So our new baby is just 2 weeks old. We’re also just 4 days away from the start of school, which means an insane dash to deal with the school debacle before the beginning of the semester.
This translates to me being on the phone with school officials from my hospital room after delivery, as I mentioned in my last post. I fucking hate that I felt it was necessary to make these kinds of phone calls from a hospital bed.
Once I was home and down to 2 Vicodin per day, I began fielding home visits from school program officers. Our advocate says she has never in all her many years heard of school officials coming to parents’ homes before. This is how badly the district does not want us to sue them.
The latest development in the huge mess is that the program official for our school began going through Mikey’s paperwork with a laser beam. She found numerous glaring errors. Like the early intervention team last year never scanned or uploaded any data into the district computer system. This means in many cases, the only existing copies of progress reports, graphs, or data? Are the hard copies I have in my binder.
A bigger error: at some point last January, a school diagnosis declared Mikey to be a typical boy with a developmental delay. No autism at all. Special education services are not provided for school-aged children with developmental delays.
So not only would Mikey not even be eligible for the full-time autistic support classroom they recommended sending him to, he’s not eligible for any services whatsoever. He can’t even have an IEP. As far as school is concerned, paperworkwise, he’s a regular, typical kiddo.
You might feel like that’s confusing and fucking weird. Because it is. Someone dropped the ball and then kicked it into the street and it got run over by a tractor-trailer.
The good news is that we have a great advocate on our side of the table. The school program officer is on Mikey’s side, too–she has assured me she is personally reviewing each piece of paper from this point forward. I’ve sent her all old emails, let her scan all old progress reports and data. She knows who is and is not following the rules. She’s promising me a very different experience this school year.
Right now, our plan is to develop a 504 plan for Mikey with special accommodations to start the beginning of the school year while he gets a fresh evaluation. We have his private evaluations from his psychologist, which we’ve provided the school.
My great hope is that he has a lovely transition into the school year with his new teacher. His medication has been working so well. He’s been doing fantastic things in social skills group this summer. He had a marvelous experience with daycare this summer, interacting so positively with other children.
While I navigate all this drama and time-consuming paperwork with a 2-week-old baby, I hope that all of it ends up being unnecessary. And just in case it’s not, I certainly have my shit together.