Saturday, August 13, 2016

A New Adventure: A New School

We are a whole week into our new life at our new school. Joey seems much happier, though he does say that his other school was better, but this one is OK. He's in a small class, and they seem to be very interested in getting to understand him.

I already have had my first phone call. Of course, there was an incident. Joey hit his head, and went into his usual attempts to blame and hurt back, because he got hurt. He ended by hitting a staff member. This school uses different terminology than the other schools we are used to; I think the title of the person who is the head of the campus is campus director, not principal, but that same kind of idea. So, the principal called to let me know Joey was upset and perseverating on being suspended because he hit a staff member; but that he is NOT suspended, because they don't do that- he is just concerned that Joey is so upset, and they are documenting the issue because being suspended for one's disability is abuse.

When I heard he had hit a staff member, I naturally gasped, because that has meant suspension before. This person's response was, "oh, don't worry, we got this. It's no problem, that's what we do, we help these kids when they make mistakes and need new strategies. I'm just concerned that he is upset, and may need to talk when he gets home, so I want you to know what happened..." Joey just went into fight or flight, and they will work on that after he gets adjusted.

Did you pick up on the awesome there? Joey made a mistake, that was no problem. His concern was not that Joey hit someone; it was kind of, "well, if he didn't make these kinds of mistakes, he wouldn't be here, so nothing to worry about there, he's still adjusting..." No HOLY COW HOW CAN WE MAKE THIS STOP!!! No "Joey should know better! He's doing this on purpose!" No "ACK! MY STAFF!" Nope. This is "we get it. We understand, he's anxious and everything's new and he's had a hard summer. Just wanted you to know so you can give him some support, he's upset." They were happy for tips on how to help him, but the concern, the focus, the whole of the conversation was: let's help Joey through this. Let's make sure Joey is OK.

Let me repeat that.

"Let's make sure Joey is OK."

If this is the course we are setting, I think I like this school.