Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dear Snarky School Counselor's Secretary

My daughter has an IEP. She's had one since she was 9. I just would like to clear that straight up.
I am her parent, and I like to be involved. I'd also like to make that clear.

I understand you were in the middle of chatting with your BFF about adopting poor children overseas, and I'm sorry to hear that Ukranians are no longer adoptable, and I realize I'm interrupting your most interesting conversation, at 10:45 a.m. during your workday.

It's just that, when I asked you to take a message for the counselor because I wanted to touch base and have a short conversation with her about my daughter's IEP, you seemed to misunderstand me.
Somehow, you believed I needed a lecture on IEP Process 101.
You explained to me the IEP process, the same one I've been working with since Drama Girl was 9, but thank you kindly, for assuming I never actually bothered to read her IEP. But you didn't take down my message.
You then proceeded to explain how the special education teachers and regular teachers and principles from both schools all met together to have a nice little chat about my daughter and her IEP. I already knew this. It's mandated by law that I receive notice of and invitations to all IEP meetings and reviews, and I'll be damned if I never miss 'em.
I'm sure it surprised you, what me being a parent, and all, that I was disrupting what you perceived to be as sound process.
Anyhow, what you clearly should also know, since you know so much, is that last year, your counselor was in a foreign country, and didn't make my daughter's IEP meeting. Neither did I, although I did send an e-mail and discussed beforehand with her current teachers what I felt were important things that hadn't been dealt with before. The fact your counselor was absent is the reason I'm sitting in your office smiling through teeth that really want to gnash you to precious little bits, trying to get you to give me a piece of paper so I can deal with someone I really need to deal with.

That was all I wanted -- a simple piece of paper so I could write a note to the counselor requesting a brief chat about the transition.
I understand that you are a process person, so clearly caught up in the process that it never occurred once to you that all the while when you were discussing meetings about MY child with counselors and teachers and special education helpers you neglected to mention me, the parent. You seemed to think I was an unnecessary complication. My presence or involvement in the matter unnecessary. Your precious process handled it.
And you still didn't give me a piece of paper.

Well, Snarky School Counselor's Secretary, I'm afraid you've given me the impression we'll be seeing a lot of each other these next three years, so let me start all over and reintroduce myself properly.

I am a mother of a child with an IEP. I care about her education, the help she's getting or not getting, and what goes on during her day at school. I am an involved parent. I am not satisfied with any process that involves my child, specialists and teachers, but not me, the parent. You'll be hearing from me fairly frequently. Try to be less snarky. Oh, thank you, now, for finally giving me the piece of paper. Don't think to toss it. If I don't hear from a counselor soon, I'll be calling Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday... you get the idea.

P.S. By the way, regarding your precious process, let me assure you, no one can spin in and out of process, paperwork and red-tape than someone who's worked ten years in government. I know what process is. It's why I'm damned if I'm going to leave my child to it.


Melanie said...

Good for you!

Helper of Garden Gnomes said...

wow i feel the burn from over here! well said!

dnsvm said...

Yikes! I'm not sure when secretaries got a memo that said they could be power whores. It seems that they all are though. I'll help you kick butt!

David said...

Um, what's an IEP?

I was hoping someone else would mention it in the comments, or I'd figure it out, but that didn't happen.