Thursday, February 10, 2011

Facing a New IEP and Change

This is the time of year I always enjoy and dread. While I love Winter and all it's lovely hot teas, hot cocoa's and snuggling it also brings something I'm not fond of, but it is an evil necessity. Elizabeth's yearly IEP. Individual Educational Planning is the technical name for it and it means we do several things. First, we look at where Elizabeth was when she started - which is an amazing thing to see. Second, we look at where she is now. Still an amazing thing to see. Finally, we look at what we need the goals to be for the upcoming school year and where exactly she is lacking.

The last step isn't a bad thing, but from a mom's viewpoint, sometimes it makes it tough to keep that glass half full instead of half - empty. Sometimes it feels like with all of the amazing achievements she's made she is still not complete and the dreamer - the mother in me longs for her to catch up with her peers. For Elizabeth's sake more than anything. I know that Elizabeth realizes that she isn't like the other children. Especially in her school. She is different because Elizabeth attends a magnet school that just happens to have a large number of black children and she is a minority. I didn't know this when I picked Spaght for her, and honestly, I don't care. Spaght has an amazing team of teachers and staff and I know that they are a huge part of the equation in why Elizabeth has come so far. Another part of this equation is the children. Instead of seeing her as different from the beginning, they welcomed her in and looked out for her - she has become quite well known in school. Chris and I can't walk down the halls without the children saying, "Hi Elizabeth's mom/dad." They are good kids and they have been wonderful to her - sure we have a few stinkers in the bunch, but there are always a few stink pots who have to make life tough on everyone else. It's a part of life. Aside for being a different color than her peers she realizes she is different from them because of her special needs. She knows that her brain works differently from theirs and she sees the world differently and it does bother her, probably more than she lets on to us.

So now we go into a new IEP meeting so we can prepare to exit her out and move across the country to a new state and find a new school. I think the thing that worries me the most is how will we find another Mrs. Silveous. Mrs. Silveous has been a guardian angel for Lizzie - she is part teacher, protector, and part adopted grandparent for her. The kids know that messing with Lizzie means dealing with Mrs. Silveous. She was her first mainstream classroom teacher. She decided after teaching Elizabeth and other special needs children that she wanted a Master's Degree in Special Education. This meant she was able to be Elizabeth's Special Needs Educator, it was wonderful for Elizabeth - it meant Mrs. Silveous could watch over her and help her blossom and grow. Each teacher along the way has been a blessing and carefully picked.

Now we are moving to a new state, a new school system and if I said, I wasn't worried then I would be a liar. I worry about finding the right teacher to fit with Elizabeth, the right school for her. So as we prepare for the next step in this adventure called "Life" I find myself praying and asking God to take control of this situation and help me find the right school for Elizabeth and the right place for us to live.

Thank you for a wonderful opportunity. Thank you for the chance to see more of your amazing creations.
I lift these questions to you Lord. Please help us find a good apartment/condo/house in a timely fashion. Help me keep things level and even for Elizabeth and the other girls as we find a new place to live and a new place to call home. Lead us to the place you want us to have and the schools you know are the best choices for the girls. Help us as we help the girls face the unknown and new challenges. Help us as we prepare to move to a part of the country where we will be the odd duck. Help us to remember that YOU are in control not ourselves and when we leave things in your hands that you always make a way for us.

Have a good weekend and God bless.

Love in Christ,

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