The train rolled into the station and the girl proudly stepped off. In her 17 years of public education as a special needs student she taught others more than she learned and I know for sure made a difference in the lives of many. Additionally, what we learned and accomplished will go into the records books of the dynamic duo of advocacy.
The first time I learned what an IEP was and the services that I resisted out of pure ignorance and ego (like the”little bus”) ended up in a long process of discovering not only what special education is, but the grit in which I dug deep into my Self. Yea, Grit with a capital G.
What the girl accomplished in her tenure as a special education student include:
- Exceeded the expectations of someone with a tested 51 full-scale IQ
- Taught others what tolerance is
- Looked into the eye of anxiety in order to grow
- Made allies with some teachers and others she offered a dose of reality
- Went to prom, managed a basketball team, took dance classes and dissected a cat
- Learned valuable job skills
- Became an advocate for herself
What I accomplished:
- Learned that it is okay be the squeaky wheel
- Asked for what was right over and over
- Waited patiently for what was right to be delivered
- Listened to my inner advocate and acted on it
- Learned that wanting people to like me was far less important that insisting on the right action
- Let go of my own made up stories about how things should be
- Embraced what is
At the end of this era, I am incredibly grateful for the gift that is my girl. Not only did she hold the door open for me to discover my true purpose, she taught me what it means to never give up, to fight for what is right, and to believe in myself.
Onto the next train.