This Worked For Me
…granting myself permission to just enjoy my baby!
When my child with a disability was born I was concerned about his future. I spent many nights sleeplessly reading information about his condition on the internet. Then we began a whirlwind of doctor appointments and started Early Intervention services through our county. Early Intervention was truly an amazing experience that was free to our family, but during that time I met a lot of “ists” that I really did not expect to meet…including geneticists, speech therapists, occupational therapists, audiologists and more. Looking back we were getting an overwhelming amount of information about a diagnosis, but we had a baby, not a diagnosis! I strongly remember the very first person who simply stated how adorable my baby was without commenting on his diagnosis. It was so significant to me that I probably will never forget it. She did not judge and gave me the freedom to look at him anew as a baby and not a baby with a diagnosis. Her comment helped me give myself permission to simply enjoy my baby and relish the baby days, which are all too short and precious. I started doing all of the things I dreamed of doing with my baby and eventually I realized just how perfect he was!
…taking the “edge” off of an IEP meeting.
Take food! I have a friend who would always take coffee
and donuts for all those in attendance. Certainly started the
meeting off on the right foot.
…concern for my child’s acceptance in an inclusive setting.
At the beginning of the school year, I would set up a time to go in to the classroom and speak to the class. We would talk about my son, the differences and similarities he had with his classmates, how they could help him and how he could help them. I always allowed time for questions and tried to answer them honestly and age appropriately. This worked well as cognitively my son did not understand what we were talking about and loved the attention. Some situations may require that you speak to the class without your child present if you are comfortable with that.
…feeling outnumbered by professionals in your IEP meeting?
Take a friend. We don’t always need an advocate or even someone who is well versed in special education. Just the presence of someone you are comfortable with can be a great help to put you at ease. And… a second set of ears never hurt ether.
…helping my daughter’s classmates relate to her.
I made age appropriate “books” to help my daughter’s classmates learn about her