It’s that time of year. And no, I’m not talking about Autism Awareness Month. For us, it’s time for the annual IEP. Time to schlep out “the binder” and review last year’s goals. Time for that painful rock of anxiety, that I try to keep pushed WAAAAAY down, to slowly rise from my stomach and stick in my chest and throat. Time for me to agonize over what goals for next year in 2nd grade will be in the BEST interest of my son.
I vowed to stay positive this month of April for my son and for autism awareness. But as I reviewed Henry’s most recent progress reports my positivity faulters. Yes, he has progressed in every single one of his goals. In fact, he even met his language therapy goal! We adore our SSD teachers, Mrs. T and Mrs. Q! So does Henry! Lots of wonderful comments on his progress report…his IEP progress report.
His gen. ed. progress report is a whole ‘nother ballgame. He still continues to have many “Needs Improvement” marks in every area and “Still Developing” in Written/Oral Language. (ummmm…so how did he meet his IEP language goal?) His gen. ed. teacher is amazing! I don’t think we could have gotten a better match! Miss SB always has positive things to say about Henry and she always remarks on the improvements he is making every day.
And still…the anxiety is there. The worry is there. If another parent came to me and shared these kinds of thoughts about their child, I know I would tell them to keep moving forward, focus on the positive, work together with your team, communicate with your team. Because as a parent, we know our kids and can advocate for them better than anyone else. It’s all going to be OKAY!
Do as I say, not as I do.
This year I go into Henry’s IEP more experienced in the process. Last year it took less than an hour and I came way very satisfied and as happy and hopeful as I could. This year will probably go the same way. I don’t know why I get so anxious. Quite frankly, it’s exhausting. Nonetheless, I will get through it. Somehow. As I do every year during this time. I just have to pretend to be that “other parent”. That parent that I would encourage, “It will be OKAY!”