(snuggling with my sweet girl)
this morning we had our transitional iep with the district & m's school for the deaf.
i always get so nervous, so stressed out (although this time it was only 18 hours before the iep that i got nervous, unlike other times when it was months ahead of time)
for those of you who haven't had an iep,
it is basically like your putting your heart out on a pedestal in the middle of the table, with some hopes and anxieties sprinkled on top, for general discussion.
ok, maybe that's not a good visual.
but you are in a meeting, with professionals,
and the entire conversation is about
your little one who you are rooting for, and advocating for, and hoping for.
your-little-heart-outside-of-your-body needs you to make it happen on her behalf.
and the entire conversation is centered around your child's strengths, and weaknesses
(although it is phrased more like areas for improvement)
and eligibility, and potential services.
and your heart's all amuddle.
or at least mine always is.
it's hard to know what the best course of action is for any kid,
special needs or not, so i know i'm not alone in this. it is a pretty universal parental feeling.
but an iep is this moment in time where everything about your child is written up in black and white, and you are hashing out what is best for them to reach their goals.
i must say,
that oakland doesn't always get a great rep as a city.
and some of it is true- there is a lot of brokenness in this city.
(and especially in our schools.)
but that said,
since our little m was a couple of months old and we have worked with our district,
they have always been so supportive and willing to work with us.
we have always asked for different services than they have offered and across the board they have given us those services and sometimes even more than we were requesting.
we have worked with really kind, hardworking people who care about kids,
and who have been willing to make adjustments and go out of district for our daughter to meet her goals, and for that i am so deeply grateful.
it encourages me that as we leave this great school
we are going to a district that wants our deaf daughter to thrive.
today was no exception:
the first thing that our case manager said to me as we walked into the meeting was,
"how are you doing? this is kind of a big week for you. i understand-my daughter's going off to kindergarten, so i'm sure you are feeling a lot of emotions right now."
um, yes. i am.
she is super kind.
our district was offering
-a weekly deaf hard of hearing (dhh) teacher to go to m's mainstream preschool
-one monthly small group therapy session (right now she gets 12 individual sessions a month).
we asked for and
-the weekly dhh teacher (who we think is awesome)
-weekly small group therapy sessions
-five hours of transitional support & consultation with m's current deaf school.
at one point the therapist asked,
"so, what would you like? therapy every other week? every week?"
it will still be a big learning curve- the therapists are not used to having kids with ci's,
or kids with the language level m has,
so all of that has to be figured out as we go.
the conversation was really wonderful,
and i am so thankful for the people we've gotten to work with in oakland.
yet again, my girl working hard in therapy:
look at that look of concentration on her face as she tries to think of an answer!
(she likes to act like she knows what she's doing, even if she is making up an answer)
p.s. yes, you'll get lots of deaf school posts this week, cause i'm feeling it.
heart all swollen up and full as i think of how much her school has given her.