Monday, April 8, 2013

School Update

As promised, I am updating about the school situation with Bubby.

I won't give you a run down of who said what, and a play by play, because that takes too long, and is frankly boring to read.  It went, overall , well.  As requested, the behavior consultant, and the autism specialist attended, as well as Bubby's special ed teacher.  This wasn't really a strcuctured meeting, but rather a forum to throw out ideas, and strategies to take to the IEP meeting, so that we can amend the IEP appropriately.  Normally, we would not have to hold a full meeting to amend the IEP, but since the staff seems to never be on the same page we will have a full meeting.  I think the date was scheduled tentatively for the 25th, with the understanding that much of what we discussed would be put in place immediately.

We decided that it would be best at this time if Bubby never had any homework to take home.  Instead, we found a space in his day where he could work on any unfinished work he might have at school.  If there is no unfinished work, then he might  have time to relax, and do something fun. This is going to make the rest of the team mad, because they vehemently disagree with the idea of no homework. 
I asked his teacher last week what made her think she knows what's best for an autistic child more than a behavior specialist, after she sprung a correction homework (meaning this was the 2nd time Bubby had to take this particular sheet of paper home as homework) five minutes before the bell rang. This situation violated every last thing the behavior specialist told her about how to handle him, and his anxiety. When confronted about it, the teacher  told me that it if I made him do homework every night, then this would not be an issue. sarcasm. I was so angry that she would blatantly disregard everything she had been told, and do what she wants anyway, despite knowing nothing (and not making ANY effort to know) about autism. So, I called the county's autism specialist, who works for all of the schools in our county, and requested she come in, and train the staff. 

Our small redneck, good ol' boy staff is going to get schooled about autism, whether they like it or not.  The autism specialist was more than eager to show up to the meeting (which I am seriously grateful for) and start in on what needs to be put in place.  Communication book for me to see what is up at school, and visual schedules for Bubby.  His own para. That has been a big one years past. Every year, they seem to squirrel out of it, and every year Bubby has issues with the inconsistency in which his services are provided, due to lack of staff support.  This time, I will not sign anything, and will file a complaint with our state board of ed if a para is not granted to him, and only him in his IEP. Not *has access to* , but his own para, in writing in the IEP.  With the staff's suggestions that are trained in dealing with children with autism, there is no other way to properly implement those changes without his own para.  I think that I will be able to prove that, even if the district dislikes it.  They can afford a brand new concession area, new uniforms and all the bells and whistles when it comes to sports in our district, but not a para, and proper supports for my son?  Nope.  Time to rework some priorities.

Another modification that was put in place was for Bubby to have shortened assignments.  This was already in the IEP, but it was at the teacher's discretion, which meant that it hardly ever happened, because as far they were concerned he needed to do the same work as everyone else.  His executive functioning skills work differently than his peers.  In order for him to do a worksheet he has to work harder than most of his peers, and he is constantly worried about not getting assignments done.  This was the cause of 90% of his daily meltdowns. So, now his para will shorten his assignments by a percentage of whatever the IEP team agrees with.  This is called a rubric. That way, the teachers all don't have to modify his assignments before giving them to him, which will be quite difficult next year when he has several teachers who may or may not be well organized in their lesson plan.  The special ed teacher could in theory, but I find the para to be a more efficient method for everyone, since Bubby isn't in the resource room for any classes.

I also was able to get the special ed teacher to request an out of district OT, because ours refuses to cooperate, or effectively consult on anything to do with Bubby. She never has beleieved he has autism, so she refuses to help at all, despite the data from the behavior analysis showing he has clear sensory issues.  Besides, I don't want anyone working with my son who so clearly, and blatantly doesn't want to. They can get another OT that will do her job.

So, that is pretty much it, in a nutshell. The big stressful meeting isn't here, yet, but I plan on being prepared for that, as well.  I am going to type up my concerns, and give them to the entire team, including the fact that the administration has repeatedly made inferences to Bubby's literal statements, and writing their inferences down as facts, which I am 100% certain, go into his educational record. I want the statements removed that he threatened to harm others, when he did not.  I cannot help it if their communication issues as a NT are colored to hear only what they perceive to be true of what others say, but that is not what he said. He says what he means, not implied inferences.

I am feeling optimistic, about how things are looking so far, and will continue to blog updates about this situation. Thanks for reading!


  1. One of the worst mistakes we made was in shifting from one to one para to access to a para. Then he shifted to another school, and needed one to one support, the school did not recognize it soon enough. I regret that decision a lot.

    1. My son has never had one para for just him, and I regret giving into that immensely. If I had to name the single biggest mistake I have made in my son's education process it would be that, hands down.


If you'd like to follow all comments to this post, please click the 'subscribe by email' link under the comment box. I always reply to every post, and appreciate all feedback. If you have issues getting your comment to post you can email me your comment at Blogger sometimes loses a comment when the user goes to post, so it is always advisable to highlight and copy your text before hitting the post button.