Home » Autism » “Transitional IEP Meeting” – words that strike fear in the heart of a special needs mom

“Transitional IEP Meeting” – words that strike fear in the heart of a special needs mom

I knew it was coming. They told us at the last informational meeting for Little Man’s new school we would receive notification and transitional IEP meetings would be held before the end of the school year. That didn’t lower my anxiety one iota. We had our meeting yesterday.

I’ve agonized over the move to middle school for him since he was diagnosed, and especially after the disaster we’ll call fourth grade. We researched our options, sat through informational meetings, put him in in two lotteries, and held our breath. Could he survive at the traditional middle school? Probably, but not without trauma and drama. We were both overwhelmed at the prospect, despite the fact his brother and sister had both thrived there. It’s just so big. And he, with his different needs, can be so conspicuous. And we all know how compassionate middle school aged kids can be. (dripping with sarcasm there) When we found out his number had come up for the new school in town, we were elated. It had sounded like the perfect environment for him. But in the course of parents talking, I’d heard another family of a high-functioning kiddo had been told in their transitional meeting maybe it wasn’t the place for him…they wouldn’t be able to accommodate his needs. So I was FREAKING OUT going into our meeting yesterday morning. I worried once they saw my little guy’s needs, and his level of need, they would tell us the same thing. Then we would be back to square one, or we would have to do battle to keep him there.

His needs, and his level of need are not too much for them. He falls in line with what they will be able to provide. Not only that, but all the skills he needs work on….social and emotional management, empathy, compassion, learning the process of learning rather than focusing on the end result, learning that failing is not failure but rather another opportunity….those will be the focus of the school. The principal at our new school said the magic words, “Sounds like this will be the PERFECT place for Little Man.”

I know I am an over-emotional wreck at the moment….exhausted, overwhelmed, stressed……but I was almost completely undone yesterday. We have been counting down the days left at our school. We are all extremely excited about where he will be going, but the saying goodbye is seriously rough. And as I sat there in the meeting yesterday,  his team spent a good twenty minutes telling the principal at the new school all the amazingly awesome things about my kid. They get him. They love him. They want the best for him. That’s all I’ve ever wanted from any teacher or administrator who came into contact with any of my children. And then his teacher said, “Take the time to get to  know him,” and went on to share all he’d learned from my kid this year, the cool things, and how to handle him best. He was spot on. I know all those things….I’m his mom. But his teacher knows them, and not because I told him, but because he cared enough to figure it out.

I have spent most of the last five days close to tears at any given moment. We have seven more school days. We are ever closer to the end, and a new beginning. I attended a parent volunteer information meeting for his new school this morning. Again I was impressed what an amazing opportunity this is for our little guy. This environment feels it was created specifically with him in mind. It will be a completely new mindset for him to learn, a totally new way of learning. But oh I can just see him now….he’s going to fly, and I have the beautiful privilege of watching.

4 thoughts on ““Transitional IEP Meeting” – words that strike fear in the heart of a special needs mom

  1. My son made it through middle school. He had circle of friends in his school in the band. He hung around the girls because they had a tendency not to be bullies as much. You’re doing the right things. I was scared, too.

    • Thanks. It’s always hopeful to hear from those who’ve made it out the other side. His middle school will be more like an elementary, very small, grades 4-8. I think it will be a much better transitional time for him between 5th grade and high school.

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