For both #1 Son and myself.
At 09:00 this morning I strode off to school suited and booted for #1 Son’s initial evaluation meeting for Special Education Provision.
I’ve been both dreading and looking forward to this by turns.
He had to meet certain specific criteria to qualify for an IEP – which is an Individualised Education Programme.
Basically it was to see whether or not he could be statemented.
I spent a year working in the SEN department of Oxfordshire County Council, so I knew how hard getting one of these could be, at least without a metric tone of supporting documentation and medical backup.
And the autism assessment process is stalled a bit. It’s just so slow.
So I had reports from:
- An Educational Psychologist.
- An Occupational Therapist.
- A Speech and Language Therapist
- The School’s own SENCO
Which came home on Friday, which I read, re-read, highlighted and annotated.
I went up to this meeting agreeing with the reports, but prepared for battle if needed. I knew they wanted to help him, but criteria are criteria and he had to meet them to get the extra help.
At the meeting were:
- Myself – daddy stayed at home with TT
- The Principal
- His class teacher
- The school nurse
- Head of SEN services for the district as meeting co-ordinator
- The school Counsellor – who #1 Son has dubbed “The Feelings Lady”
- The SENCO
- The Occupational Therapist
- The Speech and Language Therapist
- The Educational Psychologist
It was a full meeting. I was completely drained both physically and emotionally after it. He’s not the only one in this household who can get overwhelmed.
So he couldn’t be registered with a disability due to autism, as the school cannot diagnose that.
He couldn’t get the IEP on cognitive ability because the reports proved he is average to above average in almost all areas.
So what’s left? Well, a few things but the main one is Developmental Delay.
That is a blanket term that covers a lot of things, but the one that covers him best is social, emotional or adaptive functioning.
I don’t disagree. He has severe sensory issues, cannot relate to his peers (but is great with much older and much younger children), confidence issues and is struggling generally.
I just feel a massive sense of relief.
Within 10 school days we will get a copy of the IEP and once we read it, sign it and return it, it becomes “activated” and off we go.
There will be more meetings, more reviews. This is not a one-off thing, but the main hurdle has been jumped and he will get more help.
And now for the second good thing of the day.
I went for a pre-operative assessment with the surgeon who would perform my hysterectomy if agreed to.
Well, take a shufty at this ladies and gentlemen:
For those in the audience who cannot read doctor handwriting (it’s a skill), he had agreed, without any hesitation, to perform:
A TOTAL ABDOMINAL HYSTERECTOMY
WITH BILATERAL SALPINGO OOPHERECTOMY
They are taking Every. Single. Thing. Out!!!!
I could have kissed Mr. Surgeon Man.
I’ve been warned that because they will go in through the belly it’s going to be the full six weeks recovery time for the procedure alone, coupled with six months to feel myself and back to normal again.