Good news and jr. high question

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Liahona, Apr 23, 2012.

  1. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Sorry for the long absence. husband has a new job. difficult child 1 is on SSI. We have internet now. And then my computer broke. But now I'm back. We seem to have hit on the right combination of medications for difficult child 1's hallucinations! After 6-7 years of medication trials its a relief that something is working. His behavior isn't perfect but he has improved considerably. We are trying to promote more independence and the aide is pulling back a bit. Things like not sitting right next to him, making him find his own papers, write his homework down himself. difficult child 1 goes to jr. high next year and his IEP is coming up. Any suggestions of what to put in it? I'm nervous. Can he have an aide in jr. high or would that socially be a horrific no-no?

    difficult child 2 started pulling his hair out so we buzzed his head. Then difficult child 3 thought that was cool and we buzzed his head too. difficult child 2 still poop smears once in awhile. difficult child 2 and difficult child 3 are both in inclusion for part of the day and so far difficult child 3 is doing great. difficult child 2 has good and bad days in inclusion.

    easy child 1 is very strong willed, very small, and very like me. (Not the small part; I'm not small.) Today I was asleep on the couch and she came up and covered me with a blanket. She is only 4 and already looking out for others.

    easy child 2 is 2 years old and driving everyone (especially easy child 1) crazy with her constant (and normal) boundary pushing.

    easy child 3 is going to be 1 years old next month! He has learned in the past 2 days how to pull himself up to a stand by the couch. He spent most of the today either standing or kneeling by the couch.
     
  2. buddy

    buddy New Member

    so glad you have had some good things happening! Really good news about difficult child 1 too. any break in his needing to visit ex??
     
  3. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Actually we had a kidnapping threat (of course delivered through difficult child 1 who luckily didn't understand what he was repeating) and spent most of spring break in a panic and some of it out of town. I think x's lawyer talked him out of it and we are going to mediation instead. I think we are going to mediation instead of court because the lawyer knows they don't have a prayer of winning in court. Well they don't have a prayer of winning in mediation either. X moved to his families ranch and had to give up his mid-week visits. X now thinks that he should have all holidays and every other weekend. I'm not agreeing to it and X is mad. This state has visitation schedules and I told him to pick one. I'm not meshing them all together to what ever suites x. I also started to have child support go through ORS instead of letting X pay when ever. I'm sure he is mad about that as well.

    difficult child 1 told x he doesn't want to go to visitation.

    I made a mistake on my taxes and claimed difficult child 1 when it is x's year to claim him on taxes. I'm trying to work out something where x will get to claim him 2 years in a row, but I don't think x will go for it. He is mad and wanting to make as much trouble as he can.
     
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    A properly trained aide can be vital in jr high. Ideally the aide is presented to the class (and difficult child) as a classroom aide and not a 1:1. The aide should support difficult child and help out others as needed (while keeping an eye on difficult child).

    Some things to think about in junior high:

    1. Often a child's first experience at 'changing' for gym in a locker room. How will difficult child react to disrobing in front of others? How will bullying be prevented? Can he manage a combo lock?

    2. Lots of changing classes, can he handle the crowds in the hallway? will he be able to navigate from one class to the next?

    3. Lunchroom can be very Lord of the Flies...how will the school ensure that he has kids to sit with at lunch without making him a 'charity case'?

    4. Academics really take a leap in jr high. Is he ready? Should he be in mainstream or would he be better off having some classes (maybe his weakest subjects) in the Special Education room?

    5. After school clubs and teams are very important to jr high kids. How will the school support his involvement? Will he need an aide in order to participate? (If the IEP team determines that he needs an aide, then they must provide one for all school issues including extracurriculars.)

    6. Dances...if your jr high has dances, can difficult child handle them?

    7. Sensory...if difficult child has sensory issues, the bell to change classes can be very loud, etc.

    8. Buses...bullying happens more in less supervised settings. Short buses can save a child.

    9. "3-minute pass"...basically an approved escape from the situation. All difficult child has to do is say to a teacher, "I am using my pass." and he may leave the classroom -- NO QUESTIONS ASKED -- to go to the social woker/principal. This allows a difficult child to save face if he is about to start crying or if he is struggling to not blow up.
     
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Depends on... what kind of help he needs, and how good the aide is.

    difficult child has aides... in HS no less (where it generally would be a horrific no-no), but... they KNOW how HS kids are, and the help he needs is organizational/"listening"... so, in classes with heavy listening (history, for one), an aide is there full time... first, to take notes (for however many need a copy, sometimes it's one kid, sometimes 5 or 6), and then to "assist" in the class. That assistance is weighted toward IEP kids... but the aides are usually smart enough to help the other kids too - which means it isn't obvious who is getting most of the help. (using note-taking service is NOT a horrific no-no, neither is use of technology)

    As they get into higher grades, more of the help comes from a separate resource team - outside of class. SO many kinds of kids need resource help that it isn't nearly as bad as needing an in-class "attached" aide. (the resource team deals with hearing impaired, vision impaired, mobility impaired, medical conditions, learning disabilities... and then the whole whack of stuff that we on this board are familiar with)

    It's probably time to be more specific about the kind of help he needs... on a subject by subject basis, and on a "least obvious" (i.e. least restrictive) basis... which means, make the aide invisible if possible.
     
  6. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Thanks for the suggestions. JJJ does that mean that each classroom would have their own separate aide?

    difficult child 1 is not going to do well changing in front of others. He is hyper sexual and will either be to curious or freaking out that someone might have glanced his direction.

    He might be able to change classes and handle the bell.

    The lunch room would be a sensory nightmare for him. He will probably need a quiet place to eat his lunch with out others chewing by him.

