So I was plugging along at work today, when the Outlook reminder popped up.
Oh no! I forgot that the IEP meetings for the boys was scheduled for Noon today. With no time to spare, I sent a note to my team and high-tailed it the school.
But I was not a happy camper. I had in my brain this meeting was scheduled for next week, so my IEP drafts, my notes, and my ammo (binders and letters and copies and notes and documentation) proof if you will, was all at home.
And I did not have time to go home.
So I had to decide whether to be late and be prepared, or be on-time and go without ammo.
I decided to be on time and walked in at 11:59 with that nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach.
Dread. That's it.
I signed in and walked to the conference room with Elijah's teacher. He was pleasant- and I enjoyed watching him talk to and love on a couple of kids, non-verbal, autistic students he had taught a couple of years ago. I liked what I saw.
We were soon joined by the principal, the OT, and their Special Ed manager. I won't bore you with all the details- but after a few comments I figured out quickly things were different here.
We talked about the red, yellow green method- and I was shocked and thrilled to find out that in GCE, it's a fluid system. You can get moved to yellow, or red and earn your way back to green- in one day. This may not seem like much to you, but for my boys it's huge. It means it isn't over until the day is over. And it's obviously working, Elijah has been come home on green EVERY DAY so far. NINE days.
I was still wishing I had some ammo with me, I was sure I would need it soon.
But as the conversation continued, I began to let down my guard just a bit. They were focused on the positive things about my kids. I found out they were giving praise, willingly. Instead of being nagged constantly for what he didn't do right, he's getting positive reinforcement.
They get it.
And I knew they got it when I heard them say things like..."it isn't about the teachers, it's about the kids" and "it's an Individual Education Plan, it doesn't have to be fair to every kid in the class."
And then they suggested things that we had fought tooth and nail to have for our kids without success. And they didn't need my ammo- theyjust knew it would be good for my boys and that was enough.
I sat there wondering if we were talking about the same kids. Was I in the right place? I was amazed how encouraging this meeting was.
The needs my boys have are still there and they will always be there. Have they matured, yes. Did they get a fresh start, oh yes. But when they hit the wall and the honeymoon period is over, and it will be over, the plan is in place. We have a willing team with the tools that will help my sons succeed and be the best they can be.
I left giddy.
Thankful that God had our steps ordered long ago. That the huge leap back in January was exactly what Elijah needed to prepare him for GCE. That my boys feel safe. That the teachers and staff at GCE are not freaked out by special needs kids.
Thankful for the glimpse that maybe, just maybe, all the battles we fight for our boys is worth it.
No ammo. No problem.
Happy Thursday y'all!