Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Square Pegs and Civil Rights

I mentioned some school issues with Bubby in the post before last  New Places & Trying New Things.  I left everything kinda up in the air during that post, and promised a follow up.  So, here it is.

We did make it safely to the new counselor's office, despite sleet, blown tires, and broken windshield wipers.  The counselor was very nice, and appeared to have a good understanding of autism.  I was really nervous that she would either a). not know much of anything about autism, or even more so Asperger's. Or b). think that I am one of those moms that like to make a big deal out of nothing, and doubt he is autistic at all.  So, I was relieved when my fears were baseless in reality. I think she and Bubby will get along great, and I look forward to continuing to see her.

So, that is a super positive in our corner.

The behavior consultant observed Bubby for the second time yesterday, and called me as I requested to discuss what she thought. The first time, it was all rainbows, and flowers. That worried me, because even though I know 2/3 of his day is pleasant as she observed, there is the 1/3 that is not, which is the third that is causing serious issues.  This time when she observed it must have all just lined up right, because she was able to see his every button pushed, and severe meltdown ensue.  I was not the least bit pleased at the meltdown in, and of itself, but that she was able to see it unfold. It's hard to write a behavior plan, and make recommendation on a student that you've never really seen the problem "behaviors".  We discussed several things that may help on the phone.  She also disclosed to me that she will be meeting with the special ed. teacher tomorrow to discuss with her what her thoughts were.  I sent an email, and invited myself to the meeting.  I'm sure the special ed teacher is less than thrilled with that, but at this point I feel I must get pushy.  The behavior consultant also disclosed to me that she had at one point asked the special ed teacher if she would like for the county's autism specialist to come out, and do some training, and that idea was turned down. That did not make me happy, so I have called the autism specialist myself, and am asked for her to consult with the behavior consultant to decide the next steps should be. I have met the autism specialist a few times, and she is a bit abrasive, and difficult to get along with in a lot of ways, but I am desperate. This may backfire on me, but I have to take that chance. I asked around to people that have worked with her before, and the general consensus is that she does not work well with children, but is great at putting together plans, and training. So, I am feeling like bringing her into the picture is worth the risk.

So, at this point it is just a lot of research, and searching out the right people to help me help my son.  The local advocacy center didn't have anymore ideas, than the ones I am already pursuing.  I sometimes think I ought to get a job there. lol  I am scouring our state's ed. website, and printing pages that speak to the issues we are having, and what the law says about Least Restrictive Environment, Behavior Plans, Present Levels of functional Performance, ect... I am also searching through Wrightslaw site to determine what actions I need to take, and what actions have been successfully taken by parents before. I am printing out documents of such court cases.

I feel like I am doing all that I can to ensure a proper education of my son in a regular ed environment. It may not be easy, but it is necessary.  If all else fails, I will homeschool him, but that is last resort.  To me, I am not just fighting this fight for him, but for every disabled child that comes through our tiny town's education system.  They try to break them to fit them into what they want, and if they can't they send them to special classrooms in another town. Nope. Not happening here, if I can help it.  He deserves to have a place in school, just like anyone else.  He also is well liked, and accepted by his peers.  It's the adults that are the issue here.  It's time for outmoded beliefs, and ideas to get an update.