Sooo, it’s been a little while since I last posted here.
Truth be told, life has a way of getting in the way of itself, and I’d plum forgotten until several people told me recently that I need to be writing. Not just for my benefit, but for the benefit of the millions of parents who struggle daily with all the ins and outs, ups and downs of raising multiple children on the spectrum. Oh, you read that right. When I started this blog, we had just one of the four boys on the spectrum. Some information has come to light, shall we say, and while we are still awaiting DD (Diagnosis Day), we think we can safely say that at least two children in our house (and more likely three) are somewhere on the spectrum.
But, I digress. Today was IEP Annual Review day. It went very well, as expected (these are no longer the horror show they once seemed to us to be).
I posted this on Facebook, and would like to share it with you here. I’ll continue to post as often as I remember to do so, because let’s face it: we need the sense of community that comes from knowing that we are not alone in this.
“So, one of the things that many of you know about me and my husband is that we are fierce advocates for the kids, especially when it means voicing an opinion regarding services.
I’ve had countless conversations with parents who say “But how do you stand up and say what’s on your mind to the school?”
I’m sorry, what? What do you mean, “how”?
Okay. So, I get that not everyone is the squeaky wheel that I am. But when it comes to your kids, get squeaky, y’all! We aren’t always the only people in their corner, but our kids *have* to count on at least knowing that their parents will always fight for what their kids need.
Today, we didn’t really need to fight, and we knew that walking into the meeting. But an interesting moment did come up, and I found myself asking the chairperson whether what was up for discussion was even helpful to our discussion.
Just because you may be talking to a committee chair, does not mean that your voice is unimportant. In fact, it’s completely the opposite. These meetings can absolutely feel daunting, overwhelming, frightening, but the simple fact is this: YOU KNOW YOUR CHILD BEST. And you know, deep down, whether you want to face it or not, what they actually need. You may not always know what all of your options are, and that’s when you say “Hey, what are our options here?”.
The takeaway here is this:
1) ASK QUESTIONS. Ask ALL the questions. It’s not just your right, it’s your duty as your child’s parent.
2) KNOW that there are people in that room with you who truly believe in your child, and who are there to help you.
3) ADVOCATE. Ready? We’re gonna spell it: A-D-V-O-C-A-T-E!”
More about the actual meeting later…. stay with me lovies, I’ll be back.