I don't expect it to be a long meeting. Obviously, neither do they, as they have slated it for 2pm knowing I have to be home for two kids getting off a bus at 3:30. It won't take long.
We go in to address the recent behaviors that have erupted, the dramatic meltdowns that, to me, is evidence of a serious support issue. After all, Joey isn't learning much when he is screaming obscenities and exploding from frustration. Well, not much about math or history, anyway.
My goal tomorrow is to crunch some data. I want to be ready with some nice graphics when I get asked if I might be wrong, if this might really be a discipline issue. He is getting older, after all. Puberty is upon us, after all. Perhaps...
And before I smack someone, I am going to come up with my nice little graphic. The one that shows him reading on a 6th grade level in second grade, compared to reading below grade level in third, fourth, and fifth grades. The one showing him able to write in full sentences in kindergarden, but now unable to pass a reading SOL* test- in fact, scoring "below basic." The graphic showing his IEP goals being met, and what they were, and his new goals- from being nearly independent in regular classrooms, to returning to the need for a para in every setting.
And then I'm going to have printouts. Each and every powerpoint I have made for these people, starting with the one I made for the third grade IEP. And we're going to take a look at all the times I told them about the red flags for meltdown, and then go through the documentation for the latest incident. Then a little graphic with those red flags actually IN RED- and at what point in the narrative they each appeared. A nice correspondence to the interventions that should have occurred at each of these flags, versus what was actually done, might not be amiss.
A nice graphic about the successful models of support for Joey, versus the time we have moved away from that model, would also be good.
I don't expect to sleep at all tomorrow night. Might not get much tonight, either. Too much work to do.
It is time like these that I am reminded of everyone who told me I ought to be a lawyer. Building a case in clear terms and overwhelming evidence, that is what I have learned to do as an academic. Prep to respond to critique, have the evidence clear and connected, keep it all clear, coherent, and cohesive.
And when my child's life is on the line, don't back down.
*These are our state's standardized tests, "Standards of Learning."