YOU Go to Him.
The high school IEP meeting was far less … structured and worrisome than those from our past.
For one thing, Dylan appears to be in good hands. His counselor is absolutely wonderful. He’s very laid back, calm, professional and kind. He knows what he’s doing, and seems to actually care about the students.
Better yet, Dylan’s special education coordinator is awesome. Unlike those we’ve met before, he is way laid back. He never seems to think anything is a problem. He’s not just reassuring – he’s there. In the moment. And he is there for Dylan.
We spent an easy hour together – parents, Dylan, counselor and coordinator.
We discussed Dylan’s schedule. They were a bit surprised to see that Dylan needed both an IEP and a four-year plan to get an IB degree. But they studied it, and determined that it was in keeping with what was needed to graduate.
They even decided that Dylan’s taking both video production and computer coding would be fine – in spite of our last-second decision to do so. If the IBCP offers a computer pathway in the next year or two, Dylan will be able to hop on board. If not, at least he gets to take a class he will really enjoy.
I’ve still got my concerns about Dylan taking Spanish, but he has 21 days to decide – and drop out, if need be. We’ll just have to deal with the colleges when it’s time to deal with colleges.
My favorite part of the meeting, though, was when the special ed coordinator interviewed Dylan. It was hard to keep my mouth shut, but high school is obviously different than middle school. Dylan answered the questions. Dylan made suggestions for himself. Dylan talked about what he liked and didn’t like.
Dylan talked about how it was sometimes difficult for him to deal with certain people.
The coordinator listened. This may be his best attribute, even though his other attributes are so good.
“If you have a problem with any person,” he told Dylan, “a student or a teacher or anyone – you come and talk to me about it. And I will work with you to fix that problem.”
“You see, Dylan?” I blurted. “You go to him. You don’t come to me, and then I go to him. You’re in high school now!”
“That’s right,” said the coordinator. He looked at me, all-knowing.
In spite of my glee at the teachable moment, I should have kept my mouth shut.
Then he took Dylan on a brief tour, and told us about orientation.
As an aside, each of my children have a half-day orientation – Shane in middle school, and Dylan in high school. Probably not coincidentally, orientation takes place on my birthday.
I’m not sure if that’s a gift, or a horrible joke. But I am learning to be open, so I will just wait and see.