After 18 years of IEP meetings, transition tour meetings, emails and phone calls .. we are quickly nearing the end of our IEP journey. K graduates in May and there won’t be many more meetings that I have to attend for her. Actually, there is only 1 left.
It seems weird to think about and what will I do afterwards?
When we started this journey in 1998 following K’s initial diagnosis, it didn’t feel like we’d ever get to this point. K attending college wasn’t even a blip on the radar and now she starts at NIACC next Fall.
But, alas, here we are.
So what do I do now?
I’ve always been Kiersten’s Mom/IEP Nazi/That Crazy Lady. I’m sure with certain IEP “professionals” there were probably a few other choice names for me. We still have 4 years of “mandatory” parenting left with Beck, but she’s on the opposite end of the spectrum and there is not a lot we have to do on the IEP front for her.
I’ve watched, calculated, read, searched over mounds and mounds of paperwork, IEP reports/evaluations. I’ve been the crazy lady on the other side of the table. One minute I’m tearing up over meeting a goal and then in another demanding certain accommodations be made for her.
I’ve stood my ground and advocated for my daughter when I really wanted to curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out.
There were times it killed me to hear the things they were saying my daughter couldn’t do and how to accommodate her weaknesses.
There were times I was a proud mom listening to how teachers were surprised K had overcome her limitations and exceeded everyone’s expectations.
My journey as her mama is far from over. That won’t happen until I talk my last breath. K has more uphill battles to fight as she becomes a full-fledged adult and I’ll be there to help her as much as she needs me too. I know that she will always need us in some capacity.
Regardless, I’m so happy and proud of the journey we’ve taken together so far. I’m proud of all she has Kiersten accomplished. She has also taught me a lot about life, love and appreciating the small moments in life. I look for ward to so many more adventures for her!