Lowell is exactly where he needs to be. I could write a book about how wonderful this program is, its one of the best IN.THE.COUNTRY. Hello?! We find it highly unlikely that AJ would be taken out of this program, but just the fact that its going to be discussed even as an option disgusts me. The LEA rep from our home school district is coming to observe AJ and the program at school tomorrow. I do hope that this opens her eyes, and that she can relay to the higher-ups that this is not about something as simple as an FM System and carpet. He is a child, not a number. His issues are not standard, they are complicated. It is not just about hearing loss, which first you'd have to understand hearing loss and well folks...they don't.

I wouldn't be me if I wasn't worrying. Everyone told me his IEP would be fine, yet we left a 2 1/2 hour meeting with 15 people present with no answers. Today, I don't have that fight in me. Note, I said today. If we have to fight again, we will. If we have to appeal a decision, we will. We intend for AJ to attend Lowell as long as possible.

Many people have asked me if we are "still" moving. Shortly before AJ started school we decided to stay in our current home and see how the year went. It didn't take long for that idea falter. Everytime I think about our home district being involved in AJ's education, it makes me cringe. The idea of having another annual IEP meeting next spring, giving Muskego the power to say yes or no to AJ going to Lowell, is not going to happen. We are moving, the question is just when at this point. Given that we want AJ at Lowell for the next few years, its a no brainer.

Now we just need to continue working on the house as much as we can to get it ready for sale. I've been coming home while AJ's in school. The drive isn't too bad, as there isn't any traffic. The cost of gas and milaege is horrid, but hey, I'm being productive. It won't be doable in the winter, so for now I'm coming home and getting as much done in an hour as I can. I was worried at first that we wouldn't find anything in Waukesha to suite our needs. And then I realized I was thinking about what other people think we should have, etc. I always told Jer I'd be happy in a cardboard box as long as I was with him. Now obviously we won't be in a cardboard box, but whatever we do find, it will fit our family just fine. With a little elbow grease, anything is possible.

It's going to be quite the challenge to keep the house in "showing" order with AJ, two gigundo dogs and two cats. Won't we be the happy little family driving down the street with a partridge in a pear tree and the cats whining in the backseat all stuffed into the car because the realtor has to show the house in an hour. Fun times.

But for AJ, absolutely necessary.


  1. Lowell=appropriate
    Your home district= Not appropriate

    Keep repeating that mantra! It will all work out, I know it.

  2. I am a special education teacher with 12 years experience. Just remember that the law has a "stay put" clause. If you and the district disagree on placement he must "stay put" until it is worked out. You hold the ultimate trump card, if you refuse to sign a change of placement he stays where he is, through a mediation, through due process, through a hearing if needed. (By which time you will have moved.) Don't ever sign anything at a meeting, take it home, read it, review it, take your time and remember "nothing about me without me" (the South African Disability Rights Slogan) they can't decide or do anything with YOUR signature. Best of luck.

  3. I feel your stress. Not fun times. I hope that everything goes well. I will be thinking about you!

  4. Check it out! I sent you an award, I enjoy your work very much. AJ is a lucky guy!!!



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