posted Wednesday August 12th, 2015
Sometimes you’re moving along through life, feeling like you have certain things down, know others to be true, and something happens that just completely rocks your world and makes you question everything you’ve done as a parent.
Or something like that.
A few days ago, a Facebook friend and fellow parent of a kid with Down syndrome posted an article about the relative merits of bringing food to IEP meetings. I stared at the computer, mouth literally hanging open.
Before I go any farther, let it be said that I am 100 percent in favor of gifts, including food, for everyone at my kids’ school from the crossing guard to the principal. Back to school gifts, teacher appreciation gifts, Christmas cookies, valentines — I’ve even been known to send round challahs during the Jewish holidays. I like to connect on a personal level with the people who spend so much time and effort on my kid and ours is not a school where a lot of gift giving goes on, for whatever reason. As far as I’m concerned, teachers should be showered daily.
The gift giving argument is one for another day, though. I’m talking more specifically today about food at IEP meetings.
The IEP meeting is federally mandated and designed to create a document that gets a lot of scrutiny — a roadmap, in essence, for your kid with special needs. It’s arguably one of the most important sessions of the year. I’ve been through many, with a kid in seventh grade, and I can say that I’ve had my share of contentious IEP meetings, as well as uneventful and even a few downright pleasant sessions. But never with food.
To me, that’s like eating in church, one of the few times of the year when I have no appetite.
It never occurred to me — the one who made it my business to know the kindergarten teacher’s standing order at Starbucks, the principal’s dietary restrictions — to bring food to an IEP meeting.
Instead, when Sophie was in third grade, I started to bring a lawyer.
It would have been a lot cheaper to bring a bagel platter.
Do you bring food to IEP meetings? I’ve got one next week.