I have recently gotten a crash course in deep breathing exercising and stress management techniques.
Don’t get me wrong: I am used to high – stress situations. In fact, some might say that I do best in high-stress situations. And I have been through some high stress situations. But nothing I have experienced in my entire life would prepare me for the process of getting my newly diagnosed, High-Functioning Autistic (HFA + AD/HD) child an IEP.
Now you must understand: I only want an IEP for two purposes. ONE: my insurance (which is currently covering hours of ABA therapy, mental health counseling, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and social skills classes) requires that he have an IEP in order to qualify (insurance-wise) for these therapies. Right now, we are getting the coverage, but it is a temporary status while we wait for the IEP to be finished. TWO: Christian desperately needs to be in a different school next year (see the following post). In order to accomplish putting him into a program that will better suit his needs, I need him to qualify for the McKay Scholarship. And — yup, you guessed it — he needs an IEP to qualify for a McKay Scholarship.
However, the school does not understand the definition of an Autism Spectrum Disorder. Because he is “high functioning,” he is able to maintain decent grades. They argue that if the student’s grades are decent, they won’t qualify for an IEP, while we (his parents and autism team) assert that there are developmental and social skills that are not being met.
It’s becoming more and more apparently they are going to outright refuse to give him an IEP. So today I hired an advocate, and, if necessary, I will then hire an attorney, because my child absolutely meets the qualifications for an IEP/504. The next meeting is scheduled for the 5th of March, and I really need this to work out.
In the meantime, I am fighting every step of the way for my child, trying to protect him from what is going on every day at that school. The trauma that Christian has endured this school year from the over stimulation, the lack of accommodations, the crazy schedule, the bullying students and the bullying teacher is literally destroying my son a little bit every day. I am so concerned and worried for his physiological and psychological safety it is actually terrifying. How does one continue sending their child to school every day when they fear for their child’s well – being?
I am so tired. So very, very tired. And it’s only been the preliminary meetings. Will let you guys know how it shapes up.