    I think he could handle the academics if it was only academics and not organizational skills that he would need. His executive functioning isn't good. He has trouble finding things right under his nose.

    I think the 3 min pass is a great idea.

    He will need something in there that says all his work can be typed on a computer. And the note taking would be o.k. if he could use a computer to do it. Or, having someone else take notes for him would be good as well.

    His behavior has improved so much lately and the aide was started because of his behavior. She also helps with anything executive functionish (which in school is huge.)
     
  7. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Ask for the note-taker function, as a "supplement" to other means... They do this even for "just" ADHD kids. Not a dedicated aide... they make sure to group these into a class where there's a "paid for" aide (i.e. at least one kid defined as "high needs"), and the aide can take notes for ONE or for TWENTY... because they are typed up and emailed to X kids and to resource team. The kids then have this to study from, where their own notes are sketchy. They even do it for medically fragile kids who miss a fair bit of school - a way of keeping them in the loop and not so far behind. Having access to technology doesn't mean that technology addresses all of their needs!
     
  8. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    It depends. Our jr high has roughly 600 kids including 25-30 that attend at least part of their classes in a Special Education room. There are 3 Special Education teachers and 6 aides. Each Special Education kid is assigned to team A or team B. Whichever team they are on, when they are mainstreamed, an aide from that team can go with them to the mainstream room if necessary. If 3 kids from Team B are all mainstreamed for Art, they assign them to the same Art class and send 1 aide with them. Often, it is not the same aide all the time, just always one from their team. That prevents them from becoming dependent on any one aide yet allows some consistency in their support. But we also have a physically disabled boy that is 100% mainstreamed and he has a 1:1 aide the whole day, of course it isn't as stigmatizing to have an aide for an "obvious" disability as it is for a hidden one.

    Definitely address this at the IEP meeting. Some options are having difficult child change in a priavet area (handicap stall, any small room, etc) or having him change before/after the other kids. Tigger solved the problem by wearing his gym uniform under his regular clothes.

    Perhaps he can do a social work/lunch where he eats in the social workers room with 2-3 other kids and they work on social skills and eat lunch. It is important to address this as Tigger has the same issue and has solved it by not eating at school.

    A daily backpack check? Have him report to an aide at the end of the day and the aide checks his assignment notebook and his backpack to be sure he has everything he needs. Then they zip the backpack shut and he is not allowed to open it until he is home with you!

    Computers are big in junior high so that should be an easy accomodation. If he is doing his homework on the computer, have him e-mail the teachers a copy so that if he loses his print-out, they at lest have a copy of his homework.
     
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Resource team here has the students email the resource team... and one of THEM does the printing and handing in (which guarantees it gets there, AND means the printing doesn't come out of the student's printing allowance)
     
  10. Liahona

    Liahona Guest

    Thanks so much guys. Its good to be back here.
     
  11. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    i think JJJ's list is great!

    mine still has a dedicated aide in 7th grade, but it "looks" like JJJ said--just like another adult in the classroom--ours purposely isnt attached at the hip. in our case, the aide is mainly necessary in bigger classes (like 35 kid classes) and gym (fustercluck of a class with a gazillion kids)....not *as* needed in the smaller group settings, but honestly, its an accom that i'm not ready to cut loose. mine still has occasional meltdowns due to known triggers that the school still cant get right, and i do feel like there needs to be someone for her on those occasions. she is in no classes that just have a group classroom aide...if there was, i'd be fine with that.

    she also does have an "honor" pass that allows her to use it any old time, no questions asked. THAT is one accom i'd most definitely add to the IEP, whether you think he needs it or not...mine still isnt mature enough to give herself a time out when she's about to lose it, but we had a bunch of dietary changes and female stuff this year so she used it several times just for that and it was SO helpful.

    mine had an amazingly easy transition to jr high, in fact she actually did much better than her peers. i know we were lucky. i was prepared for a lot worse.

    if you are worried about class changes, request an early schedule and time to practice. here everyone had access to the school for a full week before it opened to learn their locker combo, their schedule, etc. we only needed to go once, but plenty of typical teen's were there every day and still could have used more time. so if your school doesnt do something like that, its worth requesting--someone is usually around over the summer to let you in.

    the one BIG mistake i made was not forcing the after school thing/clubs. at the beginning of the year, all kids need to "learn" to take the late buses home--its different than your regular bus routine. here the club choices were kind of lousy (history club? spanish club??) since we are a sports heavy area, so mine never joined anything, and therefore never learned how to stay after school. truthfully, mine is officially done by 2:30 anyway. but now she has massive anxiety over how to stay after, what bus to take, etc and its really not an option at this point of the year for her. i have already told her that the beginning of next year (when *everyone* has to relearn how to do it) she MUST stay after, and she MUST join something, even the boring old spanish club if thats all there is. i've actually considered adding it to my IEP that for the first month or so her aide needs to address this after school business and still might insist on some form of that for next year.

    but on the whole, her school did a really good job of transitioning all the kids, spEd or typical teen. dont forget, its all new to everyone, so they are all in the same boat.

    definitely get specific in your IEP to address yours' needs...but keep in mind, for some of our kids it actually can be a great thing!
     
  12. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    oh, and one more thing i thought of....

    here, i can access all the school stuff online.

    its become quickly apparent that mine literally NEVER listens to the morning announcements....which of course, are usually of some importance or they wouldnt make an announcement, lol.

    everything from spirit week clothes, money due for field trips, club schedules, things of actual academic importance etc.

    if you cant see yours online and umm, yours isn't a morning person or is easily distracted, i might request that a hard copy be sent home daily.
     
  13. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Just popping on your post to say Hi. I've wondered how things were going for you and the family. The update sounds great. Welcome back. DDD
     
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