I sit here, waiting. I had to cancel my work shift. There is no way I am going to risk scoring exams today, those are people's lives on the line. So I wait.
I haven't slept. I passed out for about an hour, but not slept. I spent the night trying to track down anything I can find online about autism, anxiety, aggression, meltdowns, positive behavioral interventions, you get the picture. I need to go to the library and get real information, but that got spun out, too, because Andy is sick.
Allan got a phone call Friday, while I was at work. There was something about discipline, and an incident on Friday, and needing to discuss an earlier suspension. There was confusion about the phrase "need to meet before Joey returns to school." Of course, I went there at once, but no one was there on a Friday afternoon at 5pm. I emailed. I called. I finally got a response, with this same phrase in it, at 6pm on Sunday night. I emailed back as soon as I got that email, about 20 minutes after it was sent, to get clarification. I got no response.
So this morning, I had no idea if the bus was coming or not. I decided to act as if it was, and went through the normal morning routine. We were in luck. The bus came. No meltdown over that, but with my nerves, Joey picked right up on red flags- he was brittle. I emailed the school, but that did about as much good as it apparently usually does to tell them anything- none at all.
The phone rang. My heart dropped. Joey is having trouble at school. Joey's advocate can't get to school until 1, but can't I move it up? No, I can't. No advocate, no meeting. I'm not going in there, after having loaded them already with information about why they shouldn't be suspending my kid, without that advocate. There needs to be somebody on Joey's side in there who has had some sleep.
And then there was the reports this morning. h, I finally get the "report" I was supposed to get on Friday, but that teacher "doesn't know what happened in ISS", that was the para. So I ask for a report from the para, and get told, oh, the para doesn't send emailed reports. But she is the only one with the information. I am not walking into a meeting with admin with no information, how would that be fair to Joey?
Four times in four weeks. They have suspended him four times in four weeks.
With all this, how can he possibly be safe? How can he possibly be in a proper environment? If they keep suspending him, doesn't that say, loud and clear, that they cannot handle him or support him properly? And yet, if I go get him, the school "wins" because they don't have to provide him with his education and services for the day. Or the week. Or whatever. They don't have to service him when he is suspended, because, well, he's suspended.
I should have have pulled him from this system three years ago, when we first saw him regress from lack of support. He left second grade a happy, healthy kid, well on the road to being a functional, self-regulating person, ahead in almost every academic subject. Star in math, star in spelling, reading on the sixth grade level. Able to walk independently between classrooms, between class and cafeteria, between class and bus. I should have pulled him when, come September, none of that was possible. I should have hired a lawyer. I should have gotten him into a better school situation. I should have insisted on the model that worked for him: academics in the morning with teachers well-versed in Joey's needs and with his para on standby, lunch at noon, afternoons with autism-specific resource services. I should have done something. Anything.
Anything but this. The waiting. The wondering. What is happening to him? What is he feeling? How is he being treated? Is he safe???