Positive Vibes

Yesterday we gathered for Chloe’s annual IEP meeting — we call it an ARD meeting in Texas.  We had spent many hours preparing for this meeting.  I have a couple of incredible friends who work with me in preparing for meetings and fixing Chloe’s education, and we have all worked diligently in preparation for the meeting.

We gathered for the meeting, completely unsure of what it would hold.  Our last several IEP meetings have been combative and hostile — would this meeting continue in that?

Attending the meeting with Paul and me were my two friends.  (Remember I said I will never attend an IEP meeting alone.  No way.)  The four of us arrived at the school in our four separate vehicles about 15 minutes before the meeting was to begin.  As the school and district personnel arrived, they were sent on to the conference room while the 4 of us just waited in the lobby.  It was an uneasy feeling knowing that they were already in there meeting and getting organized while we sat, excluded, and watched the clock.  Finally 15 minutes after the scheduled meeting time, we were escorted to the conference room.  I did not have a good attitude.

But I must say that as we sat at that table and as we all — the school personnel and the 4 of us — took turns talking, asking questions, and reporting, I had the amazing feeling that sitting at this table was a team of people who had gathered for the benefit of Chloe — a feeling that I haven’t felt in over a year at school meetings.  What an amazing feeling it was!

I feel like the tone of the meeting was nice, pleasant, and good.  The teachers reported a TON of stuff that Chloe is doing for them.  To hear that she feels comfortable and safe enough with them that she is actually showing them some of her skills was an exciting feeling — a feeling of relief.

In the end, I had to adjourn the meeting before we were finished because they gave some information that I was not aware of going into the meeting — information that we need to process and plan for.  I wish I had thought to request it before the meeting.  But I asked that we adjourn the meeting and reconvene after Thanksgiving.  We will meet back Dec 1 to finish up this meeting.

I feel really good about things.  Sitting at the table were teachers who care about Chloe.  Both the general education teachers and the special education teachers obviously care about her, notice her, and value her.  The therapists at the table feel the same way about her.  I can’t tell you what that knowledge does to calm my soul.  Literally.  The hours following that meeting, my body and my spirit actually felt lighter and more at peace, knowing that the people who Chloe spends 7 hours with each day actually appreciate her and value her.



We still have a lot of work to do and a lot of things to talk about in the reconvene in a couple of weeks.  Praying that our team stays this positive and this eager.  I have more hope right now than I’ve had in over a year.  Cautious hope . . . . but HOPE!



4 responses to this post.

  1. Hope is like air… you can’t live without it! Glad it went so well.


  2. Posted by Ronda C on November 19, 2011 at 9:25 PM

    Hurray for hope! We are still praying.


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