Friday, April 20, 2012

Mommy knows best

Today is Malachi's yearly IEP. It's the big one where new goals will be set, we will discuss his previous goals and talk about what the next year of school looks like. This is always a day I dread but not because I am worried about his progress. This day is all about Malachi and what is BEST for him. I worry that I am making the wrong decisions, that mystubbornness will hurt him in the long run. I worry that I am going to be judged not just by his team but by other parents, especially those who have children with special needs. What do I do? What atmosphere is the best for him? inclusion vs. segregation? Where will he flourish? What environment will benefit him emotional well beings as well as his educational progress? The questions can go on and on. Its a never ending battle. And then when you finally come to a decision there is a new article written or another mom which tells you why your decision was wrong.

Doubt. It's constant. Which was is right? One group of people says inclusion, inclusion, inclusion. While there is the other group that says special ed, special ed, special ed. There is no compromise, its one or the other according to them and which ever side you chose, the other will disagree and label you us uneducated. This conversation is EVERYWHERE and everyone claims to have the right answer but which is really right? I have no idea.

What I do know is Malachi. I know his struggles, his triggers and his strengths. I know that music has magical powers over him and that he responds to positive attitudes. He is a love but is also very stubborn. I know him better than anyone else and I am the ONLY person qualified to decide what is best for him. And that is what I try to do every day of his life. My goal is to provide him with all the opportunities in the world to be successful, to be happy and to be as independent as he can possibly be. And right now the absolute best place for him is in a Early Childhood Education class where there are 5 other students, one teacher, 2 assistants and where he receives speech, occupational therapy and physical therapy. PERIOD. There is no discussion on the topic and I do not need to justify my decisions to anyone. I am passionate about doing the right thing for Malachi and that's it. As time goes on things may change and I may feel he is ready for full inclusion but I may also feel like a modified version is better.

What is right for Malachi may not be right for your child and that is absolutely okay in fact it's part of what makes this world so beautiful.

I refuse to pick a side. I say do what is best for your child regardless of what the latest study or self advocate says, you are the ONLY person that knows your child and what is BEST FOR HIM!

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