Ariana’s IEP results meeting was yesterday. The meeting was 2 hours long with a lot of information and a lot to process. We reviewed Ariana’s psychoeducational assessment, health assessment, & speech/language assessment. We discussed her IEP and the type of classroom environment that would suit Ariana the best.
The meeting was going great and we were in agreement with the IEP that had been set. Until we started discussing her in-class toilet training goals. A couple of posts ago I spoke on how we are working on potty training at home because I personally do not feel comfortable with her being potty trained at school. It basically all went down hill from there.
The head director had to join us in the meeting because we could not come up with a plan that kept us in our comfort zone and that would best fit Ariana’s needs. I even started crying. It was just too much. I felt like I was drowning and I couldn’t be loud enough to be heard. I already felt like I failed Ariana and we had just begun this new journey with her.
They didn’t understand why toilet training was “such an issue” and that they can NOT change the plan. They said that we were the first parents EVER to have an issue with this portion of the program. I was in disbelief. How can you not change the plan to accommodate the person the plan was designed for?! Mike and I even had to step outside and discuss our options and our next step.
We felt pressured and overwhelmed. He reminded me why we are there and most importantly WHO we were there for. The room became hostile and people started to actually argue with each other. The room was definitely divided. They kept handing us ultimatums! Like not sending her to school would be a solution! I had to even step back and look at myself. Was I being too difficult? Was I being unreasonable? Being told repeatedly that they “can not” change the plan was becoming old very quickly. We finally reached an agreement and moved on with the rest of the plan and we agreed.
Once it came time to sign her IEP and stating that we agreed. I asked again about the toilet training portion of her IEP because they did not change anything on the copy I was going to sign. Then we got hit with the “LEGALLY we can not change her plan”. I was so confused and did not understand. I asked them ” if we do not sign this because we do not agree with it. Ariana will not be attending school? Is that what our options are?!” And everyone just stayed quiet!
I could not believe that they rather not let her attend school than to accommodate her IEP. We were certain that Ariana was not going to be attending school in August. Until finally the head director was brought into our meeting. She resolved the issue in 5 minutes. I’m not even joking. FIVE MINUTES. She accommodated to our requests she listened to our concerns and she solved the problem.
A new Program for toilet training was planned and set for Ariana. One within our comfort zone and one that accommodates HER. That works for HER.
I left that meeting feeling so torn! So happy that we definitely stood our ground and did not budge on what we thought was best for Ariana and then the other half of me felt sadness. Sad because this is the first time in a sea of meetings to come and we almost lost. This will not be the last time that we will have to sit in a meeting room with people trying to tell us what is best for our daughter and how and why not they can or can not accommodate to her needs.
Yesterday was the first battle in many to come. Even then… I do feel joy knowing that we did not fail her yesterday. I hope we never fail her. I hope we always speak up for her. The battles will be long and hard but she will always have someone fighting for her.