The Yearly IEP Meeting

Yesterday was Ben’s yearly IEP meeting. In case you’re not familiar, IEP is Individual Education Plan. I believe it’s called something different across the pond. Anyway, in American public education most students are held to generic standards. (Makes me think of Pink Floyd and The Wall)  When a student isn’t meeting these standards or if they have special educational needs then they get an IEP. Since King Ben is autistic and has many needs be has had an IEP since preschool.

The meeting date and time was given to us with no choice. Apparently it was the only time that everyone in staff could meet. I guess they didn’t really care if it fit our schedule or not. Ben’s mama had been working many nights previous to yesterday’s meeting and was exhausted. The meeting was set for noon so she only got about two hours sleep before.  We both wanted it to go quickly so we could get back home and rest before school let out at 1:30pm.

Usually there are six to ten people besides us at these meetings. People from the Special Education department, Ben’s classroom teacher, his speech therapist, his occupational therapist, the school principal, a regular grade level teacher, a school or district psychologist…sooo many people. Yesterday it was his classroom teacher, his OT and speech and a district psychologist and us. I thought we’d definitely get out of there fast.

The super fantabulous, awesome news is that Ben met and even surpassed all of his goals for the year. He is doing so well at this school. I wish they’d placed him there earlier. Of course, it’s a “non-public” school so the district has to pay his tuition. I’m sure that’s part of why they kept trying to place him in different autism classes within the district. Anyway, he’s doing great. His teachers adore him and they’re really excited at the progress he’s making. Especially since he’s been at this school less than a year. We set some goals for the coming year and were ready to sign all the papers and get on out of there. Unfortunately, the psychologist from district was a complete twit and figured out after we’d all signed that she’d printed the paper wrong so it has to be reprinted and re-signed. For whatever reason (like she’s a COMPLETE TWIT) it took her twenty minutes to reprint the paper. It’s now 1:20pm and school is out in ten minutes. We want Ben to ride home on the bus. We’ve had many problems in the past with him refusing to get on the bus home or having “behaviors” because he saw us at school and wanted to leave with us. We wanted to avoid all that. Finally, the correct papers are printed and signed, the teacher made a call to the classroom to keep Ben inside, mama and I put our hoods up and sneak out of the school like criminals. Whew! We made it.

The car is pointed homeward and we got bumper to bumper traffic on the freeway. This is not normal for 1:30pm. We’re only about ten to fifteen minutes ahead of the bus, but they’ll be stuck in the same traffic so we’ll get home first.

Murphy’s Law being a major factor in life at Casa Cuckoo, we got home in time but all those wonderful things we were all saying about Ben and how there have been so few behavior problems jinxed us. He got off the bus and went Tasmanian Devil on us. It all started because he wanted my phone. Over break and on weekends he would use my phone for YouTube and “Ned-fix”(Netflix) when the battery on his tablet died. Now he just randomly wants my phone instead of his tablet and that’s not how it works. Basically he had a temper tantrum that turned into a full on meltdown. He was punching the dog, punching me, punching his mama. He cracked the screen on his tablet by biting it. Screaming in our faces, laying on his back kicking the walls and doors, knocking things over…just a tornado of destruction. Forty -five minutes this went on. It’s heartbreaking and frustrating, not to mention painful. Little stinker packs quite a punch. Now poor Zeus flinched when we go to pet him. Zeus was two when we reached him from the shelter. He’d been abandoned and had separation anxiety which has finally been getting better and now he’s getting whaled on by Mr. Bootyhead.

Ben is finally calmed down and an hour later mama’s two best friends show up cuz they’re going out to celebrate mama’s birthday which is Sunday. Chaos ensues. Mama is turning thirty and thinks her youth is over. She’s old now. Puh-leeeeez!!! They finally are all coiffed and made up and ready to go. Ben is in bed and I’m ready for some quiet.

My house was quiet but the neighborhood was not. We live near a little corner market and there were several arguments and a couple of actual fist fights by the market last night. Something in the air yesterday is all I can figure.

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