Fellow parents of children with IEPs...today was our IEP day. Need I say more? How do you say more? How does one explain the myriad of emotions a parent experiences as the team shares their input and goals?
When Max's speech therapist proudly told me about him starting to demonstrate some "teasing" (he sat in someone's else chair during circle time and apparently thought he was quite clever!), I was overjoyed and started to cry with such happiness and pride. Then those tears turned a little into sadness that I was so excited about my child doing such a simple thing. Does that make sense?
I am overwhelmingly proud of my lil' man. He blows me away each and every day. And I really feel I have let go of a lot of my "expectations" and learned to accept him for who he is. I have learned (well...it's a process) that my goal now simply is for him to reach his potential...whatever that may be.
But wow...I read through the 40 pages of his IEP and every once in a while, it hits. And it hits hard. Those emotions of...oh my goodness, is this really my child's life? We have a goal of him taking his jacket off independently by next year. He would be five years old and we would be celebrating him taking off his jacket. Wow. Perhaps it was because I read the inital draft of the IEP at 1am after a difficult day...but some of the goals (and they are right on) are such harsh reminders of his delays and challenges. (The team doesn't mean to be harsh of course...it's just reality of what Max can or cannot do at this time.)
The good news is that the school district's special education director was at the meeting and approved ANOTHER year of one to one assistance for Maxwell. She was absolutely blown away by Maxwell's progress and proudly said "I told you so. I told you he had incredible potential and was going to do great!"
We are really blessed to have a team that adores Maxwell and is passionate about him reaching his potential! So for now, we will just put the IEP away for another day and continue to move forward with Max's great achievements...