I have so many thoughts that my noodle resembles a Gordian Knot. I’m trying to both keep a decent working relationship with Monkey’s school district and serve his best interests. I’m not sure it it possible to do both now.
Let me first acknowledge my role in this current situation. I antagonized the team leader. She disliked me before we ever met face to face and that was my fault. I let my temper and my distrust and my anxiety get the better of me and, in one disastrous phone call, set the path of this year’s IEP into a downward spiral. I’m not letting her or the rest of the team off the hook but I want to be clear that the relationship did not become so fraught simply because of the district’s actions. My reaction certainly played a role in where we stand right now.
I have a lot of reasons why I reacted as I did, we do have a history of difficult IEP meetings, but I should have treated this year’s IEP as a new process not a continuation of the past. We had an entirely new team and they did not have any knowledge of our past experiences. I still feel that they handled the request for this year’s evaluations poorly, they should not have ever thought it was OK, under any circumstances, to ask for a blank check reevaluation. They should have followed the law and included in the request the specific evaluations they wanted to perform. Failing that they should have answered my questions when I inquired about the specific evaluations they wanted to perform. They should not have ignored my question and then pressured my husband to sign the form with vague threats that we were running out of time because IEPs had to be completed in April.
Even given all of that, I should have kept a tighter reign on my temper. I should not have talked down to the team leader. I should not have even argued the technicalities of the law with her even if I knew I was right. I know I was TECHNICALLY right. They were WRONG…but still…maintaining the relationship should have been more important. I’m not saying I should have done as they asked but I could have handled it better. I know this and I have regrets to be sure.
So where are we? School has ended. The district has closed up shop, the teachers, therapists and the team leader are all gone until a few days before school starts…and we don’t have a placement for Monkey. The team leader has washed her hands of us and left us with very few options. We can reject the IEP in part or we can reject it in it’s entirety per her final e-mail to us. I know that this is not in any one’s best interests. The district cannot adequately plan for next year and neither can we unless we first know where he will be. If left as it stands, Monkey will return to kindergarten in September and we will have to start over with a new team. No matter what happens, our next IEP meeting will be with a completely new team. Given that, I decided I could not make things much worse by…going over the team leader’s head. *Sigh* I know.
If I have to decide between being friendly or being right I need to come down more firmly on the friendly side in the future but if the only option left to me is being friendly or doing what it takes to fix the situation…I’m going to come down on the what it takes side. My e-mail to the Assistant Director received a response today, we’re going to chat to discuss my “concerns.” Now is when I start reminding myself over and over and over…FRIENDLY, we’re being FRIENDLY now. It pretty much means I have to leave aside all of my (legitimate) grievances and see what we can work out. I dislike it strongly when my head and my heart are on such completely different sides of a situation. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it.