As I sat at that table, listening to the "experts" tell me what was best for my boy, I wanted to explode. Explode in anger, expletives, tears, wails--you name it, I wanted to make it happen. Nine reported "professional experts" telling me my son was too smart for the school system to take care of anymore. Nine virtual strangers--who don't really know my boy--who don't understand or recognize his needs--deciding that because he is intelligent and scores well on standardized tests that he does not need any school services other than speech. I know my boy. I understand what he needs. I understand that cutting out his OT service is devastating--and I tell them.
From the back corner I hear a voice pipe up--a new lady--the first time she has ever been to one of the boy's IEP meetings. A woman who doesn't know my boy at all--only by name. And she says to me, "If you take nothing else out of this you need to understand this is a good thing. You need to celebrate his success." Wow. Celebrate his success. After numerous calls from the Principal's office about his behavior; after his teacher spewing her dislike of him to other parents; after he has been forced into the back corner of his room to keep him quiet, now I need to celebrate is success. He is smart--no kidding. I already knew that. His speech is improving--no kidding, tell me something I don't know. Let me tell you something new-you just yanked the only service that was truly helping him. But hey--let's celebrate!
My boy is likely on the Autism spectrum--having a preliminary diagnosis of Asperger's. And let me tell you what I celebrate. I am so happy my boy is NOT like all the others. He is independent. He is creative. He is expressive. I have no reason to believe that once he graduates and enters the world on his own, he will be successful at whatever he chooses to do. I celebrate his uniqueness every day. But he has an impairment. Would you take glasses away from someone with a vision impairment?
I concordance with New Years Resolution #2, we will be pursuing our own avenues for therapy and related services. As the girl would say, "You go get 'em, ok?"