Being a Virtual Assistant Makes More Things Possible

by Shannon Penrod

Today was my son’s IEP to transition to kindergarten.  If you don’t know what that means take a moment and be grateful.  An IEP is an individualized educational plan.  It is only necessary when your child has special needs or concerns.  My child has Autism.  This was his third IEP.  This is the first IEP that I have attended where I actually had had sleep in the last week.  Why? Because now I am a virtual assistant and I was able to rearrange my week so that I didn’t have to stay up nights to prepare for the IEP. I got to be a sane person, which meant that I was a better representative for my child.

I explained to a friend yesterday that attending an IEP is a lot like buying a new car, you need to know what you want and negotiate your way to an equitable agreement.  Only with an IEP what you are negotiating is your child’s entire future – NO STRESS!  And today there wasn’t.  Because of my job I was able to do my job, for my kid. No small thing.

I talk to parents all the time who are struggling, trying to figure out how to work and see to their child’s needs.  This is true in almost all homes.  It is especially poignant to me in a home with a child who has a disability.  How do you choose between providing for your child’s special needs and being available to take them to therapy, doctor’s appointments etc, etc, etc.  It was a puzzle I couldn’t figure out until I became a virtual assistant. 

To all of you Autism Moms out there, I just want to say that this is one solution that works.  While my son is getting ABA therapy I am in the next room with my baby monitor on listening to everything while I write blogs and articles for realtors around the country.