Hurray for Back to School!
September can be a bumpy road when trying to juggle the new "normal" in a family's daily routine. Soon it will feel less hectic and you will have a moment to breathe (or so I keep telling myself). With the beginning of a new school year comes the first of many meetings; whether it's for initial testing, evaluation, or for creation or re-evaluation of student IEPs or 504s. We begin to focus and ensure that everything is on track for a successful school year for our children.
It never ceases to amaze me how anxious I become as a parent as I prepare for these meetings. As parents we are fully prepared to fight for the rights of our children, (My mama bear side seems to rear its head as I prepare to fight for my young cub). I suppose this is just a natural way for us to feel, but at times we find ourselves wishing that this process could be so much easier.
Think about this...
What if we went in as a team, understanding that each individual will be heard?
What if each person of the team felt that their contributions and thoughts were respected and valued?
What if we left that meeting with a consensus on a "move forward" plan?
What if there was follow-through and consistency amongst all team members?
In all honesty, this is how it should go. These "what ifs" are completely obtainable if parents, along with the school team, come prepared and ready to focus on the needs of the child.
So how do we as parents prepare ourselves?
1. Dig into the process a little bit more
Understand what rights you have as a parent, and what is expected from the school pertaining to your child's rights.
2. Connect with a support system
Seek individuals who have an understanding of the process and who are there for you! (That's US!)
3. Understand this is a process
Knowing that these processes take some time is difficult, but it's important to realize that it won't all happen immediately. Certain things must be done within a certain time period.
Wishing you all the best in the successful planning for the upcoming school year!