Another acronym. IEP day. IEP: Individualized Education Plan. Basically, a legal document that ensures your child to a FAPE in the LRE (Free and Appropriate Education in the Least Restrictive Environment). All apart of IDEA- or the Individuals with Education Act. It’s attended by the SLP (speech-language pathologist) the teachers, the principal, the LEA (Local Education Agency, or person from the district) the OT (Occupational Therapist), the PT (Physical therapist, if you have one) as well as the school counselor and…have I lost you?
The hardest part of all of it. Of all the rangling for services, the fighting over needs, the stress of just sitting through yet another meeting, is the PLOF.
Basically, they sit you down and tell you everything your child sucks at. It’s a reality check of the worst kind. They don’t mean to be hurtful, they are, in fact, speaking with the data they have compiled. It’s all too truthful.Too dry. There’s something about having it in hard copy. Something about everyone nodding in agreement when they say my son can’t do x, y and z.
They go over the PLOF in every area. I nod my head as they tell me about math, executive functioning, writing, reading, etc.
I sit and try not to flinch as they tell me that Casey is in the bottom on 1% on comprehension. It hurts, almost a physical pain. My soul feels like it’s being scraped from the inside. Basically, he speaks great. He says LOTS of things. His understanding of what is said? Minimal. Nothing is surprising, though, given his diagnosis.
We spent hours talking about everything that his autism takes from him. There was no mention of what it gives.
I guess that’s what bothers me. The PLOF Autism Reality Check (ARC? Damn. That one’s been taken). I spend my days working to see Casey as CASEY. It took me YEARS, and it’s new really, to see his autism as a part of who he is, both bad and GOOD, both taking and giving. It’s taken me all of this time to appreciate the beauties of autism.
I hate being sent back to where I was even six months ago. I’ve worked hard to understand and appreciate the beauty of my son- diagnoses included. Yet, I left that meeting deflated. Sad.
His autism GIVES. It gives as much as it takes.
I go now to write the real present levels of functioning for my autistic son. Stay tuned.