Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Eye of the Hurricane

Yesterday morning started with the usual hustle and bustle, madness and mayhem that normally begins before the sun rises. The bickering, the torment, the thread of blood and tears. and then... for just a moment the world stopped and I was able to catch my breath.

Sitting on the front porch, waiting for Alex's bus. My baby in my lap, just rocking. side to side, side to side. Slow and easy. Breathing in the cool air, feeling his solid body in my arms, his baby soft cheek, the smell of lavender in his hair... my baby. just rocking with his mama.

Too soon, the bus comes and I reenter the insane asylum that is our home. Craziness and missing backpacks. get that child gone and collect the things I need to take to school. We're getting ready to go when both of the girl's parents end up in my kitchen. and I go alone. ye-ah, with nobody else. I love it. I get home and realize... I have no kids! omg, I have no kids! I look around and think... The Goofy Child's psychological evaluation is done, speech eval is scheduled, OT eval is scheduled, I read what I need to read, I know what I need to do and my timeline... I AM FREE!!!! WOOOOO!

For the next 6 weeks or so, I don't have to think about IDEA or the procedural safeguards or IEPs or 504s or related services (which, yes, in Missouri therapy is a related service. Alex's IEP says so ;) ) I'm done until after Christmas break. Done. What a relief that is. I look ahead at these 6 weeks or so, and I feel light. I feel like the storm has stopped and I have time to step out into the sunlight and thank God for a beautiful day.

I go on to link some Jellies and then clean the house like I haven't been able to clean it since school started. I've got my music on and I feel good, just doing my thing. Noon came, the parents had things to do, and the girl stayed so I dropped my wild and crazy partying for nap time.

The girl is in her bed, I am in my chair. She's laying there, looking at me quietly, I kick back in my chair, cross my feet, cross my arms, tilt my head back, close my eyes and listen to the music playing lightly in my ears, not blasting like it usually does. "Today I'm not doing anything. I just want to lay in my bed..." YES! It feels good to do nothing. I crack my eyelid and peek at the girl who's looking at me like I've lost my freaking mind. Aren't I going to make her close her eyes? Tell her to go to sleep? Nope. I'm going to sit here and listen to my music.

She's laying there, I'm sitting there. We're both relaxing. As I relax, and just let my mind wander... I'll be damned if it didn't start exploring the procedural safeguards and listing the things I need for the formal written request.

Next thing you know, I've got pieces of IDEA, the procedural safeguards, printed articles, sticky notes, a highlighter and an ink pen scattered around me as I quickly search for what I am looking for and add a few more sticky note tabs. Then it clicks. I know exactly what I'm missing... Missouri's plan for compliance. I need state regulations. The state law for special education. And, I found it. Missouri State Plan for Special Education. I also found a letter from Missouri's DESE to OSEP asking for clarification on Prior Written Notice and OSEP's response.

 and that's when it happened...

That's when I got it.

You don't sign the IEP as a whole (not here), you sign the Notice of Action. Goals do not require a Notice of Action. Change in services require a Notice of Action.  (I'm pretty sure Alex's teacher said that...) You sign the Notice of Action... and this is where you can note your parent attachment- *woot*

but then, damnit. One thing led to another and Prior Written Notice IS a Notice of Action. They don't have to give me a Notice of Action (Prior Written Notice) before the IEP meeting. They have to give me a Notice of Action (Prior Written Notice) 10 days before they intend to take or refuse to take actions related to the identification, evaluation, or educational placement of my child. Which they say is 10 days after the IEP meeting. That sucks. But, at least we still have access rights... right? I hope. We'll see.

The sunshine was nice while it lasted.

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