The day came, and we were armed and ready. Both of my parents went to the meeting, which is a pretty big deal since usually it's jut me and my mom. My dad went around asking each person their name and job description, and there was a strong feeling of tension in the room. My dad, a lawyer, was being quite successful at being intimidating. That is, until he asked what an IEP is... Then everyone in the room started revealing their true selves, as they no longer saw him as much of a threat.
My parents began talking about the unfairness of the evaluation and handing out my audiologist's letter. My dad requested an independent evaluation.
"No. That's not necessary," said the lady who was mostly in charge of the evaluation So, apparently they can say no.. Guess we weren't expecting that to happen..
She then went on to say that in Special Education, in order to show a need for further services, you cannot be making any progress with the assistance/IEP currently in place. With the A's/high B's I currently have, that doesn't demonstrate that I'm failing to make progress.
"I have no doubt that you have to work much harder than everyone else, but that's just the way the law works."
My parents urged me to tell my story, from my point of view. (I'd already done it at every past meeting, but they wanted the people who performed the evaluation to get a better understanding of what I go through)
I told my story about how frustrated I was at the school. How I felt as if sometimes, I didn't even need to go to school because I missed so much of the discussion, it's worthless. That I didn't understand why they were fighting tooth and nail to prevent me from having something that could actually help me. I told them how tired I was. Tired of trying to keep up, tired of fighting- just tired. Sometime during those sentences, tears started streaming down my face. Ugh, I hate crying, especially in front of people I don't like. Yet, that's what happened at every single meeting ( I would then swear I'd never attend another one, only for the whole thing to start all over when there was another meeting.)
"Oh! I wish I'd known you were this frustrated when we'd done the evaluation. This changes everything." Everyone looked up at her...was she kidding?
"I had no idea this was taking such a toll on you and that you felt you needed it so much." Yeah. Because I just asked for CART because I thought it would be fun to fiddle around with...? (note sarcasm)
The lady then said that while I don't have an educational need, that she could put down that I have an emotional need and get me CART that way.
As, I'm sure you can imagine, that was the most bizarre 5 minutes of the meeting. Heck, that was the most bizarre 5 minutes of my life! Pretty sure this song started playing through my head..
(pause music at the bottom of the page)
Not so fast..
"But," she continued, "you'd still have to change schools."
Change schools? You see, they don't offer CART at my school, and aren't planning on it, no matter how much I beg/plead/cry. But, they do at another school that is about as far away as my current school from my house. This other school is a mainstream school, but it's smaller and has a fairly large deaf ed program. They send all the kids in need of CART or interpreting services there. Apparently it's cheaper/more efficient to have it all on one campus.
This meeting was halfway through the school year. I'd finally been adjusting to my new school. Now they wanted to toss me somewhere else? As much as I struggled at my current school, I have a great group of friends, and nice teachers. They just want me to walk away from all of that?
So, that leaves you where I am now. The decision making process. A little bit has happened since then (technology-wise), and I will post more on the pros and cons of each school.
But, for now, my wonderful reader, I leave you with that. I would really appreciate any more input you have, with regards to the current situation. What do you think...What would you do?
*I'm experimenting with my blog banner at the top. Still haven't been able to make anything I like, since I don't have any tools like Photoshop or InDesign at home. If anyone is generous, gifted in the design department, and would like to design something (for free) then it would be completely awesome!*