Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Ohmmmmmmm......

Alright, deep breath, Deb. Paranoia will destroy ya, eh?!

If in fact someone from my school district is reading this blog, I hope that she understands just how much I love my kid, how much he has regressed since we moved here, and how the right thing to do is to put him in an appropriate environment where he has some shot at achieving goals and being able to live a reasonably independent life. I completely get that funds are tight to non-existent. I am sorry for that and the domino effect of problems that comes with it. But a child is in an inappropriate, HARMFUL situation here, and something needed to be done about it...yesterday.

I may have noted this in a previous post, but a very well-respected school director told me last year in dead seriousness, 'Deb, I don't mean to scare you, but there is a very real urgency to getting your child out of the situation he is currently in.'

This is a person who knows. Someone with decades and decades worth of experience in teaching and advocating for children on the spectrum. She has seen so many of our kids damaged by inappropriate teaching who have ended up--finally, when it was nearly too late--at her schools. Why must we wait until a child gets so far down the wrong path behaviorally before our schools decide it is time to do something about it?

I was telling a friend today about the boy M used to be...the boy everyone called 'an old soul,' 'a seer,' 'intuitive and wise,' 'sweet and gentle.'
We haven't quite taken the full leap off that cliff to the negative behaviors I have sadly heard other parents talk about; he scratches those he works closest with, and fortunately that is about it at this point. He does not self-harm, he does not head butt. He does not throw things. Yes, for this we are very lucky. But since we haven't gotten there yet, isn't now the very best time to take all measures to make sure those things DON'T happen?

But beyond that, let's talk about teacher accountability. If you've got a teacher who is blatantly prejudiced toward a student in her classroom who is significantly lower-functioning from the peers in his classroom...to the point that he must sit alone at a table with his aide and not participate in most class activities...to the point where she 'forgets' to put things in his backpack or tell him about fun things the other students get to do...to the point she 'suggests' he not attend a day at special olympics...well, do I need to continue on as to why he does not belong in this classroom? And shame on you, teacher, for being so horridly insensitive.

If I had the money to send my son to the schools he needs to attend, I would in a heartbeat. But I don't. I don't know anyone with a similar case who does. So I have to rely on the school district to do the right thing and place my child there for me..because that is what FAPE (free and APPROPRIATE education) is in place to do.

So, with that...I will see you tomorrow, district employee. I hope we have a productive discussion about M's future.

6 comments:

Jenn E said...

I hope you get M what he needs!

Hetha said...

Well said! Go get em!

Kim said...

I'm so sorry this is happening to you. How horribly stressful. Make sure you document, document, document. I'm working with an advocate that has me ready to tape our next IEP, and I've only been conversing by email when possible so I can keep track of what exactly is said.

I am so saddened to hear about your boy and the treatment he is subjected to. Shame on that teacher for not including him. Shame on that teacher for not making sure he could participate in the special olympics. My heart breaks to think of him cast aside.

My advocate ended up taking her school district to court because of the PTSD her son had after enduring the treatment of his teachers. They were denying his autism despite the medical diagnosis.

Sorry to submit such a long comment. I feel for you and I so hope you get some resolution. Don't back down, you're child needs you to stay the course.

Good luck. I'll be thinking of you.

Susan Senator said...

Oh, Deb. I have been there. When Nat was 10, we had a similar situation. The teachers at this school program did not get him, they seemed afraid of him, they seemed to hate him. They eventually expelled Nat. I thought that was horrible at the time but it was the best thing that ever happened because my district and I were forced to find a better placement -- the one he is in still, 10 years later. I pray that this situation will improve for you and you know what? It will. Don't borrow trouble: you don't know what or even if any such regression will occur, just because some others regress that way. Just focus on working things out at the school, day by day, and also try to make a longer-term plan to get him out of there. You are so tuned in to it all, great job!!!

burgiboogie said...

Oh my goodness this just breaks my heart for him.. and you!! He should not be separated!!! My son is definitely the "most affected" in his class, but he is most certainly very involved. The teachers love him, and gently push him to be an active participant. I know you are fighting hard, I just wish that people would just get it!!

sonidoinquieto said...

Have you gotten an advocate? They aren't cheap but I promise you that it is well worth it. When I hired an advocate all of a sudden the school district stopped treating me like psycho crazy mom and started treating me like pro-active and concerned mom. Even ifyou don't get an advocate tape EVERY meeting, all that you have to do is give them 24 hr written notice. All correspondence should be in writing, in case this goes to court later. I can only imagine the agony of all of this for you and M. If I can help with anything please let me know.

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