I feel like I am going to be sick. This can’t be happening now. Do all parents feel like this before their child’s IEP meeting? Or is this just happening to me?
It is time to get out of the car and I am frozen. There’s no one to call for support. So I will just call on Jesus. What’s the worst thing that could happen?
With all of my strength I walked into the building. Reciting what I would say over in my head for the 15th time. The office staff is always so friendly. That calmed me down. I will just sip my water and try not to vomit in the main office.
As I head in to the meeting, this is my time to advocate for Sydney. This is my chance.
So far so good. The number of people in the room didn’t bother me. There is always a round table of people to attend her meetings. I called an emergency IEP meeting for Sydney. The details I will not share on social media. But I am so glad that I trusted my instincts. Parents of children with IEP’s, please know that it is your right to call a meeting whenever you have a concern. Don’t feel guilty about doing so.
It is warm in this room and I am wearing short sleeves. It was my turn to speak. Everything I practiced went out of the window. God gave me the words to speak. I was calm, and still felt sick.
I am a strong woman. But at that moment I was tired. Tired of fighting for Sydney. I broke down. Not a panic attack. Tears of a mother that spoke from the heart. The meeting had to be stopped. I took five minutes to pray and pull myself together. I pictured Harrison and Sydney. I thought where they are in their lives now. Is because of me and the grace of God. Then I had to do some harsh self talk to myself. “Brooke, get your ass up, pull up your big girl panties and go handle this shit.”
I walked back in the meeting. And was able to finish the meeting. We will be meeting again in January for her annual IEP. I felt some peace leaving the meeting.
It wouldn’t be until the next day that I received a phone call at work. That phone call confirmed my gut instincts. Now we are moving in the right direction. My voice matters. My child is a human being.
I may get tired. I may break down and cry. But I won’t stop advocating for my child and other students with disabilities.