My dad called me tonight on his way home from Ohio to ask me how things went at the big meeting. It just happened that he called me while I was driving Courtney through the neighborhood to get her to sleep. She had a meltdown at bedtime and sometimes that is the easiest way to get her down. During the phone conversation, my dad mentioned that he was worried for me because he was worried I would get emotional during the meeting. He said it can’t be easy to talk about the challenges your child has. As a parent you go into meetings hoping you hear nothing but good things about your child. Here Joe and I went to a meeting, with the help of our awesome advocate, to prove why our daughter is too severe to be in a specific classroom. Instead of listing all these positives about Courtney, we were talking about her lack of social skills, her lack of peer relations, her lack of communication, her increase in biting and other aggressive behaviors. I had to talk bad about my beautiful girl. (Side note, It wasn’t all bad. We talked a lot about how much progress she has made in 1:1 settings.) So when my dad said he was worried about me getting emotional, I assured him I didn’t but I told him it is hard. It’s horribly hard to focus on the bad.
I was able to remain calm during this meeting for a couple reasons. The main reason is probably because we have this fantastic advocate who has become our voice through this. I have also learned through some difficult situations in my life, that if I dig deep and focus on my goal, I can stay level headed and not let the emotions get the best of me. The goal in today’s meeting? Getting what my husband and I think is the best education for Courtney. I bought a Disney shirt for Joe, the girls and myself that had the autism puzzle pieces in the shape of Micky. At the bottom says “till all the pieces fit”. Part of my job as Courtney’s parents is to be a part of this journey, the good, the bad, the ups, the downs until all the pieces fit.
So today at the meeting, we were ready to dig deep to get what we feel is best for Courtney. We let her team know what we do not agree at all with the placement, but we are willing to try it but we wanted some modifications to the placement they were offering. Though they didn’t come through with all the modifications, it was evident that they were willing to try to work with us. Though we agreed to things at this point, we made it clear that we are going to be carefully watching her progress and we want to meet again soon to reassess. I still struggle with the fact that we are not on the same page, but I’m going to dig deep and have faith that this will work out. If it doesn’t though??? I’m in this until all the pieces fit!