That's what I feel today.
Today, I celebrate the birth of my IEP baby thirteen years ago. Eight days ago, I mourned the anniversary of his passing.
And every day, I am now more open, more welcoming, more accepting, and more aware. We have a new sheriff in town, and I do not like his education deputy. The extraordinary education of our special needs population could hang in the balance, and today, I thank God that as a parent, I am not as worried as some of my friends, because my special boy's time in the education system ended abruptly a few years ago with his passing. Now...I have more time and energy to give to THEM, and their special babies, to help be sure that the exceptional teachers who helped us, and helped him, still have ways to meaningfully contribute to educating all the members of our next generation, they typical and atypical.The IEP process isn't the pinnacle of efficiency. How could it be - it's an instrument of the government. But it is better than nothing. Giving parents "choice" to take their students otherwheres and removing federal protections cannot reasonably support a family already overencumbered with a lot of hard knowledge.
A lot of you know what it's like to have an atypical kid, because at the core, we're all atypical, some just more than others. Now, add into that having a language barrier because up until about 10 days ago, we were a country that welcomed everyone. Can you even fathom explaining a metabolic condition to someone whose first language isn't English? Medical terminology is hard. It's HARD. It turns you into someone you weren't - overinformed, exhausted, replete with the knowledge of how something is supposed to work and how your child's particular case doesn't work.
And then they want to translate that into educational terms too.
It's utterly overwhelming. Since I'm not overwhelmed by that any more, but still burdened by my knowledge, it's time to turn it on to help Connor's classmates, his friends, his community.
I see it all, and I won't let them take education away from our most fragile citizens.
WOKE, friends. In honor of Connor.