Thursday, December 16, 2010

IEP Conference

Had to snap this super cute picture of Collin in the tub.

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned Chris and I attended Caleb's IEP* conference. I entered the conference with much fear and trepidation. You see, a year ago I walked into his initial conference as a complete novice, grossly unprepared. I walked out utterly devastated, almost inconsolable. Looking back, I think what bothered me the most is that someone used the "a" word (aspergers) for the first time. At the time, I really didn't fully understand the term, but knew enough to think it wasn't what I wanted for my son.

A year later, I would describe the conference as "uneventful." It appears Caleb has become much like his beloved chameleon: able to blend into the classroom with the few individuals picking up differences among him and his peers. He's generally following instructions, handling transitions, responding appropriately to sensory issues, and on and on. In other words, he's doing well.

Of course, the terms "quirky" and "socially delayed" were thrown out, but they seemed almost an afterthought or an aside. In fact, what I love about his teacher is that she embraces his uniqueness and adores all the quirks that make Caleb a one of a kind.

We walked out of his conference completely grateful, unable to take lightly the fact that Caleb is in a good place right now. He's surrounded by teacher and administrators who only want to see him succeed. His good days have become the norm (something we prayed for years).

This year, no tears were shed as I exited the conference. Rather, I wore a smile, amazed at the difference a year can make.

*For those who don't know, which would have been me about a year ago, IEP stands for Individual Education Program. An IEP allows teachers, administrators and parents to convene with the purpose of gaining a better understanding of a "disabled" student, creating a plan to assist the student, and offering any needed services.

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Today, Caleb reminded me his brothers would only be given Christmas gifts if they were good boys.

I followed up, "Caleb, have you been a good boy?"

He thought for a moment and then said, "Medium good."

So true.

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