While the process of readying my kids for their return to school usually fills me with excitement, this year, that excitement is tempered with stress.
It's Little Guy's first stint at public school. And because we're not coming in from the district preschool, there is nothing put into place for his needs.
Yes, we're starting from scratch.
Actually, not quite from scratch. I do have documentation of his diagnosis, which is needed before the process of qualification can even begin.
A week ago last Monday, I called the elementary school and inquired whether my request for an IEP meeting had been passed along to the appropriate people. I'd submitted my request BACK IN MAY and had yet to hear from anyone. The next day, a person returned my call to discuss Little Guy's situation and begin the process of qualifying him for services.
Although she was very helpful and seemed concerned about my son, there's a catch...
The qualification process takes 45-60 SCHOOL DAYS.
It could take months before services are available for Little Guy. In the meantime, what happens if there's a big meltdown or other disruptive situation where he'll need to leave the classroom? Because it's not a matter of if it happens, but rather when. What about assemblies, when the noise level and crowded bodies become too much for him to bear? And then, there's the issue of riding the bus where the noise and crowded space could also spell disaster.
With all of these possibilities looming, I've felt more than a little nervous - especially since an official game plan won't be available for a while.
Luckily, it looks like an "unofficial" game plan is in the works. While Little Guy cannot access special ed services immediately, I am teaming up with the school counselor and his kindergarten teacher to put other measures into place to deal with any potential problems which may arise. Hopefully, our combined efforts will help Little Guy have a great start to his public school career!