She lives here in Eureka, with her husband, two boys, and two dogs she rarely has time to pet.She is extraordinary because she holds down a very grown up job (honestly…..she wears nice clothes and sits behind a desk in a fancy office……), she runs an amazing organization called FAAN– Families Advocating Autism Now that has sensory friendly movie events, gifts iPads to classrooms, and so much more.Oh yeah. And she’s a special needs mom.
Heck. I’m tired just reading her credentials.
I’ve been bugging her for a year or so to guest write for me.
The other day she posted about her son’s IEP and I thought: THIS is the one. THIS is the story that needs to be told.
Because in all the autism / TSC groups I belong to– there are three letters that strike fear, terror, anger, and frustration into the hearts of special needs parents: IEP. Individual Education Plan.
THIS IEP had a happy ending.
THIS is a story of hope.
THIS is a story keeping you eye on the prize
It’s got pictures of her son, who I fell in love with when I work in the PALs program.
A little cutie patatootie sitting on the rug, flipping through pages of a book with his effervescent smile and indomitable spirit.
May I introduce to you,
the lovely Fatima…..
My amazing son, Caden was diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome at the age of one and Autism at the age of two. He has a wonderful little brother, Tate that was diagnosed with Fragile X at the super young age of 3 months. The road has been windy, long, scary and has had so many twists and turns that I have wanted to get off it many times.
This kids is destined for greatness…..
Easy? Not so much!
Three hours later, my husband and I walked out of there dumbfounded. What the heck had just happened? Yes, Caden had received the services that we requested, but there was so much red tape, so many unsmiling faces, just so much.. SHIT. It was a sad day, and I remember crying for a long time that night dreaming of what our future was going to look like.
Fight after fight. Could we handle this? Were we equipped to handle it? Did I really even want to handle this?My, how things have changed…..In this IEP meeting we discussed Caden’s growth and also the challenges that he will face. But, as a TEAM (yes, a real team) we decided that mainstreaming him is in his very best interest. By the end of the meeting, most of us all were in tears.