My son was retested for speech apraxia.
My wife and I had been to several of these IEP meetings at this point, and we felt like it was no big deal. When we had a scheduling conflict, and Mary could not attend the kindergarten IEP review, our attitude was just ‘let’s get it done.’ I went by myself. The meeting was held at G.’s school in his kindergarten room. The speech pathologist, the county social worker,the teacher, and I all sat around a table designed for five year olds. The chairs were tiny and uncomfortable hard, brightly colored plastic.
I asked if I could record the meeting because Mary wasn’t there. I still have that recording saved to my computer drive.
The speech pathologist went through all of G.’s trouble areas, and at this point he had few problems. Cookie actually sounded like cookie, and he had forgotten the sign for boat. Since the last IEP meeting, as far I knew, he still had difficulties with the R sound and words that ended in the Ka sound. If you had asked me if he had a speech impediment, I couldn’t have told you one way or the other. His speech had improved so much just from his first few initial therapy sessions, and I was around him so much, I had become accustomed to his weird accent. I knew when he asked for a cookie, he was asking for a cookie.
So when the pathologist sat across from me in that kindergarten room, and told me he no longer needed services, I couldn’t help the tears.
That year held a lot of tears.
My mother-in-law died. My wife graduated with her bachelor’s. I graduated with my master’s. We moved from Wyoming to New Hampshire; we left close and dear friends. The day before the moving truck arrived, I sat at a coffee shop with a friend. He handed me a homemade goodbye card–better than a Hallmark. Inside was a crisp one hundred dollar bill–not a lot of money, but a lot of money, and worth way more than just the simplicity of cash.