Monday, April 26, 2010

Keeping Us Awake

I worry when I get the sheet for gifted and talented screening for Andy and find it fits both boys to a T. Only they have never screened, nor offered to screen, Joey.

I worry when one of the teachers in Andy's room says things like, "He's such a delight!" because it implies that if he was disabled by his ADHD, he wouldn't be (especially in the context in which it is said). And the reason right now that he isn't disabled by his ADHD is because he had a totally rockin' teacher in there- the other teacher.

I worry when teachers at Joey's new school react to suggestions for Joey's program with "Oh, we've never had our teacher do that before." I especially worry when the suggestion is about providing him with social skills and language training- two fairly common needs for educating autistic kids.

I worry when the school SLP praises Andy's speech skills, when I have now seen and heard in him the company of whole rooms of peers, and can still hear how very different he sounds. Heaven forbid he get excited or upset, because then you can't understand him at all. (Did I mention the child has ADHD? Excited or upset happens a lot).

I worry when the discussion of ESY includes a program that had field trips every week, when every time he has a field trip at school, Joey gets off-kilter... often for days. Oh, and one of the weeks without an aide, in a room of 40 kids. I worry a lot.

I worry when the reaction to having IEP goals about coping with teasing are scoffed at ("we don't have that problem with our kids!"), only have a serious teasing incident not a week later. The kind you have to really mull and process before blogging about.

These are the days when I get little sleep.


farmwifetwo said...

Have you been to the new class, talked to the new teacher? Our new one... another week... another week.. sigh... does speech/language. It's one of her biggest "things" she works on with them. Now, if the child could only use assisted technology of some kind she'd use it too... but she wants "conversation", questions, etc. A couple of years ago we had the "he's bad" IEP meeting with the eldest. I had tried and tried and tried to get them to teach him social/behavioural skills. PPM 140 had just been introduced and it's NOT the 40hr sit in a corner stuff. It's social, behavioural and token systems.

Works easily, Teacher friendly...

And I didn't even have to call Behavioural Services on them to come and audit the classroom :)

Niksmom said...

Some of what you've written makes me think of Jen Laviano's blog (the CT SpEd atty). The SLP you describe? Sounds like the cheerleader Jen writes about in her IEP posts. She's (SLP) only addressing Andy's progress relative to HIMSELF and not to his peers. Request a classroom observation or some situation where you know the gap will be clearer.

As for the social/language skills and the teasing issue with Joey? Whatever the incident is that happened...DOCUMENT IT and bring it to the attention of the IEP team. Tell them they may be fortunate enough that it's not generally an issue but that it IS an issue fore Joey and he needs the support. Don't let them fob you off either with talk of outside counseling or anything. If it impacts his ability to ACCESS FAPE it is their responsibility.

Thinking good thoughts and sending hugs to you and your sweet boys.

Joeymom said...

These are great suggestions, guys, thanks!

I have met the special education teacher for Joey's inclusion room for the coming year. She was in the IEP meeting, along with the special education "chair" for the school. That's why i am worried.

The school SLP for Andy doesn't actually work with Andy. He did not qualify for service because his lag is only 23%. To get service, the lag must be 25%. I have tried multiple times to have him evaluated and observed, and each time, I'm told he's doing just fine. Which is why I'm worried.

The incident is well-documented, and his case manager (who is the awesome one on his IEP team who we will have to leave behind when we move to the new school) informed me immediately of the issue. I think she is worried that the new folks balked, too. But the fact that it happened is a stark and dramatic in-your-face reminder that middle school is coming. And enough to make you run screaming into the night.

Keep it comin'! Brainstorming helps (and addressing brainstorming and suggestions helps, too!)

Niksmom said...

If you haven't already, put your request for Andy's to be re-evaluated in writing and copy the director of special ed/special srvcs. Ask that they notify you IN WRITING (including the rationale)if they refuse to re-evaluate him. Then, if necessary, have a private SLP evaluate him so you have someone backing you up.

Stimey said...

That would all make me worry too. Your kids are lucky to have you.