Tuesday, April 11, 2006

IEP time again . . .

Today we had an IEP meeting for Dustin. For all you non-special education parents, an IEP is an Individualized Education Plan that outlines Dustin's goals and objectives for the next schoolyear. It also encompasses what he is capable of and what his disablilites are at school. They have been typically traumatic things for us as Dustin's behavior has always been a sticking subject for the school system. Dustin is in a moderately handicapped program. This is due to his low IQ and how far behind he is in school as well as his behavior. He reads at a pre-kindergarten level. He is capable of doing addition and subtraction, telling time, discriminating money, making change and is very good at spelling. Next year he goes to middle school. Middle School! Argh! That scares the bahooties out of me! (that's one of my favorite words . . . bahooties)

However, today, I had a wonderful IEP meeting. For the first time we didn't have 8 billion people there. It was just me and the teacher. (Robert was at another appointment with the "littles") She was quite kind and happy about Dustin's progress. His behavior has much improved and he is making steady progress in dealing with peer relations, they will never be perfect, but he is learning how to interact better with MANY reminders and MUCH praise. (and a good comibination of drugs) It is nice to finally stop hearing about his whining since I have continually reminded his teacher that it will NOT get any better with nagging, we have to ignore and deal with it.

It is nice to have some positive comments after such a difficult winter. Sometimes with special needs children, especially those with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, you get so down after hearing negatives all the time. It is so refreshing to have those times when people are actually positive about your child's progress. I am trying to hold on to those times and remember them during the hard times. I have learned in my 5 years with Dustin that I cannot always be so negative, I have to take the bad times and laugh when I get frustrated. It is the only way not to go crazy. I also have to remember that his behavior is not a reflection on my parenting skills, he is damaged! (that may sound harsh, but it is a reality) I can only be supportive and loving. He is better off having a loving home and stable environment. Hopefully that will get us all through. Right now, I'm going to go home and hug my boy!

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