Friday, September 10, 2010

Getting ducks in a row

If I was the kind of blogger that let language fly, I would be doing it right now. For about a page and a half.

Instead, I am scheduling another IEP meeting and arranging to dispute and appeal a disciplinary write-up. Joey had a sub this morning- both of his teachers needed to be at an IEP meeting for another child- and he ran into trouble. I cannot figure out the trigger, but he went into fight-flight, and couldn't get out of the room. So he melted down. Apparently it was somewhere between an 8 and a 9. He was sent to the office and officially written up, meeting with the vice principal some time after they managed to calm him down.

We're going in breathing fire.

When Joey has a meltdown here, I can guarantee you, I made a mistake. I failed to do something he needed, and I usually know better. I miss his cues, and he goes into tailspin. I raise my voice or use a trigger word (such as "quickly"), when I know I shouldn't. I fail to de-escalate a situation. I am the adult here, that is my responsibility.

If you think I'm going to hold the school to a lower standard- people who are supposed to be trained to deal with disabilities, including autism, on a far more formal level than I have been- you are very sadly mistaken. And you do not send a child to the office because you made a mistake.

In getting geared up for the battle, I found some helpful war paint to apply. A nice set-up for a chart to clarify the issues and how I am seeing things from this end. If you are headed into an IEP, you might want to check it out: Organizing Your Concerns.

Meanwhile, get out the drums. Mama Bear is getting ready for the battle ahead.


kristi said...

You go, Mama bear!

Niksmom said...

Sending you good thoughts and hopes that it can be easily resolved with minimal bloodshed. ;-)

Stimey said...

Truly understanding that these behaviors stem from a disability and then reacting to them that way is so crucial. That is like the basis of everything. Good luck.

Amanda said...

In most states substitute teachers only need 64 credit hours and a background check proving they never creeped anyone out to be in a classroom. No training. No experience with children of any kind. I was a substitute teacher as a junior in college, my only work experience having been restaurant work and janitorial duties up to that point.
Find out VA's reqs for subs, then go in and demand that someone with actual training of some sort be provided if subs are necessary for Joey's classes. Too many schools blame kids for behavior when there are subs, without examining their own hiring policies... (which should, frankly, be illegal.)