Pearls and Dreams
In Christ alone, I place my trust, and find my glory in the power of the Cross, in every Victory let it be said of me, My source of strength ... my source of hope ...is Christ Alone!
If I knew who wrote those words, I would credit them. I did a search, and didn't find them ... I will look at the music on Saturday when I go to the church to help with the worship team practice.
(hopefully, my brain will remember to check it)
That has been my 'battle cry' with the school district for 7 years now. I have been fighting with this district over my sons education for 10, but when I heard that song ... I knew that was what I wanted to be my cry ...when it was all said and done ... I wanted no one to be surprised that Peggikaye Eagler was a Christian and that while I might take a tough stand and fight for what my child needs, while I might not stand passively by and let them walk all over me, while I might stand and fight the battle they put before me ...
I will do it respectfully, honorably and I will do it with the grace, and wisdom of the principals of faith I claim to live by.
We have had disagreements, every year, we have to remind them of the law every year, every year, we have to fight for what the federal law tells us my son is allowed to have.
I am not one of those parents that fights for the ideal situation for my child. I am not one that fights for even the absolute BEST situation for my child, I am the parent that will fight for the best situation that I feel the school can provide and will insist that they follow the laws. I will not ask for more than what the law says.
We fought hard from age 3 through first grade while they claimed they did not have to service him and all the doctor's speech therapists & developmental specialists said they did. We took them to due process twice (and won) and a couple of other things that caused major headaches for the school district.
The end result ... the last day of first day, my son got an IEP and the services he should have been getting for 4 years before. (Federal law says special needs from age 3 on up is to be educated in special education ..early intervention. My district tried to tell me early intervention was third grade ... um, no)
Second through fifth grade was disagreements over what he could or could not be expected to do, nothing legal, nothing severe, nothing heart wrenching ... just frustrating.
I take that back ...not every year was a battle. 4th grade was a dream ... I had not one disagreement and had no problems whatsoever. But, that was the sole year.
Sixth grade ... enter the nightmares ... worse year yet and considering what we've been through ... it's been significant.
One of the beginning posts on this blog was concerning this very issue ...
Having been told that they would not accomodate to 'any one individual child' ... I was furious but determined to fight and still maintain my testimony. They told me that they modify to the special ed class, and my son needed to accomodate the class. Well, special ed is about meeting the need of an individual child's learning disability ...not the child conforming to the class modifications.
We have had many more dealings this year, emails between the special ed director, the teachers and myself, phone calls and more meetings. In January, I emailed the special ed director an email full of frustration saying I was tired of the confrontation, tired of the fighting, but the mistreatment of my son MUST stop and his education MUST begin. His math teacher was refusing to help him saying that "I already did the first problem on the board, now do your work." or "The example is in the book, now do your work" or "I showed you how to do that yesterday, now do your work"
(yes, she admitted to saying these statements! )
The special ed director stepped in and forced some modifications.
In January, the last week. While his grades seem to get slightly better, and his at home stress reaction seemed to improve, I had no way of knowing how many changes they had truely made.
I went to the IEP review today. I was terrified (go to my other blog and read Sunday's entry!). I had no idea what to expect. I just knew, I had to remain above board and fight the battle for my child and remember who I claim to serve.
The meeting started out with the principal thanking me for working within the system this year and being flexible as they worked out the problems (um ... ok! I see that I have at least accomplished one goal in behavior if not in emotions!)
Then I am told about the meeting with the special ed director as they tell me the changes that they implemented in January. They move on to tell me the progress.
AS IF ..the progress he's made has nothing to do with the changes made, the modifications made ... as if nothing THEY did to change what THEY were doing ...they start to tell me how much he's matured and how much easier he has been to work with. How much more cooperative he has been. They start to describe to me ..the child we tried to tell them that he truely was ... and they would not believe me. They could not, or would not see the connection between "WE MADE CHANGES ABC that Mrs. Eagler requested" and "Benjamin was able to make ABC behavioral/educational gains."
He has a good IEP for next year. A solid one for the first time in a long time. If it is followed appropriately ...and if the appropriate modfications are made ... then he should have a good year. That will be my prayer.
I am battle weary and exhausted but glad the battle is over for the year and ever so grateful that I have managed to still come out of it with the witness of who I say I am in tact ... even when my emotions are boiling over at home and with friends over this issue ... my behavior has remained ... what I wanted it to be most ... Christ like. No one I have dealt with this year would be surprised to learn that I am a Christian, and I still fought for and won what my child so desperately needed.