I have a headache. The IEP is Friday. This is a big one- we are transitioning to a new school, one with people who don't know Joey. I have to find a way to translate what I see into terms of black and white, specific goals to be met, skills to be taught. I have to walk that line of what he cannot do, weighed with what he can; He is doing super-well, but he's still disabled. I have to get people to understand why functioning is important to educational progress. School people patting themselves on the back for how far he's come, and having to dampen that with how far we have to go.
Why can't Joey join in pretend games with other children? Why is that important to his academic progress? How do you explain the value of dynamic intelligence, of social inclusion, of being able to connect and remain connected? How do you explain intellectual development as more than reading, writing, and arithmetic, in a world where standardized testing reigns supreme?
Why can't Joey grasp the idea of history and time, when he can tell you exactly what time it is at any given moment? How do you express concern about teaching abstract concepts to a child who is so firmly concrete?
Why can't I get Joey to read at home, independently? Why can't I get him to focus on a book? What I can I do to help him understand the importance of being able to find information for himself? How do we instill a sense of imagination, so that he will better be able to problem-solve and think outside the box?
And how do I introduce this child to these new folks? Should I be assembling a set of notebooks, packed with information about autism and approaches to teaching? Do I need more than the latest set of evaluations, thin as that packet now is? Should I have called Kluge and had a full re-evaluation?
Then there is the looming battle of OT. I've already been given the heads' up that the OT wants to release him to "consult only." Yet I see so many issues, some of them even regressions. I can't get the private eval until May, so I won't have that piece of paper to fight this battle. Should I take a clip form kindergarden, place next to a clip from last month, and make that part of my powerpoint? I know Mrs. H will be there and have a plan for him, she'll be there to help, she'll be there for him, but next year, I'm on my own again, and we don't know who will be doing the program management, or if that person will care about Joey. Will this new school be more like this one, or more like the preschool? Will they have the skills to give Joey what he needs, or will I have to fight for training, service, understanding?
Farewell, frying pan. Namaste, Agni.