Todd – “Hey, what are you doing?”
Me – “Just got the kids ready for school and now I am finishing up breakfast. What are you doing?”
Todd – “Trying to get this day started. I have a lot of meetings.”
Me – “Well, I’m finishing up the bacon for the boys.”
Todd – “I know I told you I didn’t think I could make it to Carter’s IEP meeting today but I have moved meetings around and I am going to be able to come.”
Me – “Really? That is GREAT.”
Honestly – I was thrilled. I always dread IEP meetings and I need that extra person in the room to hold my hand. I am so emotional when it comes to my boys and what is best for them – sometimes in those meetings I break down or have tears in my eyes the entire time. Plus, Todd and I go through a lot of – WELL – tip toeing around the autism subject. I mean we discuss but – you women know men – never know what they are REALLY thinking or feeling (I guess they could say the same about us sometimes). It made my heart happy to know that he wanted to be there – to hold my hand.
When I arrived at the school – my heart started racing. I gathered myself and made my way inside the school. As I entered the conference room a very pretty young woman was sitting at the table. It was his Occupational Therapist. She is a sweet person and genuinely cares about my Carter. While she and I chit chatted – one by one the other members of Carter’s IEP team arrived. When chit chatting with his OT and teacher I felt a rub on my shoulder and I looked up and it was my husband. No matter where I am – when he walks in the room I still get a little gitty to see him. Enough of that mushy stuff and on to the IEP meeting…. 🙂
We started the IEP meeting and a long story short – Carter has improved tremendously compared to this time last year. (It will be a year on Feb 15th since he was diagnosed.) Everyone had positive things to say about his development. He has come a long way in his fine motor skills, he can carry on a conversation with his peers, he is becoming more social, his outburst are not as frequent, he can stay on task, he can now move on from one subject to the next without getting very upset, and the list goes on. We took out some of his goals from his last IEP meeting because he has met them and we have added some new goals.
The principal said something to Todd and I that made me feel good about what we are doing as parents. She basically told us that she can see a big difference in him from last year and that she can tell that we work with him at home. Basically – we are hands on – we are doing everything we can and we are doing something right. I mean – I can tell a difference in him – but I always wonder if others can too.
Carter has been blessed with a terrific teacher this year. She has been a God send and there needs to be more teachers like her…. We love her because she loves our child, teaches him, doesn’t treat him any less than any other child, she treats him as normal as possible and she is open and honest with us. If she has concerns she lets us know and if we have concerns we feel confident enough to go to her and know she will do everything she can to help us/him. I am thankful and so wish she could be his teacher every year until he graduates. Unfortunately, that is not reality… which I give two thumbs down on.
When Todd and I walked out of the school – he said to me… “That went GREAT!” All I could do was respond with a smile – because that was the first time I wanted to cry today – to cry with happiness… to cry because we are succeeding and Carter is flourishing.
So – today was a good day. The IEP meeting went GREAT – we couldn’t have asked for any better…. AND I didn’t shed a tear in the meeting. I left the school with an over excited heart – a heart that was full – a heart that was smiling because for the first time since he was diagnosed… I honestly feel that Carter is going to be able to function in society on his own… We have only been kicking butt for a year working setting goals and conquering them… we have several years to go before he is an adult… and if we keep up this pace… he will succeed. I in no way underestimate my little man anymore – I have before … he proves me wrong all the time and I am okay with being wrong. As he grows older I can’t wait to see the things he will be able to do.
If any members of Carter’s IEP team are reading this – please know how grateful Todd and I are for the help and support you have given Todd and I and for everything you do for our son. Your efforts do not go unnoticed.
We’ve come a long way from last year…. which I couldn’t ask for anything more. I know that there will probably be some ups and downs down the road BUT right now – baby steps are becoming a steady walk and I can’t wait for the sprint to the finish line.
We’ve come so far to give up who we are. So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars. ~Pharrell Williams