Saturday, October 15, 2011

Drama, Drama, Drama, and ALWAYS tape your IEP meetings!

Well we finally had a meeting at school concerning "A" being suspended. It amazed me that some in attendance felt the meeting was unnecessary, considering how high my son is academically. I wonder how many of those people would have just stood by while their Kindergartner was suspended, then I hear that the "hitting" incident was most likely accidental? Wow! Personally they don't realize how nice I am being about it. I have had several advocates advise me that I should file state complaints and/or a complaint with VOPA. I do know that I will be keeping a very close eye on things from now on.

Now lets move on to happier things. In spite of all the drama (and that is what it really is) "A" is doing well in school. Academically he is kind of brilliant if I have to say so myself, but this is not a new revelation to me, I knew this when he started speaking well above average when he wasn't even a year old! I knew this when he was memorizing songs and singing them at 15 months old, he is a smart kid!

I am being told that the sensory issues that are so rampant in Alex's life and even noted at recent OT and PT evaluations are non existent at school. Personally I have my own views on that and I won't go into that here at this time.

Alex also is quite the social butterfly at school according to the powers that be, great for a child with Asperger's. I am thankful he gets along with the other children (when he isn't being suspended for "accidentally" hitting them). But, I also know what he comes home and tells me, I don't think what the teachers imagine they are seeing and how he perceives the situation are the same thing at all. But, you can't always argue with the "professionals" after all who am I? I am just his mom, who also just happens to have a degree in Education and several Masters level courses toward a degree in Special Education, what do I know about any of it?

After giving the proper 24 hours notice I taped the IEP meeting. Best decision ever, I will be taping all of  our IEP meetings from now on! As I listened to the tape I was amazed at how much I forgot, and also at some of the things I heard! I would advise all parents to consider taping IEP meetings. Check your state and county regulations!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Getting Sleepy!

It's been a long time. I don't know where to start. We ended school last year with some measure of success. Meaning we were having more good days than bad and "A" was actually learning something. We started Kindergarten the same way, we had weeks of "good" days, "A" is learning, learning, learning, I am not surprised, he is a extremely intelligent child. What bothers me is when the learning stops, when a child who was at one time deemed "to intelligent for a IEP" ( I kid you not, can you believe someone would say that), well when this child starts struggling again, when the worksheets are sent home not completed on a almost daily basis. When he tells me: "I hate school", "I'm tired of doing the same thing every day", "I hate singing songs, I hate worksheets, worksheets, worksheets",  and to top it all.... when my five year old is suspended for behavior that is a direct manifestation of his disability, not new behavior, but behavior that has been going on since Pre-k.  All of those things bother me.

I have been told by at least one professional that the only way my child would reach his full potential is to remove him from public school, I have been told by yet another professional that I would do him a great disservice if I pull him from public school. I just know I am tired.....

I'm tired of having to fight every day for the education my child deserves. I'm tired of notes from teachers saying that "he is acting like a regular Kindergarten child" one week, and then a suspension two weeks later. I am tired of people not doing their jobs, not following his IEP, not trying to make the classroom environment conducive for learning.

You can't put all children into a pot and expect them to learn the same way, you can't expect them to be happy, you can't expect them to conform. I have a education degree, I am not the dumb "crazy" mom they suppose me to be....I studied some Psychology as well. I know all about Gardner's Theory of multiple intelligences.... I know that even "typical" children learn differently, it is not a one size fits all model. So what I really have to wonder is...How do ANY of our children ever learn anything?

Yes I guess I am in a bad mood. So I am going to find something to be thankful for. Sometimes it is hard to be thankful, I mean I ask myself on a daily basis, why me, why my children? I know things could be a lot worse though. So here are a few things I am thankful for:

  • I am thankful for my children, I am thankful their little quirks and how they make life so interesting, I really can't imagine them not being just who they are.

  • I am thankful for the many wonderful people God has put in my life, the people I would have never met had it not been for our situation. People who are a blessing in many ways, some of them don't even know it.

  • I am thankful that things aren't worse, I am thankful to be able to hear my children's sweet voices, I am thankful every time one of them climbs on my lap and says "I love you". 
  •  I am thankful to be able to hold them in my arms, I know all to well what empty arms feel like.

  • I am thankful to God, though I know at times I feel so alone, God is always there, even in the times that it feels he is so far away, there is always that small whisper.

"Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee" Hebrews 13:5.

"A" with his friend!