Dante’s obviously not a CPA
September 14, 2007 by Niksmom
Dante counted wrong. That’s all I can say about today’s IEP meeting. It was, to put it mildly, the longest and most unpleasantly unproductive meeting I have been to in a long, long time. The actual content of the meeting was pretty predictable; we let school start to go through their spiel and, when the opportunity presented itself, we brought up the issue of whether school was appropriate for Nik at this point in time.
Now, I must rewind a tad and tell you that one of the attendees of today’s meeting was the district psychologist. Not an unusual happenstance at an IEP for a multiply disabled child who has been identified as being somewhere on the autism spectrum and having behavioral challenges to address. However, this guy not only didn’t know jack about my son, he couldn’t even be bothered to try to remember anyone’s name. Instead of “Mrs. Niksmom,” I became “MOTHER” —usually said in a very condescending tone and followed by the phrase “I’m going to say something you won’t like.” Yup, by the time this jerk was finished, I didn’t like ANYTHING he had to say; just the sound of his voice made me want to poke him in the eye. Lucky for him he was a few seats away and my arms aren’t that long!
Seriously, this guy must have taken a course in how to piss off absolutely everyone in an IEP meeting! He “Mother”-ed me until I wanted to scream; he ignored my husband completely. Nope, did not address him ONCE. And the school OT? “That young lady there at the end of the table…” Somewhere along the line after I had voiced significant concerns over the fact that there is no SLP yet and my son has a documented regression and loss of previous skills, Bobo (the sarcastic name our advocate came up with for him when we talked after the meeting) made an assumption that I was threatening litigation and got all snotty and condescending about the law says this and the law says that. Guess he missed the fact that I knew what the hell I was actually talking about. GRRRRRRR.
Bobo continued to be overbearing and condescending. I suppose I must take comfort in the fact that it wasn’t personal; the guy is just an ass, plain and simple. He interrupted everyone; he talked over people as they were trying to talk. I finally shouted at him to let me finish what I was saying. Did he? Nope. Our advocate is actually going to complain to the district about his unprofessional conduct.
So, when all is said and done? The meeting sucked and Bobo strong-armed us into signing off on something “to insure your son’s services since his previous IEP has expired.” We indicated we were doing so under protest; we didn’t receive any copies of anything to take home with us —not even the attendance sheet! We are actually considering filing a due process complaint.
Niksdad and I left the meeting —two and a half hours later— feeling like all the goodwill we had for the school staff —and theirs for us— been trampled and spat upon by this one individual.. In the end, we had nothing to show for it except wounds oozing frustration and anger.
Nik is not returning to school.
I don’t know what it will look like in terms of who will be responsible for services. Our advocate, whom I trust implicitly, assures us we will not be left high and dry. She’s already coaching me on working “the angles” (all legitimate by the way!) with Medicaid and the state DOE. As I may have mentioned before, she’s fairly well connected and has been doing this sort of stuff for many years. She has also lived through it with her own child who is now attending the local community college with accommodations and an attendant. Like I said —I trust her implicitly.
The hardest part for Niksdad and me has been in letting go and trusting that we are doing the right thing for Nik and for our family unit. We do. It is scary, I won’t lie. But I figure after the 209 days in the NICU, all the surgeries and the repeated scares and daunting diagnoses —well it’s just another day in the life. As long as we weather it together, we’ll make it through the storm.
Thanks so much to everybody for all the love and support and prayers. I guess, I forgot to ask for those prayers to include EASE! LOL. Oh well. The vision I put out there is going to come to pass. In that I do have faith.
Now, it’s off for a celebratory dish of B&J’s Karmel Sutra ice cream to celebrate and toast the great unknown.