Wednesday, April 21, 2010


I think that half the reason STM got his gluten intolerance diagnosis, is so I'd be motivated to shop at New Seasons. All my best "meetings" happen there, "coincidentally." First it was with Friends 1 and 2 about getting a dog for Rojo (and we all know how that turned out) then yesterday I ran into the one person I most needed to run into at that exact moment, "J."

Monday we had our IEP meeting to determine Rojo's eligibility. I'd been dreading it and bracing myself for weeks. STM said he considered it an "errand." I didn't know whether to love or hate him for that attitude. I loved that he was able to detach from it, consider it something that needed doing, and wasn't in knots over it like I was. Part of me really wanted him worried sick right along with me.

Really glad STM was there, however, as he quickly moved out of "errand" mode into kick ass mode, and was the hero of the whole thing, calling BS and being assertive when I was flattened and stunned by the complete bureaucracy and dehumanization of the process. I won't even go into all the gory details, suffice it to say I left the meeting too sickened to even come home and drink. That's how bad it was.

But. There was one person there, the OT, who hadn't even laid eyes on my son (yet was reporting on him, don't get me started). She went home and later that same night wrote us a long e-mail apologizing for the meeting, how she was sorry we focused only on his weaknesses, and how she knew Rojo had many strengths. She explained how she has two sons, one with an IEP and she works in the system, and still finds it confusing and frustrating.

She got it.

Also had two amazing souls from Rojo's school there lending support, wisdom, balance and humor to the meeting.

Have had three more e-mail exchanges with my new best friend the OT, she's recommended books, videos, advocacy programs, given names of people in the system that can be of help, etc. Above and beyond.

So, back to New Seasons. On Tuesday, still walking around in a PTSD trance, I ran into J. She has a son two years older than Rojo with special needs. J. is a crier and when I'm around her, so am I. We stood in the middle of New Seasons yesterday and cried, and laughed, and hugged, and raged, and offered up hope and belief that our sons will be okay, despite the system, despite the BS, despite all bell curves to the contrary.

Because we both believe in angels.

Angels among us.


* Photo from:


Elizabeth said...

I love that photo at the top of the post -- it's haunting and gorgeous. I'm so sorry to hear about your bad IEP -- I know all too well what that bs is about. Hang in there and go with your instincts, always. I trust that Rojo will be fine. And tell STM that I'm not officially going to call the IEP we have soon an "errand." I adore that!

Wanda said...

Way to go, STM! So glad he kicked into warrior mode.

So glad you ran into J. (NO ACCIDENTS, indeed!)

And yes, your sons not only will be okay but are okay...right now.

Pie Maker said...


Deb said...

I got Katie's psych report the other day. She hasn't had one in eight years. It was hard to read and I doubt I could have read it without crying even just a few years ago. It was accurate though and showed me just how low functioning she is. What it doesn't show is her soul, her intuition, although that was touched on, but I was okay with that. People only have to meet Katie once to understand that there is more to her than meets the eye.

Chin up.

jillbob said...

I'd comment on the IEP process here in PDX but I'd like to keep my comments family friendly. Fantastic that the both of you went. I notice huge differences when Bruce attends IEP's..... and calls people out. It WILL bring results.

I can also promise that when you land in a classroom, your energy will bring actual progress.

Deb Shucka said...

So grateful for your angel and for the healing you bring to each other. You are Rojo's angels, you and STM (when he's in kick ass mode).

Lola said...

Angels trump BS every time!!!!!! said...

Rojo is living, walking light. He will always be okay.

Three cheers for STM!

I remember when you didn't cry. Now, you have well placed emotions. Take an A teacher.

Look at you go!

Tanya @ TeenAutism said...

I'm glad you ran into her. I always love those chance meetings. I had one a few weeks ago, and the positive aspects of that coincidence (while stopped at an intersection!) are still affecting me.

pixiemama said...

Go, STM! (Though I can completely relate to how you felt about how HE felt before the meeting.)

I have a theory, though I'm sure I wasn't the one to make it up. Here it goes: If you walk around assuming that the world is full of jerks, you're going to run into a LOT of jerks. If you think, however, the world is full of angels... well, you catch my drift.

love you.

One Mom said...


Kim said...

You are an angel among us, and so is Rojo. And so is STM! And ditto Lola: angels will ALWAYS trump BS!


Amber said...

Amen. (love)

Wyatt looked over my shoulder just now before I drove him to school, and saw this picture you posted. He called over Georgia, who said very matter of fact, "Yep. Angels can be big or small. You just have to look."

You just have to look.
Holy crap. Amen.

oxoxox :)

Jerri said...

Rojo is more than okay. Rojo is one of the angels we believe in.

IEP meetings are brutal, but the things said or reported there don't define your boy. Rojo defines himself, every day, with love and laughter and joy.

"Don't forget," Rojo often reminds us. OMHoG, how that boy reminds us what truly matters.

Robin said...

I love angels -- and kick ass dads. (Try to hold that thought during the next political discussion.)

kario said...

IEP meetings suck! I swear, I think they really need to rethink the entire thing. I'm sure we could come up with a better way to do them. For starters, how about we hold them at a cozy coffee shop and have them led by the parents and supporters of the child with the beaurocrats listening and following their lead...gimme some time, I'm sure I can come up with more ideas.

Love you.
Love STM.
Love J.
Love that OT.
Hoping it all gets better.