Saturday, February 26, 2011

Preparing for G's Triennial IEP

Next week we will have G's triennial IEP. Every three years the schools do testing to see how G is performing academically and to look at how autism affects his learning. This is all done to get an accurate picture of how G’s doing, so we can develop appropriate ways to support him.

It sounds like a good thing doesn't it? The truth is every three years these tests break my heart. Am I sad that my son has autism? Honestly, not really. My son is different, and different isn’t bad it's just different. Autism gives him a unique perspective on life, unique interests, and he teaches us life lessons we could never learn if he was any other way.

So why does it break my heart? It breaks my heart because I'll see in black and white exactly why he is struggling. It's time like these any shred of denial flies out the window. It will spell out for me exactly why G is trying so hard just to keep up and learn in high school. Even though he has an extremely high IQ and a lot of motivation he currently has a C+ average. We are so proud of him for that because he's doing it on his own without an aid completely independent.

Now the school is suggesting an easy academic load for his junior year of high school. I've talked to G about it and he doesn't want to do this. He wants to continue taking the college prep classes knowing he'll probably go to a junior college. He isn't motivated to take the easy way out. So it breaks my heart when I see him so motivated and yet I know it's going to become even more challenging just to keep up. I wish I could take the challenges on for him but I can't. I wish I could fix everything so he didn't have to struggle but I can't. Instead all I can do is walk alongside him and continue to love him.

This is not the plan that I created in my mind for my son. But my son's life is not mine, and my son has decided to follow Jesus and wants his plan. As a matter of fact, he recently memorized Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” When I think of the plans I had for G I want to cry. However, my plans aren't God's plans and thank God they're not. God's plans for G are full of hope and include a prosperous future. As I review the test results this week I'm going to do my best to remember Jeremiah 29:11.