When we first learned Sadie was on the spectrum and had significant global delays I started to attend Autism conferences which lead to IEP conferences provided by our surrounding communities and our Reginal Center. I learned what to expect in an IEP meeting and the basics of special Ed law. I learned a TON more from picking other passionate parent brains! And where do you find these ever so helpful mommys and daddy's? At these conferences! In your therapies! At special need events! And you know what? They didn't mind me tackling them down for info. They were all every bit as eager as I am now days to share their piece of knowledge.
I am far from knowing everything about special Ed law but I have gained more and more confidence as the years go by. It also helps that I am in a much better school district then when we first started out. Sadie's current team is fantastic and they want to see Sadie succeed as I do. This was the first IEP meeting where after tons of testing, the specialists were able to show us how Sadie has improved leaps and bounds. She's actually in fact a little 5 year old genius:) When the Occupational therapist held up the circle Sadie cut out, both me and hubby gasped! "I know!" said the OT, "I couldn't believe it either!" It actually was round and didn't look like an abstract trapezoid! The meeting was 3 and a half hours long and still has to be continued to write up new goals. I did however leave feeling not so stressed out (a little drained) but all her good test scores reminded me that all the fighting has been worth it.
I know that there are parents who fight even harder without the same drastic results. I solute those parents. I guess we all just have to do what is in our realm of capability so that we can look back and know we did all we could. I don't ever want to have regrets or wish we could have done more, so we will on going:)
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