Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Journey

I've been a bit overwhelmed lately.

Just a bit.

To make a long story short, we went to battle with our school district over K's placement. We were just d-o-n-e, done. There were a few incidents, that for K's privacy I won't go into here, that completely and utterly broke down trust. She ended up being scared of going to school. Scared of saying anything to any adult at the school. There was a change in her demeanor, from the first few weeks when things seemed to be going well in her new class. Things happened that the school thought were not a big deal, that were the biggest deal to us. So, we hired an advocate, and pushed for out placement.

At first, things didn't go well. If there ever was an us vs. them moment, it was our last official IEP meeting. When the school chooses to bring legal counsel, you know the gloves are off, and working together, collaboratively, is off the table. At least, that's how we felt, as parents.

We spent a nail biting week, waiting for any response from our district. A week that literally almost sent me over the edge, and that's not an exaggeration. A week where things went downhill fast, and where I thought we'd end up living in a ran down by the river, because fighting for our child was probably going to cost us everything.

Our advocate is great, don't get me wrong, but I was still scared to death. We had a good case, but our distrcit wasn't reacting in the way everyone assumed they would. Our pediatrican had pulled K from school at this point, saying she was exhibiting signs of PTSD, and so I had a child out of school, and radio silence from the district. We did all we could to garner a response, and waited. I don't know how many years that one week took off my life, but I hazard to guess it's no small number.

But, then, miraculously, everything turned around. The Superintendent got involved, and we had an emergency meeting with her, the head of special education, and the district psychologist (the one person I had been asking for at our IEP meetings, and the one person they always failed to invited). And they really listened to us. And agreed with us. And...we prevailed. Like, really, truly prevailed. I still have a hard time believing we won, and am always waiting for the other shoe to drop, but thus far, everything has gone well.

Currently, we are touring private schools for K, and she is recieving home tutoring in the interim. Or, she was until our awesome tutor got selected to sit on a jury. Here's hoping K clicks with whomever we get next, just as well. School selection is taking a lot longer than I anticipated. I figured we'd bang out the tours, and pick one within a couple weeks. So far we've only toured one school (with another on the docket this week), and I've yet to even hear from several others (one of which I am really liking for K, inparticular). Next week is April vacation, so this is definitely not going as fast as I would like, but at least we have a plan.

At the end of the day, we did end up spending a good chunk of money on a really great advocate. Getting K into the right program is our priority, though, and even though no one likes to write a big check, it was more than worth it. We had a good case, but hiring someone who knew the ins and outs of the law, and who was a calm voice in a meeting (when all I wanted to do was scream and cry), was priceless.

Hopefully, we can move on and find a great school for K. Fingers crossed.


  1. <3 So happy for you things are moving in the right direction!

  2. this is my biggest fear, that I'll suddenly realize I'll have to fight the district. It's the shelling out of funds, the getting the district angry that you're not accepting what they're offering--- it's overwhelming. For now, I'm ok with my kids' public school placements. I wish I were HAPPY with them, but "ok" is good enough for now for me. May K's new school, once it's chosen, be perfect for her needs!

  3. <3 Still thinkin' about you over here :)
    I keep forgetting you're mustard now lol ;)

  4. I figured the silence on the blog meant something was happening. I am sorry things have been so rough and that you and K have had to endure all of this but I am so glad that the district finally accepted the situation and now you can move on and find the right environment for your girl. You're a warrior. Wear it as a badge of honor!