Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why IEP meetings suck...

Individualized Education Program (s)

I have two "special needs" kiddos, one with Aspergers and the other with a speech delay, so I get to go to two of these meetings this time of year.   I just survived the first one of the year after finally getting my son diagnosed so we could do something.  Basically, this has been a three year war of telling the school, "He doesn't have ADHD!" and the school telling me "He doesn't qualify for services with out an outside diagnoses."  Then, I had a battle with health insurance and then, the lack of health insurance.

(My apologies to the readers of my other blog.  I don't think you can blame if my sense of humor has been lacking these past few months)

For parents that have gone through this, you know how incredibly hard theses meeting are.  For those of you that haven't consider yourselves lucky because they suck.

Why IEP meetings suck: 

Because I'm sober.  As much as I enjoy hearing everything that is wrong with my kid and how I, a small insignificant parent, am unwittingly screwing up his education, asking me to listen to it sober is really too much.  (This is also the reason I add liquor to my coffee when the grandparents visit)

I feel like my lifestyle on trial.  We live in a pretty conservative area and I'm liberal, feminist, environmentalist, artist.  I don't tell my kids what to wear or think or believe.  (I consider belief and thought to be very different things) There are very few occasions when I don't feel like a total space alien around these parts.  Most of the time I'd don't really give crap, but this is the school where my son wants to smuggle his empty milk cartons from the lunchroom so he can recycle them! 

Then, there are the valid points that make me feel like crap.  Yes, my kid should have an earlier bedtime.  Yes, I should work harder to make sure he's on time.  In my defense, it's hard to get a kid to school on time when they don't want to go.

My real concerns are met with blank stares. WHAT ABOUT THE BULLYING!?  
Why are these other kids such little assholes?  (okay, I didn't say assholes in a school meeting, but that's what I meant to say.)

I wanted to cry, but I didn't

I wanted to scream all the things my son CAN do but I wanted to get the hell out of there more.  So, finally I sat down and shut my mouth and wished for it to end.

Then, I had to relive the entire experience while explaining to my spouse, who had to work.  I had to answer the question, "Why didn't you ________?" Over and over.  
My answer? 

I felt tired, overwhelmed and alone.

Sorry to be such a downer today, there are highlights to parenting these special kids, there really are.  Maybe I'll feel like talking about that later, but right now, I'm beyond tired.