I don’t know how it’s possible but it is, once again, time for Caleb’s 3 year re-determination for special education.
For anyone who’s not familiar with the process, every 3 years a child with an IEP needs to be completely re-evaluated by the school district to determine if they still qualify for special education services. I wish there was room for doubt here for Caleb but we all know that’s not the case. As amazing as his progress has been, he’s still not at the level of a typical 9 year old. He will still qualify.
After all the fights we have had with various employees of this district, I’m still suffering from PTSD. When I see an envelope from OSE (Office of Special Education) my heart starts racing and my hands will shake. How ridiculous is that?? I read every line and completely obsess over it. The line item that ALWAYS makes me sweat is the school psychologist’s line. I’ve learned from past experience that they write these things in a very vague manner to give themselves maximum flexibility. Maximum flexibility does not work for me, I need specifics.
I feel like we have a good working relationship with Caleb’s teacher so I always hate to ask questions that might make her feel defensive. I know she isn’t all of those other people. I know this school isn’t those other schools. I still need the reassurance though.
Today I brought up the subject of the tests the psychologist will use. She wasn’t sure what tools would be used to evaluate him but she reassured me that she would be present throughout. I looked nervously at Eric and just went for it…”We don’t sign off on IQ tests…” To which she replied…
“What is this 1950? We don’t use those.”
Uh, what? Really? Because we’ve had two school psychologists in this district who were pretty darned fixated on IQ.
I must have looked confused because she added, “Whatever she uses, I’m pretty sure it will come back non-testable because he doesn’t know her. I’ll be there to make it as easy as possible and I might be able to ask the questions since I’m the familiar test giver, he has accommodations for that. What is really important is what the team members say, we all know him, we know where he’s at. We work with him every day.”
She offered to find out what tests would be used but it was my turn to reassure her, “You know what you’re doing, we’re good.”
It’s still going to suck…we still need to hear all the things he isn’t doing…but at least we don’t have to sit through that, getting beaten down emotionally, only to have to fight every step of the way through the rest of the process on top of it.
As we walked to the truck Eric shared something he’d forgotten to tell me yesterday…Caleb’s teacher is going to speak to the general education teacher to find ways to increase his inclusion time. Again. We are so far beyond “lunch, recess and specials” already that this will just put those bad memories completely in the dust.
I think maybe it’s past time to let myself truly trust his team again.