It is 1:59am and the first official day of spring. Why am I awake you are probably asking yourself? She must be crazy! Lately it feels that way.
James woke up screaming at 12:22 and I cannot fall back asleep – mainly due to the 10,000 things that need to get done between work and home. They start to roll around in my head and then sleep becomes just a distant dream (ha ha) that I once had – so here I am writing about it instead of actually doing it!
We have started the IEP process for Will (again!) since he will be starting kindergarten this September. I remember the very first evaluation he had at his preschool when the team from Early Intervention came out to talk to me and to watch him. Alexa, his very first case worker, said to me “You may want to get a binder to keep all of his paperwork organized.” I chuckle wholeheartedly at that statement now. Alexa, you need to know that he now has his own filing cabinet in our basement!
We went for our transition meeting with the school district and they have begun their evaluations. I handed the district administrative assistant in the special education office all his paperwork – completed, filled out, extra copies for me. She looked at me and smiled. “You’re very organized, I see. That’s good.” I wanted to tell her that she really had no idea and that yes, I am top of everything. EVERYTHING. And, oh by the way, I can be pretty persistent! I just smiled back at her – I figured we would get to know each other pretty well over the next six years, so no need to rush her judgement of me.
Nobody really tells you about the gigantic, enormous, truckload of paperwork that you will fill out over the course of your child’s diagnosis. It will be all the same questions over and over so many times that you will be able to answer them in your sleep (or lack thereof). My only advice is try to keep it organized and handy, that way if you ever need it to fight the good fight or prove your point it will be there.
I am buying myself an iPad so I can take pictures of and maintain digital copies of everything in one spot – eventually I will develop an app that does all this for us. Then I will start my own company and really be a force to be reckoned with – and it won’t matter that I’ve only had two hours of sleep because I’ll be the boss. Laughing again – actually, I am buying myself an iPad because I am tired of asking my four-year old if I can borrow his!
There are great resources out there to help you stay organized through the evaluations and your IEP process. One in particular that I like is http://www.organized4kids.com/(@MyIEPToolKit) – developed by a mom who has obviously done this before!