Nolan had his first IEP meeting. Alex and I knew he would qualify for an educational autism diagnosis. In Wisconsin there are 2 categories of criteria. 2 criteria in the first and 4 in the other. Nolan had all 6 areas marked as a concern. As much as I know Nolan needs help and I know the more he qualifies for the more people there to help. That doesn’t make it any easier to hear he is “as bad” as he can be. As a mom, a parent, you want to see your precious child be good at SOMETHING. You do not care what they are good at, just want them to feel success. Our Early Childhood Special Ed teacher did say these tests show results not potential. My teacher/logical brain knows that, my mom/emotional brain struggled. Needless to say, the IEP was harder than we thought, but we do have a plan going forward to help him improve.
I have my degree and license in Early Childhood-Middle Childhood (Birth-11 years) education. Having taught in a 4k room for 4 years, my job was early intervention. See when things aren’t quite right, report them, help form a plan, work on that plan. I understand the mechanics of it all. I understand the purpose of it all. Being a mom on this end is a whole different ball park. There are emotions. So many emotions.
As a teacher you make the plan, you follow it, you collect data, you report. Having to make all the decisions as a parent is much harder than I ever anticipated. I feel blessed I know most of what is going on with my background, I simply cannot image the stress and all that goes behind a parent who is experiencing this all for the first time and no background.
I make decisions every day towards picking whats important, agreeing or disagreeing and helping rewrite goals/IEP, picking the providers and methods of therapy, etc, but I find myself always second guessing.every.decison.I.make. Everyone. Was it the right one? If I go with option A what are the side effects, what about option B? Often there is a domino effect, is it worth to change everything and start a new one? I just wish there was someone, whether it be Nolan himself or some expert that could just tell me what’s right instead of my having to wait and watch to know if I made a good decision as well as eliminate the guilt if what I chose may not have been the best.
One thing we do know for sure, we will continue going to meetings, we will continue finding support therapists, we will keep fighting. We will keep deciding. We will keep advocating. We will keep second guessing. We will love this boy with everything we have and work with our team to help his full potential to come forth.
COMING SOON-a resources/aid page explaining what we use at home (with links & directions/tutorials). The IEP binder will be included.