Yesterday, I learned some valuable lessons at Bubby's IEP meeting. Most not good, and some even carry with it an abrasive ability to leave me jaded, perhaps forever.
I learned that right isn't always right. This might seem like an odd statement. It's contradictory, to be sure. What I mean by that is, logical sense, data, and proof doesn't always get things moving in a sensible direction. People may say, but the school has to do this, or that. Yes, in a perfect world, where people didn't come saddled with baggage, and ulterior motives when the moral, right, and data-driven initiative is revealed it is accepted as fact, because it is fact. I learned yesterday that I can sit in a room with nine people, and one person can effectively shut the whole meeting down with such intimidation, even with seasoned professionals involved.
I learned that some people will always see any deviation from the norm as wrong.
Not necessarily wrong in the sense of bad, but wrong in the sense of needs to get fixed.
I learned that some people will never understand autism. They won't try. They don't want to, and no matter how long we talk about it, their percepetion of my son will never change.
I learned that some people see my son as a burden. This was pretty much said outright. This was meant to instill shame into my mothering for "taxing" the school system with so much extra work. This tactic has not worked so far, and I don't know why this person seems to think it will work now. Most mothers would have been a puddle of tears by the end of the meeting I had last night.
Not me. My voice may have raised, and I may have gotten snarky, but I did not cry. I was not sad. I was angry. Any tears that come from this situation will be tears of frustration, and despair.
I learned that sometimes, school staff really do take on the stance of us, against them. I always thought this was a bit of an overstatement by parents who don't always get how IEP meetings work, and such. Last night was a clear us against them approach. It felt like they were protecting their resources from my son. Some of what I asked for made no sense to be denied, because it seemed it was denied on the basis of them believing that he needed to know, or to learn certain things, because it's just how it's done.
I learned that Bubby is just as misunderstood as he was when he was a toddler. This hasn't changed, as I hoped it would. I want so much for the world to know what a great person Bubby is. He is kind, gentle, organized, smart, funny, and responsible. He is (and was noted by more than one staff member at the meeting) very obedient, and wants to please others. It seems that the world is so bent on seeing his anxiety, and rigid behaviors as who he is. He doesn't get the chance to be seen for the person he is, because they're too busy trying to make him into something he isn't. I have to really stop, and wonder how long this can goon before I need to be done with this whole thing, and pull him out of that environment before it damages him more than it already has.
I have learned that when it comes to Bubby, I have to trust my own judgment, because 99% of those around me will always think I am overreacting when it comes to him. I live in regret all those times I never spoke up for him, that I didn't do what I felt was needed for him, from the doctor's office telling me he just has ADHD, or is a boy, and boys learn slowly to the school insisting he learn to be like his peers by doing this or that without the exceptions he needs.