Sunday, August 23, 2009

You don't ask, you don't get

This is one of my father's favorite sayings. (And though my mother doesn't say it, she follows it, too.) I scoff sometimes when he invokes it if what's at stake seems trivial to me (I'm not asking for the $5 anyone owes me if it the time it will take me to get it is worth more to me than the cash.) But last week, what was at stake was significant, and I was glad to have had this mantra drilled into my head throughout my childhood.

As LSFX readers may recall, we had a great IEP in which we were offered everything we wanted: an intensive, specialized half-day preschool program, PT, OT, ST, etc. However, we are moving very soon (the house is almost done - more on that in another post!), and we had this IEP in our current school district, which is in the same SELPA as our new school district, so everything is supposed to transfer pretty smoothly.

However, when I called the new school district a couple of weeks ago to let them know we were on our way and find out about the preschool options, I was told that "all that was available" was a 2.5-hour per day general special education preschool. I was miffed, but wasn't sure what I could do.

I started to investigate our options - private school, inter-district transfer, etc. Then I decided to call the new school district back and politely nudge just a bit more:

I'm a little concerned that the preschool program we discussed last time we spoke would not be appropriate for my son. I'm considering private preschool and some other options. Could we move up our scheduled meeting to discuss the options?

We don't know even know what your son's needs and goals are.

Yes, we do, we have an IEP and a half-day, intensive program is what we signed and agreed to.

Well, actually, we do have a half-day intensive, specialized preschool program. Let's meet a week earlier and you can visit it at that time to see if it would be a good fit.

That would be great, thanks! Quinn's been doing so well in his current intensive half-day early intervention program, I just want to make sure he continues to progress.


The first time I spoke with this person, this second option was never brought up. Who knows if Quinn will end up going to this program (though it sounds good), but I am much relieved, and reminded how powerful it can be simply to ask. You don't ask, you don't get.


Jen said...

Awesome! Good job making that phone call and approaching the situation so calmly while stating the facts. I know I need to adopt that approach dealing with what we have going here.

kia (good enough mama) said...

Good job! It's so true that the "squeaky wheel gets the grease," isn't it? But why do we have to dig so hard to find help? Argh. I hope this turns out to be just what Quinn needs!

Bjetsey said...

I hope it turns out to be every bit as good as what Q has now. It's good that you knew to push, but still, that's a problem itself!

fragilemom said...

Way to go mom!

Merisi said...

Brava for mastering another cliff!

Congrats on David's Post of the Day Award! :-)

Sandi McBride said...

My mother's was "ask, all they can say is yes or no...nothing ventured nothing gained"...I heard it all my life and I practice it daily! Good job! Oh, and congratulations on Post of the Day nomination!

Brian Miller said...

too true. i dont know that it is intentional but it seems at times we get a preprogrammed answer unless you dig deeper...maybe they just don't understand our question? glad its working out though. congrats on the POTD mention.

Alix said...

Thank you for the reminder! I wonder how many times I missed out on something within reach by not making the effort to pursue it. In your case, the reward was substantial. Congratulations on that victory and your POTD mention at

Sarah said...

Thanks, all, for the kind comments.

smiles4u said...

These words are so very true. I tend to be one that backs down way too easily or just accepts what is said without asking for more answers. I think it's great that you are such a great advocate for Quinn. Congrats on post of the day mention!

Cheffie-Mom said...

Great job! Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!

foodstuffs said...

this is a good reminder for me.