Author Joni Brown
I thought it was a dreaded IEP* meeting I was attending that day. It was December 13, 2011. Allie was age 8 and in 2nd grade. My husband had a meeting and couldn't attend. I have to go ALONE to this one? Simple! I can go to an IEP meeting without my spouse. He always goes to every school meeting and event. I can do this.
The smiling staff and I gathered in a warm, small conference room with an oval table.
The panel was made up of an autism specialist, the Special Ed director, Special Ed teacher, OT lady with her OT dog Jack, Phy Ed DAPE staff, school Principal, school Psychologist, and her 2nd grade teacher. All very pleasant professional women that care about Allie. I quickly found out this was actually her re-evaluation meeting. Allie just had completed 30 days of testing. I knew about the re-evaluating, but I thought it would be positive remarks in a packet sent home in her backpack.
This meeting was different.
Here were the findings that were reported to me...
Two and a half hours later! I left that room and walked to my car. What the hell just happened? I was paralyzed sitting in front of my steering wheel with the car on idle. I was in some kind of state of shock from the 8 school officials plus Jack the service dog, going through a 28 page evaluation and reporting to me all the depressing stuff about my only child. Then I pulled over into a public parking lot. Hot, sweaty, emotionally drained. I called my husband and cried. I don't even remember what I told him. After I got home, I cried my eyes out for the next four hours. Alone, in my bed with the curtains shut tight.
How could she grow and learn so much in first grade and reverse her skills in second grade? It took me about 2 weeks to not to think about that dreadful meeting.
*Individualized Education Program also called and IEP is a document that is developed for an individual who requires extra or special education.
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Joni Brown writes about her life raising her daughter that lives with PCDH-19 epilepsy, autism, anxiety and OCD.