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If the IEP Process Is Hard for You, Read This

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I know how difficult the individualized education program (IEP) process can be.

I know the heartbreak of reading through pages and pages of reports that point out all the ways your child is different.

I know how it stings every time you are reminded that your child is not comparing to their same-age peers.

I know how it hurts to read off numbers and percentiles, while you know with your whole heart those things do not begin to show your child’s true capabilities.

I know your anxiety leading up to your big meeting as you read, highlight, research and prepare for hours.

I know how you worry that despite all your efforts to advocate for your child, people still may not see past test scores and labels and preconceived notions.

I know the tension you feel during the multiple hours that you sit at the meeting table trying your best to relay your concerns, all the while holding back your tears. Or not.

I know how frustrating it is to explain your concerns over and over again, and still not know if you are truly being heard.

I know the emotional crash you experience afterwards as you wonder if you have done enough.

I am right there with you, my friend.

But, I also know we will be OK.

We are doing our very best to do right by our children.

Our very best to help them be seen.

Our very best to get them the supports they need, as well as the opportunities they deserve.

Our kids are fighters, but we have to be, too. For them. And we will continue to fight for them with everything we have each and every day.

And as we fight, we have to always remember one very important thing — the thing that allows me to know that we truly will be alright:

We are not alone in our struggles, in our fears, in our worries.

No, not at all.

We have each other.

A version of this story originally appeared on Mia Carella’s Facebook page.

Originally published: August 2, 2019
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