Our Last IEP Meeting

We are so pleased to welcome Jeannette Christie as a guest blogger today, writing about her very last IEP meeting and the emotions it raised.

We always welcome guest bloggers. If you are interested in sharing your story with the FamilyConnect community, please write to familyconnect@afb.net.

By Jeannette Christie, Parent Representative/ NYC-NAPVI Branch Manager

Today was our last IEP meeting. Going into the meeting, I was very excited that I didn’t have to sit through one more ever again. I do have to say that in all the years of IEP meetings we were pretty fortunate that they were pretty much smooth sailing. I know that many families unfortunately can’t say the same.

So as I am sitting through the meeting and everything is going well, we are discussing Thomas’s goals and plans after graduation. I don’t recall exactly how, but I started talking about how Thomas came to me when he was in the 4th grade and in a mainstream setting, and he says to me, “Mom, I need to be in a school where everyone is like me.” So, the waterworks begin. It truly caught me off guard that I became so emotional.

I don’t believe that it was just about how my son felt, and how much he had gone through, that he needed to be with other visually impaired kids. I believe that it was the realization that my little boy was a young man now, and I can’t make decisions for him or protect him like I have all these years. I would fight the battles over the years, speak up on his behalf. Now he enters the real world, and whatever path he takes—college or looking for employment—I have to sit back and just support him.