Well round number two of Makenzie's IEP is done. We will finish the IEP up with a third round early next week.
All in all it was a great meeting. I am pretty sure the best one we have had yet in the 287 or so meetings I have attended thus far regarding Makenzie's education.
I did really well keeping emotion out of the equation until the very end.
We started with a list of things that I wanted to address. Then we moved onto the agenda the school had printed out. I laughed when I read the time frames they had listed on the agenda an example being the 5 minutes they allotted to talk about Makenzie's OT goals. They allotted the same amount of time for PT, speech, and academic goals as well. Maybe one day they will learn that overshooting time frames would be more advantageous and realistic as we are about 4 hours into this IEP and heading in for another two ish hour meeting next week. I guess it was wishful thinking!
I think we have a great start on Makenzie's goals. We are going to be utilizing a talker this year and that opens up a whole new world in the realm of Academics. Our focus this year is going to be on learning how to use the talker to do a multitude of things on top of talking. It is so exciting to start thinking about all of the things Makenzie can use it for to show us that she understands and is learning what she is being taught.
The best part of this whole meeting was finding out that Makenzie will be receiving a talker to use at school. I do not care how they get it but the fact that they understand that it is their responsibly to acquire it and the plan in place at the moment is to have a loaner within two weeks and a permanent device before the loaner needs to be returned is nothing short of a miracle!
This year Makenzie also has a walker that she loves. When we started talking about Makenzie's PT goals we discussed when and where Makenzie should be using her walker. I think my heart skipped a beat thinking about the day her aid tells me that Makenzie walked out to recess all by herself!
Of course we talked about classroom modifications, equipment, and training. Until Makenzie spends a bit more time in the classroom it will be hard to know what modifications will need to be made in the classroom but the one thing I know for sure is that she will have a place at a table that will be high enough to accommodate her chair. Small victories are oh so sweat! We will also have a training session with Makenzie's aid and the PT on Monday to make sure Makenzie is taken out of and put into her equipment correctly. On Weds. the school PT will be coming to the house during PT to collaborate further with our home PT on how to best accommodate Makenzie's needs.
The next time we meet we will be discussing Least Restrictive Environment, the transition plan, and Makenzie's schedule throughout the day. I am very nervous about these subjects because I know I do not agree with many of the thoughts the school has around these subjects. I am also sure the "it is not appropriate for a parent to be in the classroom" conversation will be had and that has been known to be the beginning, middle , end, and final straw talk in the past. I am hoping that they are smart enough not to bring that up. I have already told them that I will be leaving Makenzie at school on Monday. However along with that comes Makenzie's mommy checking in whenever her little heart feels necessary. There are no threats in this next statement however........ the moment I feel unwelcome at the school and unable to make sure my girl is safe will be the last moment Makenzie is at this school. By no means has the school made me feel unwelcome but I feel it coming. I have been in this place one to many times to miss the subtle comments that were thrown out today.
I wish the school could understand the love I have for my child. I wish they could understand the feeling you get not knowing if you baby was going to live or die. I wish they could understand that I won't hover for long if they just back off and understand that this is a process for both of us. Trust is earned and when it comes to Makenzie you REALLY have to earn it but it is possible.
I wish that they could understand how badly I just want to sit and take in everything Makenzie does. I could sit and watch all day. I don't get to watch very often. I am usually looking at the back of Makenzie's head struggling just to get her body to do what it needs to do.
I don't get to watch her play with her friends or go down the slide. I don't get to watch her color. I don't get to watch her do a lot of things. I am there but I never get to sit back and just enjoy her beautiful smile because I am behind her helping her hold the crayon, or she is on my lap going down the slide. Makenzie doesn't have play dates so friend interaction with kids her age is usually something I can only see while she is at school. However, my presence is not appropriate and quite honestly that makes me a bit bitter because I am the one who has loved my daughter through the last 4 years. I gave birth to her and the thought of not getting to hear my daughter ask a friend to play with her for the first time makes me cry..... literally.
So before you have any talks with me about visitor policy's or what is appropriate and what is not, I ask that you please choose your words very carefully!
Well, now that I have have written a post that is completely all over the place I am going to go to bed.
Believe. Prayer Works