I ended up sending out an e-mail that summarizes what was said in the meeting (the denial of services due to caseload and how key people were not present for the discussion) and cc’d the dir of special education. I included him because he really should be made aware of what his staff is saying, especially since it was so egregious. He responded that he’s happy to come to our next meeting, which wasn’t my aim, but is probably a good idea for both of us.
I’ve decided that I need to put my request in writing, and include bullet points to defend my position. My understanding is that if I put it in writing, they need to put their official response in writing, which will hopefully make them actually consider my proposal. Plus, then my case will be laid out and I won’t have to depend on my own memory during the meeting.
I think the most disappointing thing about this is that it calls into question whether or not certain members of the IEP team actually care about Paul’s needs. When a parent proposes something they believe his/her child needs, and the immediate response is basically, “No, the caseload is full. Kids only get this” it seems like others are just thinking about the administrative side of things, and not about the needs of the child. They don’t need to automatically believe me that Paul needs a certain service, but if they cared about Paul and they valued me as a member of the IEP team, the correct response would be, “Why do you believe he needs additional time?” And then the conversation begins, and the collaboration, and the creative problem solving. And it would be awesome. Hopefully we’ll get there sometime.