I still get butterflies and a bit of a pit in my stomach. Ironic I know, a special education teacher who runs IFSP’s and IEP’s all year round dreading the very thing she makes her livelihood doing. I have NO beef with the district, I don’t have to suit up in battle armor as so many folks I see online do. We have a great relationship with the team and I truly feel that everyone has Zach’s very best interest in mind. Thankfully communication is always open so we do not have to wait until “The Meeting” to talk about tweaks to his daily schedule or to discuss questions or concerns.
The reason I dread “The Meeting” is because on that day, when the tables are turned, I am a parent not a teacher and we have to talk about some really difficult subjects. It is not easy to sit across the table from up to a half dozen professionals and listen to all the things your child struggles with. Yes there will be positives….lots of positives but there are always those things that continue to give him difficulty and they will need to be discussed.
Goals and objectives are tough. Progress is slow and skills are limited, it is not easy to think about where to start. Communication is always a huge concern. We have been “talking” about communication from his very first IFSP. We can’t and won’t give up hope. We still hang on to a dream that Zach will find a way to effectively communicate. Now in his post high years our focus has turned to an even greater push for life skills: Folding towels, helping with laundry, food prep and clean up. Community outings are another topic on the table, Zach loves the opportunity to go out and about at least once a week.
I don’t think about the “what ifs” everyday…but on that day, “The meeting day” those always seem to surface. Pictures flash into my mind of how much time has passed and how little time in school remains. A flicker of desperation can bring me to tears at a moment’s notice. …. I feel vulnerable.
I keep these feelings in mind when I am one of the professionals at the table, when I am the one asking for signatures instead of giving them. I will make it through but I can’t lie…I will be glad when it’s over.