The Difference of a Year

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Last year at this time I was frustrated, at turns livid, and tired of the fight. Our call for the IEP meeting was later than it should have been. The struggle to acclimate Molly with her class and teacher was more tedious because we weren’t able to meet with her in a one-on-one setting until there was a problem. This year I’ve already posted about our great head start by meeting with the teacher and her teacher actually reading last years IEP. This week we had the IEP meeting. The depth and scope of the IEP and their knowledge of Molly already, just a few short weeks into the school year impressed me.  I don’t know if it’s because Indiana puts intense focus on testing and education once the kids are in 3rd grade, or because the 3-4th grade school** is just that much more on the ball…but not only did the IEP go smoothly, but they caught all of our concerns and needs before we even had to open our mouths. Of course this deep attention means that for the first time we are facing the possibility of Molly going into the “resource room” for one particular subject, which we’ll know in the next six weeks. But it also means that there will be accommodations for tests, independent work…for HER. For the first time I don’t want to say “Our school system is amazing, unless you have a special needs student.”  This year they didn’t drop the ball…they made a touchdown. And I finally feel like I can relax. *~* **Our school system is different. There are only 4 schools: K-2, 3-4, 5-8 & High School.   Read more »

New Year, New Hope

Last week I got an email from Molly’s teacher. In previous years this was always cause for alarm. We got emails (or phone calls) when there were issues. So, it’s to be expected that I opened this email with a small amount of trepidation. Within the 20 words the teacher blew me away, impressed me, and made me so happy Molly has ended up in her class.  It read: “I saw on Molly’s IEP that daily check-ins were in order so I apologize for not getting to it last week.” First off – you READ Molly’s IEP? Before you were asked to? Before we worked on adjusting it for the new year (and upcoming standardized testing)?  Voluntarily and without any prompting? SCORE – no teacher has ever done this before. Secondly – you are ACTUALLY doing as asked?  You’re taking daily notes to email to me a couple of times a week at least, with hopes of moving up to every day? SCORE – no teacher has ever done this before either. With one email I was able to breathe out a huge sigh of relief.  The struggles and confusion of the previous few years of starting school is dissipated and made easier all around for everyone. When we go in for our IEP meeting next week I’m going to make sure that Mrs. B doesn’t think that she must email me every single day, but a few times a week will work just fine. Mostly because I know she’ll do it, because she already has. Either way I think this year is going to be Molly’s best yet. We’re getting there slowly, but we’re getting there. Read more »

by Sarah Cass

Multi-published author. Mom of 3 special needs kids. Wife to 1 good man.
Redefining Perfect every day.

The Battlefield is Prepared

Molly is entering 3rd grade. It’s hard to believe that my little girl is in 3rd, and the baby is going into 2nd. They start school in just over a week. 8 days. Since mid-July I’ve been bracing for the upcoming struggle and battle. Behaviors at home have gotten out of control again. Anticipation always worsens the load for her. I began in July. I knew that it was on her IEP, but the school has convenient ways of forgetting these things during summer break. I called the school office in July. Voice mail told me the office was closed until August 1st. But then July 31st we get the first official email from the principal. So I reply. I remind her of the IEP, and that Molly is to meet her teacher in advance. And so, last week, Molly met her teacher. I met her teacher and was able to give a few ‘heads up’. The school year hasn’t started, but I’ve prepped the field for battle. I hate that I have to look at the start of every year this way, but I’m tired of her falling through the cracks and there being trouble because they don’t understand. I’ve gone in guns blazing. First battle is ours. Now to finish picking up some sensory toys from Amazon. (Our favorites are the [amazon_link id=”B001EWC5M4″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Tangle[/amazon_link] and the [amazon_link id=”B00A8PS4NC” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]Stretch Balls[/amazon_link])   Read more »