Step One: You tell your kid's school that Hey, Something Ain't Right.
Step Two: 30 days later, you attend an initial meeting to officially voice your concerns that Hey, Something Ain't Right.* A variety of tests and assessments by a variety of people are planned to confirm that Something Ain't Right.
*Bonus points if you come prepared to this meeting with a pricey independent assessment that already confirms the Something, and by "bonus points" I mean hahahahahaha absolutely nothing you just played yourself, son.
Step Three: 90 days after that, you attend ANOTHER meeting to go over the results of the tests and assessments, and SURPRISE:
Something Ain't Right.
Step Four: You wait ANOTHER 30 days for ANOTHER meeting, at which point a plan actually gets put in place to address the Something, and services and accommodations can officially begin for the Something.
Step Five: Drink!
So we had an IEP meeting yesterday for Ike, a meeting of the Step Three variety. The earliest he'll get help from the school is now mid-to-late January.
I'm more frustrated than usual with this particular rodeo round because I've been sounding the Step One alarm since PRESCHOOL. Then all through Kindergarten. By first grade we had some speech therapy in place to address his lisp and articulation issues, and I guess I naively thought that because he already had an IEP in place, we might be able to skip some of the bureaucratic bullshit and just add supports for dyslexia.
(Oh my sweet, summer child. Have you been here long?)
The CODES, you see. It's the CODES and the CHANGING of them. Changing Ike's primary need from speech to a learning disability requires a coding change, a new case manager, and a whole new level of service hours and Least Restrictive Environment discussions.
(Also, here is your 100th copy of the 100-page Parental Rights & Safeguards booklet that we must offer you at every single meeting; trees be damned, damned, DAMNED!)
I was not at all surprised by any of the assessment results yesterday, nor was I surprised by all the informal observations by the team: Ike is a super-smart, hard-working and utterly delightful little person. He wants to please, he wants to do well, he wants to make you laugh and give you hugs.
But above all, the kid just really wants to read.
(He will also accept chocolate cake, because obviously.)