Thursday, October 30, 2014

The fight is over

Well, sometimes I have to admit defeat to the school after starting a fight, and I don't like it! Turns out after calling a person who really knows her stuff (she is over all the county as far as IEP laws go and is a parent advocate), I was told that pulling a child out early for ABA therapy is not allowed no matter how you want to write it in. She said the state is cracking down on IEPs similar to mine, and there was a training recently about how students should never miss school for therapy, etc. She apologized, and wished she could tell me differently, but unfortunately not this time. And she was really surprised that I'd gotten the district to agree to let her miss school, even for a trial period!

So I had to do the thing I dread most, and that is admitting to her resource teacher that I was wrong, that we don't need to have an IEP, that Julianna will be attending school all day starting next week. I really hated writing that email, and I even waited a couple days before I did.

Now you might be wondering what we are going to do about her therapy? Well, I have worked it out with her ABA providers for them to come from 3:30 to 5, Monday through Thursday, and then Fridays will be 2-5 like they were before (Fridays are always minimum days). They agreed to allow her less than the minimum required time of 2 hours, which is very generous. And we still get to end at 5, which is very important to me. I don't want our ABA to cut into family time or dinner time, or free play time every day after school. I also like the idea of someone coming every day after school, because maybe it will seem more effective that way. Plus it might force me to keep my house clean EVERY day, which is good!

I am also very happy that I don't have to fight something right now. I was starting to work up the energy and motivation, to believe that I could win something again. But honestly, when that woman told me there was no point in fighting it, I felt so much better. The last thing I want to do right now is fight the school district.

Something else I mentioned at the IEP last week when they first told me she could no longer go home early, even knowing how well it's helping her academically, was that this was why many parents home school their children now, especially ones with special needs, because the demands on your time to accommodate these children are often very high. They all nodded in agreement. I have done homeschool before, for just 6 short months, right before I discovered I was pregnant with Nathan. And I knew I really couldn't do my very best to teach Julianna if I had a newborn, so I placed her back in school. Looking back, I know I was inspired to make that decision, because Nathan's demands for my time were more than I ever imagined they would be. But looking forward, I know that homeschool is definitely something in Julianna's future again, I'm just not sure when.

What I do know is that every time I am faced with a problem from an IEP meeting, and I have to figure out a way to solve it, no matter what, I am learning the ins and outs of special education law. I really should just take a class! I hope that all this knowledge will serve me well for something down the road, or will serve someone who might happen to read this. Until the next IEP!

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