Dear Special Education team,
There are a few things I want you to know before this meeting begins. And you probably already know these things but I want you to take it in and be aware of how you talk about my child and the words you use. First, thank you for what you do. Thank you for taking your time to come meet about my child's needs. Thank you for educating and helping our children. Thank you for making a difference in the world because you truly do. Every single day.
We are about to talk about my child. My beautiful child who brings me so much joy every single day. My beautiful child who has so many strengths, likes and dislikes. My beautiful child who is different than the rest.
You don't need to bring up the things they can't do. I'm fully aware. You don't need to bring up percentages or how below "average" they fall. They're on their own timeline and wherever they are within these "test scores" is great.
But if you do bring it up, please let me know that it's just a way for the state to measure qualification for the Special Education program and also a way to track any progress or change. These scores don't define my child. These scores don't define my child's worth or what they're capable of. Whatever the range of scores may be is great. So please remember that when you're going over them. If they fall in the "way below average" range or if they fall in the "average" range, they're both great!
They don't have to do everything a typical developing child has to do and they certainly won't be on a typical developing child's timeline. They can do whatever they set their mind to and what their body will allow. They are on their own timeline now, hence the Individualized Education Plan.
Let's talk about what they CAN do! Let's talk about what we would love to see them do this year. Let's talk about what they would like to do. Let's talk about how far they've come, what they like, what makes them laugh and what makes them happy. And then let's make goals to make it happen.
Please see my child for who they are, who they're becoming and what they're going to accomplish and not the labels, diagnosis, percentages and what the paperwork says they are. Thank you so much for all you do!
A different needs Momma
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