We're so with you!~ Our 15 year old son is *severely* DD and goes to high school with an IEP. Remember this, though: an IEP means the state has to provide for his special needs in whatever way necessary. The state absolutely has to provide an education for all kids, regardless of what special needs they have to meet in order to do that. With his IEP, your kid has a *lot* of rights. Our son has all kinds of services that are guaranteed by his rights-- including a para educator (a one-on-one gal who greets him at the door and stays with him all day long as he goes to his classes until he is picked up). I am learning that by law the school can't be unresponsive and simply try to push him into the other kids' routines. You may have to do lots of advocating, but he can go to middle school with success. Moving up to middle school can be an important step for him, and it sounds like a good idea for him to get away from his current special ed teacher. Our son has his struggles, but he really loves school, and despite his developmental stuff, he would be miserable if he had to stay in middle school.
We're not able to homeschool him for a couple of reasons. One, he loves the intensive social experience of school (being in a small room with a bunch of same-age-peers all day just really floats his boat
). I realize that he could get social experiences in homeschool, but he completely resists the idea of anything that takes him away from "my people." Two, he is a foster child and we are not able to homeschool him unless his needs simply are not met in a regular school setting. Maybe homeschooling would be another option for you to consider, depending on your situation.
In any case, when is the next IEP evaluation scheduled for your son? It sounds like some adjustments will need to be made to the IEP in order to ensure a smooth transition for him. He may need to have a little more intensive assistance for a while. Also, have you already been in contact with his middle school? Our son is transferring schools in the next month or so, and I have begun to contact all kinds of people at his new school to work on his transition. People who can be your supports at the new school include the special ed teacher, administrators, the school nurse, the school counselor (usually assigned by first letter of last name), etc.
Anyway, you may already know about this stuff, but I just want you to know you are not alone. These are hard issues to deal with.
On a side note, I also want to say that I am excited to have found another person on here parenting an older DD kid! It is easy to feel overwhelmed in the face of our kids needs.