I had something I intended to post but then I saw a mother write this:
“As a parent, an IEP is a sobering read.”
And then this:
“It's tough when you've seen your beautiful kid grow and see so much positive but reading the IEP reminds you that they are flawed. “
And so now I am writing this instead.
Dear friend - remember that the IEP is part of a system that says you must do x by the time you are 18 to be “successful.” Hopefully all the people in that IEP meeting with you today really care about your boy. I believe all except a very few do care, passionately sometimes, about our children. (No one goes into teaching for the money!) It’s not their fault that the system they work within defines success so narrowly.
You do not have to put him in that box though. You don't have to SEE him from inside that box. Your son is not “flawed.” He is not blemished, damaged, defective, or unsound. (And neither is mine.)
I don’t know why we are all so fast to judge one another as if we were finished products instead of seeing each other as works in progress, but we do. He is only 13. There is so much more living, growing, and changing ahead of him.
Keep looking at the beautiful, and the growth, and the possibilities. School may be done with him at 18 but you will still have plenty of room and time for him. All of us parenting children that are outside the box will keep working on the world so it has room and time for him too.