First IEP

Last week I attended the first IEP for Israel. I've been a part of many meetings regarding Israel's development, because Israel has been in early intervention through UCP since he was 9 months old. This was a meeting to plan Israel's special education intervention at the local elementary school.

Starting next week (when he turns 3!) Israel will go to the elementary pre-k for 4 year olds on Tuesdays for a few hours. He'll get several services on Tuesday and some again on Thursday morning. He's going to receive PT, OT, Speech and developmental coaching, as well as peer modeling from the four year olds in his class.

I'm excited to gain more advocates in our team that are rooting for Israel. The IEP meeting went fairly well, but I did get a little emotional as they read through Israel's deficits and challenges. I actually teared up and the women at the table were very empathetic and encouraging to me. I know that is probably not the only time I will cry in front of them, so I appreciated the support. It's never easy to be reminded of the ways your child is different or how many "standard deviations" he is from "normal."

I've had a lot of dread leading up to Israel's birthday because he is aging out of EI. I am really sad to leave his team of therapists behind, but I know that they have played an instrumental part in his development and milestones thus far. I can't thank the UCP family enough for loving Israel and supporting us in so many ways! We are going to keep Israel at the UCP daycare two days a week because he is flourishing there. If it gets to be too much with UCP and the elementary school the 1/2 day, then we will reevaluate. For now, I'm thankful to have many teachers as support to be the village in raising Israel!

Although that meeting was less than an hour, I was impacted by the women in there and how they are devoted to their jobs and to the children they are serving. The little moments of empathy and encouragement have already made a big impact on me- I'm feeling a little less nervous about the transition ahead, knowing that the women are excited about having Israel in their care. They were going on and on about how they think he is adorable and are looking forward to seeing him each week. I talked to them about our recent diagnosis, and the women stated that they will never put limitations on him. I appreciate that so much.

It is always encouraging to me to see people love what they do and to excel at it. Those women that day - teachers, therapists, service coordinators - they reminded me that it doesn't take much to make a big impact on others. How have you seen little moments make a big impact on others?

{Day 7 of Little Moments, Big Impact}