It’s been a day…and it’s not even close to over.
Sage’s first IEP meeting is this afternoon. It’s been difficult to focus on all the moving pieces, yet there are a lot less parts compared to what went into your first meeting. You and your brother are both unique, but in very different ways. You both qualify for Special Education services, but not all the same services. Your needs were complex and required a variety of accommodations. One of Sage’s biggest challenges is that he doesn’t “look” disabled enough, so we have to talk at length about interventions, possible scenarios and what if’s. It’s different compared to what I’m use to doing with you. It’s also twice as hard because I have to go sit down with people who know you and also miss you. This is another one of those small town issues. Everyone knows…everyone. Especially when it comes to the school system.
I’ve been working hard all day to muster up the confidence to go into this meeting like I would a work meeting. Strong and collected. I’m trying to tell myself that this is about Sage, and Sage needs the same level of attention that his sister got when it came to her educational programs and services. The best.
When we originally started the transition planning process with Sage I thought I could probably handle it on my own. I quickly learned after the Transition meeting (at your old school) that I was wrong. That’s why today I’m doing exactly what I did at your first IEP meeting, I’m bringing another advocate with me. I need someone with me who knows the law and can fill in the blanks when I’m at a loss or find myself too emotional to speak. That’s what advocates are for and I know better. Grieving makes it hard to think straight all the time and honestly when it comes to you and your brother I tend to lose myself.
Wish us luck, Olivia! Your brother needs it. #OIpride
Update: The four of us were ready, but no one else was. There was a mixup with the date. The good news is we’ll be even more ready next week. Sage is looking forward to passing out the paperwork. It’s his first IEP self-advocacy job. Next year he’ll be leading it.