Friday, September 17, 2010

Wow, is the week over yet?

It's been a long week.

Monday, I got a call from the principal about meeting to appeal the disciplinary action.

At eight am Tuesday morning, I had that meeting. The principal is a very likable person. He knew what he was supposed to say- things like, "we're here to support Joey" and "we want to work with you and want your input" and all that. "You can call me anytime." "Feel free to call IEP meetings." "Ill always be honest with you." Stuff like that. Always nice to hear.

By your actions shall you be judged.

There were several things said that were highly disturbing. Most prominently, the para in Joey's inclusion room has no training in nor experience with autistic children. This is the person who is supposed to be keeping Joey safe? Seriously, what are they thinking?

He informed me that though I was appealing the discipline referral, there was nothing to appeal. Even though the first level of discipline was implemented (conference with the child and call home), this was "just the school's process for documenting such incidents." Um... no. Discriminating against a child for their disability by "documenting" in the form of a discipline referral is absolute inappropriate and unacceptable. I'm working on exactly how I am going to make that clear, and to whom.

He seemed surprised about the push to place Joey in summer scholars, when I explained what he needed was a program to imitate what school would be like, with lots of structure. Yeah, I'm shocked, too. I knew we were uncomfortable, I told him we were uncomfortable, and made sure he was apprised of how much a disaster this was. Just shy of completely catastrophic, honestly.

The principal admitted he knew very little about autistic students, and suggested they hadn't had many. I informed him he needed to get prepared, here they come. Then he suggested Joey's high intelligence made him unusual as an autistic student. I pointed out another student I knew he had experience with, one who just left this person's school, as an apt comparison. He also admitted he hadn't seen Joey really, not gone into his classroom. I recommended he do so.

Then I had my lovely chart of concerns, and what I wanted done about them. I am working on a supplement for the actual IEP meeting. So he has something in writing about what I want done. Let's see what he does.

I sent in times for the week for an IEP meeting. No word on that. I am putting together a more formal letter requesting the meeting, lest they forget we have an emergency here!