The girls IEPs (Individual Educational Plans) for the next school year are tomorrow morning. My stomach is already in knots. IEP meetings can be an amazing time to hash out what works for your kid and how you can get them the help they need. Or they can be battleground with shouting and crying.
For once, I am going into an IEP totally prepared and knowledgeable about what is going to happen. And (mostly) okay with it. But still the hollow feeling in my stomach is there. Too many IEPs and decisions weigh on my mind. And then there's my nervousness at taking this step.
The plan is to transition both the of the girls to mainstream classrooms. Calamity Jane will take a community spot at one of the local college's preschools. She will go all day (from 8:30 to 3:30) which will be good for her and for our family dynamic. She needs somewhere to channel her energy and intensity and the regularity of the schedule should help regulate her moods. This has been the plan for a while and I feel very confident about it.
But I am not so sure about Desmonda Drama. She's supposed to transition into Title 1 but we're not guaranteed a place in it. We do have a co-op spot for her three mornings a week but without that one on one attention every day I am worried she will sink instead of swim. I know she needs the social push but she also needs the therapy.
At the heart of it is the fear of seeing my girls leave the protected nest of the special needs world. There they are superstars, social butterflies, and the successes of their teachers. I love that they have their moments in the spotlight, on the A list, of being large and in charge.
My challenge for next year is how to preserve that feeling for them. How do I find the places that they can shine if it doesn't happen for them in the classroom?