Wednesday, August 29, 2012
The LAUSD assessment reports on Miles came in and they are making me doubt myself and everything I know about him. The thing is, the reports are not really that bad. They give a somewhat accurate portrayal of Miles on the day of his assessment. Of course, it was not Miles at his best and he didn't show them all that he can do, so it would be impossible for them to imagine what he is capable of doing. According to the IEP team, Miles should be placed in a PreSchool Intensive program (PSI). Basically, a preschool for kids with moderate to severe disabilities, who don't mix with the general ed population. What?? Seriously?? This is Miles, the kid who's been going to a typical daycare since he was six months old! The kid who plays the drums and reads books, loves to dance and play jokes on us. The stubborn, wilfull kid who knows how to get his way. So am I kidding myself? Is Miles really that cognitively delayed? Have I been lying to myself all this time because I'm his mom and I don't want to believe he's that delayed and unable to keep up in a classroom setting? Why am I letting these people and their stupid reports get to me??? I know Miles. I know he understands more than we think. I know he's got more words than he chooses to use. I know that he loves being around typical kids and imitating them. I know that he wants to and needs to be treated just like any other kid, that's how he will thrive. Agh!!!! I hate this situation for having power over me!!!!
We checked out the preschool that they recommended for Miles and it's actually a wonderful setting with a loving, nurturing teacher....for kids who have more severe disabilities than Miles. Only one of the kids in the class was verbal. None of the kids really interacted with each other. There was nobody there for Miles to model. It is a great program for the kids who need it. Miles needs something else. Then we checked out a PreSchool Mixed program (PSM); for kids with mild to moderate disabilities. Also a great teacher with a nice little classroom and the kids were definitely more functional, but they were still kept separate from the general ed population, never to mix with the typical kids. That's not okay for us. That's not okay for Miles.
I've been feeling very emotional all week as we visit the schools, read the reports, and prepare for Miles's IEP tomorrow. The situation is even more emotional for me because this is also Miles's last week of therapies, so we are having to say goodbye to his amazing team of the past 2 1/2 years!! His birthday is on Saturday and I'm supposed to be planning a birthday party. I booked my first big gig in a while, so I've been working and running around like a maniac. Miles has been acting like a little shit head, just being incredibly difficult to handle, making me doubt myself even more. Oh...and the stupid washing machine broke so we have a pile of dirty clothes accumulating and making me feel even crazier!!! I'm a woman on the edge, a cookie ready to crumble....don't ask me any questions, let me just get through the next few days please!!!!!! When I dropped Miles off at school today, one of the teachers asked me how I was doing and I nearly cried while saying, "fine, just fine".
Why is it that big things always culminate at the same time?! It couldn't just be Miles's 3rd birthday and the end of his therapies. Nooooo, it had to be the same freaking week that all these other big things in life are happening!! Every damn day is a challenge. Every single day there is a meltdown at home. Zach melted down last night around the kid's bedtime, so he went for a walk with Miles to cool off while I put Ella to bed. When he returned, Miles was fast asleep. So then it was my turn to take a walk. I filled a large glass of wine and set out to see the sunset...and amazing one last night. As I stood there watching the colors on the clouds turn from orange to pink to red, I saw my place in this large Universe. I am tiny, a tiny little piece of the puzzle, yet an integral part of the puzzle. I fit in this puzzle perfectly, just as Miles and Ella and Zach and everyone does. We are all here to ebb and flow with the energy that makes the world go round. And if I just allow myself to go with the flow and lead from my truth, all will work out as it's supposed to. That's what I believe.
So tomorrow morning, as we face the IEP team and start negotiating with them, I will hold on to the truth: that Miles deserves the best education and environment possible for him to succeed. Even if he does turn out to have moderate to severe cognitive abilities, we can still give him an amazing environment that will propel him forward, not stunt his growth. LAUSD doesn't have that environment for Miles. We found it at United Children's and that's where he'll stay.
Oh....and I do have to mention that the only saving grace on this otherwise maddening week has been that Miss Ella Grace has slept for at least 11 hours straight every night, for the past 4 nights! It's like she knew we needed a little brake. So thank you Ella, for letting us rest our weary heads at night....because mama and papa sure need it!