I had an IEP meeting for Oliver this week. A few years ago, IEP meetings filled me with fear. Everything I had heard was "us vs. them" and how I need to fight for my children. My first few meetings were terrible. I was combative and defensive. I then realized that the people sitting around the table were all on my team - Waverly & Oliver's team. Yes, we would disagree over special services and goals. However, coming to the table with respect and collaboration truly has helped the process go smoothly.
I know our family is fortunate to live in a school district with wonderful special education services. They have so much to offer my kids. The meeting was so easy. The teachers and staff know Oliver and they realize that his situation is unique. Our goals are focused on maintaining skills and adapting to changes, while still focusing on certain skills to move forward.
It was sad though. His teacher and the therapists all talked about how his attention span has significantly decreased over the past few months. It is much more difficult to get him to focus on a task for more than a few seconds.
One of the reasons I am so hesitant to move out of this particular school is that they know Waverly & Oliver, really know them. They have been at the school for 3 years. They have seen the changes in both kids. They can look at Waverly and anticipate what the next few years are going to look like for Oliver. I know that a new school would quickly fall in love with the kids, but I find solace in the fact that they "knew them when". I think it helps them understand the cruelty of Sanfilippo and all that it takes away.