Friday, May 25, 2012

I think I'm done

I've been wondering about blogging and why I blog lately. It's generally been gnawing at me this spring, but this post from a City Schools teacher-blogger (who doesn't blog about schools) brought it to a head. Really, it's bigger than blogging or not, it's about the whole basis of this blog and choices about my kids and their future in the system that gives this blog its title.

I started looking at my sidebar text and saw this declaration - "We are in public schools because we believe that justice starts with a decent free education for all and if I want decent public education being personally involved is the first step." I just don't know anymore. I truly believe that a democracy depends on all of its citizens having a decent education. Not just those with the money for a private school. Not just those who live in the right neighborhood. Not just those who can learn the same way as their peer. Not just those whose tests scores are in a narrow band around the system's average. Unfortunately, knowing that something is critical doesn't make it happen. Is that "first step" a path to somewhere or just tilting at windmills?

I am questioning decisions made years ago and decisions made more recently. I am questioning the wisdom of pouring time, energy, support, love and money into a system that I have little respect for at the moment.

I am tired of broken promises, big and small. I am tired of vindictive and soul-crushing bureaucracies. I am tired of asking overwhelmed people to do things that I know they should, but really are not capable of doing.

When I started this blog I was sure we would all survive the system and that quitting or retreat was not an option. Now, I'm not so sure.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How'd it go?

The illustrations from a classic that came to mind... I'm thinking the 7th circle, but I might be off a bit
After getting bumped from our original date, yesterday we finally had our IEP meeting. Sadly, we got very little done and will have to schedule another. I might not have a lot of happiness at the moment, but I've got tons of resolve and resources. Don't worry gentle readers, msk will get his FAPE.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Can you stop now?

So lately, my life has been filled with these balls of stress pounding me like random hailstones.

Here's today's:

To get appropriate services or FAPE you need a decent, education specific evaluation. In msk's case, two evaluations - neuro-psych and speech-language.

Insurance won't cover education specific evaluations, and the general medical evaluations that they will cover are useless at IEP meetings

My employer has special support services for employees dealing with autism, so I thought, "What can it hurt to call and ask?" I called and asked and after talking for 45 min to give her the background story, I was pointed to some sort of fund that my medical insurance company has to help people with medical services that they don't cover. As far as I could tell I needed to prove financial need and what they wanted to cover was ABA services, which is not the same as assessment. So basically she had pointed me to a dead-end that took probably another hour of my time.

The autism "expert" called back to follow up and I (politely) told her that her recommendation had been no help. She told me the names of some support services, but it was pretty clear that after about 9 years of dealing with autism and services and schools I knew more than she did. So the answer to the "What can it hurt?" question is that it can waste my time and cause me general aggravation.

Today she called again to re-follow-up or something. She asked if I had figured out how to fund the evaluations and I said, yes, by my credit cards which thankfully allow $20K worth of debt. She repeatedly asked me if there was any more help she could provide. I wanted to ask, "More? You haven't provided any help and I wish I hadn't called in the first place." Instead, I took down her number and told her if I thought of anything I would call.

I don't need to get pissed about insurance coverage (or lack thereof) at this point. I am totally wigging out about this IEP meeting coming up next week. I worry about the money involved. I worry about making the right decisions. I worry about how much contention and friction there will be when we discuss these assessments. I worry about how much stress my husband and I can take when it comes to dealing with schools and special education. Isn't that enough without worthless people bugging me at work to ask if they can help me? Puh-LEEZE!

This week

I know I owe you an actual post, but prepping for an IEP meeting that I expect to be long and hard is taking a lot out of me. Also, working on moving my mom into a retirement community and helping her get rid of stuff is also taking a lot out of me. Plus, dealing with the end of school year rushing around coupled with the concept of graduation and going to college is taking a lot out of me.

On the up side, I am sticking with my exercise commitment and I am still on the path to losing 50 lbs by the time I turn 50. Here's this week's report:

Thursday, May 3, 2012

"Lifetime" achievements

Not really a lifetime, since I got the pedometer 4/14/2012. So really 3 weeks' achievements:

245,012 steps
386 flights of stairs
112.95 miles.