Parents typically work hard to teach their children to mature and be independent. However many special needs children never reach the point where they can take care of themselves – whether it’s physically or emotionally. Often the parents must intervene.
As I mentioned in my last post Armed For Battle, sometimes we need to go on the offensive when entities are clearly breaking the law – but what about when the line is blurred a bit?
The Individualized Education Program (IEP) was created to help kids with special needs in the public school system. Each year the parents, the child, the child’s teachers and other school staff meet to discuss the child’s IEP for the upcoming school year. It can be very extensive such as it was for Jeffrey who occasionally needed specialized technology, or it can be simply making sure there is adequate staffing available in the classroom in case the child needs assistance.
But that being said, to receive an IEP you must first prove to the school district that your child does indeed qualify for the program. Sometimes to the naked eye it may appear that the child is just unruly or easily distracted, when underneath is a more serious problem.
Not all school districts are the same – many do things differently. Because of that, unfortunately sometimes things get missed.
Jeffrey’s IEPs usually turned out very well; but I’ve heard first-hand stories from other parents with “special” kids who haven’t had things progressively move forward as they had hoped.
One of my friends experienced a traumatic event with her young special son.
This friend and her family lived in a different school district than we did; and their district wasn’t known to have a very good reputation overall. However they did occasionally allow children to be transferred to another district, which they did in my friend’s case.
My friend was thrilled with the transfer, as the school that her child was transferred to bent over backwards to assist them – in this case they provided an individual aide.
Things were going fine for the first couple of years, and then the district decided this sweet child needed to be moved back to their home school district. My friend was stressed, but quite frankly there was nothing she or her husband could do about it.
Some of their worst fears came to fruition when their home school district decided that even though the other district had provided an aide for their child, they were not going to do so. Why? Because the other district had never done a formal IEP evaluation. If it had not been formally written down, they weren’t going to do it.
My friend started contacting her Bible study group and other friends, asking them to pray for God to intervene.
And intervene He did, but in a totally different way than my friend imagined…
We met for lunch one day about a month after her child had started at their home school. When I saw her – she was grinning ear-to-ear!
She said that her child had been doing great without a full-time aide; and was able to keep up with the rest of the kids just fine!
Oh if we would just trust our Heavenly Father.
Remembering my friend’s story reminded me of the time when I was whining and complaining to my mentor about how the staff at Jeffrey’s grade school hadn’t been taking care of him adequately.
Her words? “Linda, you say you trust God, but I don’t think you really trust Him at all.”
Here’s one of my favorite verses again: “God causes all things to work for good for those who love Him” (Romans 8:28). We must know the truths in God’s Word (John 8:32), because then when the unknown is thrown at us, we can trust Him.
Bottom line: Remember Who’s ultimately driving your car. Only our Heavenly Father knows the beginning from the end, and He desires to give us His best – whether we believe it or not.