Wednesday, January 20, 2010

IEP Day

When you have come to the edge of all the light you have
And step into the darkness of the unknown
Believe that one of the two will happen to you
Either you'll find something solid to stand on
Or you'll be taught how to fly!

- Richard Bach


Today is IEP day.

It's not like we've haven't been through this before. I mean, Helena has had IEPs since she was 3 years old.

But this one is different. This is for 6th grade.

Middle school.

A new building. A new principal. New teachers.

Not only that, but a middle school that has a reputation, thanks to the bullying of a boy with autism that was front page headlines of The Missoulian.

The school addressed, from their perspective, the bullying situation from the bullying standpoint. But, from my perspective, I don't know if they've addressed it from the autism and special needs standpoint. I guess I'll find that out today.

There are some positive things going forward. Helena seems to work well with the SLP and OT, and those relationships will continue into the middle school. Over the last couple of months, she's been evaluated for PT as well, so we will see if that will be part of the plan.

But how will they work with her socially? How will we, as her IEP team, ensure her safety in this new environment?

Fortunately, this is January, and middle school doesn't start for 9 months. And, as with all IEP meetings, NOTHING will be signed today. This is really only the beginning, in so many ways. Maybe that's why I feel strangely calm about this meeting today.

I also have to believe that The Missoulian articles perhaps opened the door a little more, and there will be more vigilance when it comes to watching out for the special needs children in the middle school. At the very least, it has raised the awareness of me as the parent of a soon-to-be middle school child.

The great unknown of middle school doesn't seem so unknown anymore.

Time to make a plan to let Helena fly!

1 comment:

diana hampo said...

nice post, 6th grade can go either way. Just stay close to your kiddo and keep them laughing. When we went thourhg tough weeks i'd try to pick mine up from school, get a snack etc, after a tough day the bus ride can really be tough. My youngest daughter loved 6th grade...they get to have dances...with boys. good luck, i enjoy the bolg