Become the Case Manager
You and your husband are the people primarily responsible for your son's health care and education, so do not ever feel that you must turn this decision making process over to someone else. This may be a source of your confusion and anger. If things feel out of control, then take your control back.
However, the only person you control is yourself. You will need to learn more about the process, disability, evaluations, child development, curriculum, and goal writing before you feel more in control. The school is running their own agenda. And so are you. That is inevitable.
Once you again resume the position of "case manager," as you did before he started school, you will feel more informed and in control.
Allow the School to Develop an IEP and Educate Your Child
If the school has determined that your son needs an IEP, they have also determined that he has a disability that affects a major life activity and is severe enough to require specialized instruction. So by all means, allow them to do their job and educate him. This decision would have been made based upon evaluations.
Make sure you understand what the evaluations say and what the evaluator's recommendations mean. Read this article on Tests and Measurements.
The IEP has educational and functional goals. That is what you need to address. You need to be looking at how an aide will participate in your son's mastery of the curriculum.
Focus on Your Child
Do not speculate about what an aide might do to benefit other people. Why do you care what the school is getting, or not getting, out of this? Do not make this an issue about guessing at other people's agendas. They are largely irrelevant if you know how to do your own job of knowing what your son needs and securing it for him. Why waste the time finding out?
Focus on your son. Will he be prepared for second grade or not? That is the question.
You say you believe your son is "2e". If you mean twice exceptional, disabled in one area and gifted in another, how do you know? This information comes from evaluations, not a belief. Find out, but what does it matter? The IEP is supposed to make sure he learns the curriculum and is prepared for second grade.
Preserve the Right to Special Education
Your first step is to understand the process, the evaluations, and to possibly get additional evaluations from private sector specialists. Without seeing the evaluations that have already been done, and the educational program that is in place, then I cannot tell you anything about that.
By all means, accept at least part of the first IEP in order to preserve his right to special education.
These are links to directories of advocates.
Avoid Getting Off Track
Going with the flow is never the way to go. Consulting with private sector specialists, possible additional evaluations done by private sector specialists, and learning the process would be the way to go.
Anytime you feel yourself focusing on how you will control another person, rather than on what you will set in place to accomplish your goal, know that you are off track.
Meet Sue Whitney
In Doing Your Homework, she
writes about reading, research based instruction, No Child Left Behind, and
strategies for using federal education standards to advocate for
and to improve public schools. Her articles have been reprinted by SchwabLearning.org, EducationNews.org, Bridges4Kids.org, The Beacon: Journal of Special Education Law and Practice, the Schafer Autism Report, and have been used in CLE presentations to attorneys. Sue Whitney's bio.
Copyright © 2002-2012 by Suzanne Whitney.