Friday, February 23, 2007

Just another day

Our preschool teacher found out I got Joey's file copied, and now has the letter saying I am going to taperecord the Wednesday meeting. She freaked out. I had to tell her there was nothing she could do. It was a much harder conversation than Wednesday is going to be. On Wednesday, I am going to go in and make sure my child's rights to live, to develop, to learn, to have the opportunity at independence, to have his feelings considered, and to be human will be respected. This was telling someone else that they couldn't avoid a conversation they hoped to avoid.

The girls left the workroom a mess again. I don't know why they can't take two minutes to put the games back in the box, the crayons back in the drawer, the notebook back on the table... but it seems to be some great challenge of the age. And apparently I have to do my own graphs.

And Joey has returned to spinning cars. I always worry about working him too hard. Today, he just had a nice, quiet day playing with Mom and Brother. And spinning his cars. BUt we all need some days like that.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Sunday School

I just noticed that I forgot to follow-up about the Sunday School meeting. Since it feeds into our war against the OT, I thought I'd just let you all know what happened there.

We had our meeting, and really talked about some of the issues they were having with Joey. These folks are not special ed trained, and the teachers aren't even education trained- they're Sunday School teachers, and have been for a while. Autism is not something they usually deal with. To them, he needs to act like everybody else, or at least do what everyone else does. The director was very helpful, having been in teh Stafford schools and having at least some exposure to the challenges and accommodations of autistic children. She could translate. ;)

I let them know I would have something of an answer by the time Sunday rolled around again. So the next Sunday I walked in, and told them about teh gum, and brought his vibrator. Before I even got the pack of gum out of my pocket, the one teacher had a peice in his mouth, and the other was thanking me. I was shoo-ed away. I returned to find he had earned a lollipop like everyone else. They had someone put a hand on his shoulder during storytime, and had also given him a stuffed animal to hold, so that they had the vibrator in reserve. Bingo. Earned a lollipop.

Compare that to an OT that has fought tooth and nail against even trying the gum for almost four weeks now.

Reports from the Front

I keep telling myself this was all just a big misunderstanding, that this OT wasn't really saying Joey should have a chew toy instead of gum, this was all just a silly word-problem.

Nope. She's serious.

And so the big battle is scheduled for Feb 28: the IEP meeting.

I tried to get this settled before the IEP, but apparently she had better things to do and everyone else's kid was more important than mine, and she just couldn't fit me into her schedule. So instead of quietly settling the matter, we're going to settle it loud and clear, and in front of her colleagues. Yuck.

The discussion between her and my private OT has been terrifyingly illuminating. She really does think putting fingers to a child's throat is "more subtle" than giving them a peice of chewing gum. Really. She didn't understand the importance of sensory integration interventions to an autistic child. In fact, for a women outing herself as a professional OT and advertising her work with the new autism resource room- one of the reasons she couldn't meet- you'd think she'd have some inkling about the sensory integration issues of autistic children, and approparite, functional interventions and accommodations. Every time I think about her in there with other autistic children, I get more and more concerned. They need someone in there supporting them- especially an OT- not someone torturing them!

So Wednesday is the big day. Everybody, please hope hard.