by Marcia Hinds – Megan and Ryan’s Mom
This was the outfit I had to wear a few times. It works for IEP’s meetings as well as Halloween. Just as Ryan didn’t understand the social cues, I didn’t always read the IEP team correctly. I was driven to fix Ryan’s autism. My intense focus sometimes made me less than sensitive to any needs others might have that were not centered on my son. My world revolved around recovering my son, and I assumed the teachers shared my passion.
They did, just not as much.
I worried far too much about the teachers and the IEP team liking Ryan and me. What I needed to do was to stop worrying about their personal feelings and thoughts, learn to tread softly, and carry a big legal, documented stick. Although, the school personnel liked me for the most part, I think they were a little afraid of me too.
Fear can be a good thing to help you get what your kid needs, as long as in the process you don’t make anyone too angry. Usually, it was not necessary to carry a stick, because the team genuinely cared about helping my son and did what was best for him. But, they also knew I would do anything to help my son.
Frank usually accompanied me to these meetings. We had our own rendition of good cop, bad cop. I know I don’t have to spell out what Frank’s roll was — everyone always loves Frank. That was not always the case with me.
Frank and I used to refer to this stick-and-carrot IEP management tactic as “Getting Loud”. It’s kind of like when you are complaining in a store about a problem. When you increase the volume, other customers hear what you are saying, so management does whatever you ask in order to shut you up. Most times we never had to get loud, because they knew I would. Nobody wanted to take on Ryan’s mother.
Whenever I attended an IEP meeting without Frank, his first question to me was if I had to get loud to make sure Ryan got what was needed. I always tried the nice way, first. If that didn’t work, I got loud. But most times I didn’t have to, since they knew I would. And I could get very, very, LOUD.
NOTE FROM MARCIA HINDS – Megan and Ryan’s mom:
Ryan became an aerospace engineer, because he received proper medical treatment combined with behavioral, and educational interventions. To preview my book, “I Know You’re In There – winning our war against autism”go to Amazon or my website www.autism-and-treatment.com
Contact info for Marcia: