Last week was Max's IEP meeting (that's Individualized Education Program, for those of you who've never had the "privilege" of attending one). This is Max's sixth IEP, and everyone on his school Team Max showed: one PT, one OT, one speech therapist, one teacher, one nurse, one school administrator and our district coordinator.
I have a tradition at these IEPs, and it doesn't involve bringing a thermos of daquiris, though that would be ever so helpful. Every year, I get teary. Seeing all the goals for the upcoming year would make me very aware of the long road that lay ahead for Max. So would hearing his therapists discuss his challenges, even though there was always progress to report, too. (Luckily, I've never had to put up a fight for more services with his current school.) IEPs are meant to make sure your child gets the education he needs and deserves—a good thing!—but they're also often a tough reality check for parents. Yes, my child has special needs. Many of them, in fact.
This year, it was different. It's my own maturity as a special needs parent, I think, and the fact that Max is really forging ahead. One by one, as his team went around the table, every single person told of the significant progress Max has made this past year. His teacher spoke about how his confidence is building and his enthusiasm to spell and read. "I've seen huge improvements," she said. He's fully potty trained at school (we're still working on it at home). In fact, he's now giving high-fives to another kid in his class in potty training after she goes.
read more: IEPs make me cry