Meeting with SpEd, Principal, and school psychologist

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    After school we met with difficult child's case manager, principal, and the school psychiatric. They are very concerned with difficult child right now. His behavior has been less than stellar this past month. We have received emails almost every day about various behaviors.

    difficult child is having a really difficult time holding it together in the afternoons. It can take him 20-30 minutes to settle into a class. When he isn't exhibiting manic like behaviors in the afternoons then he is sleeping-yesterday he slept an hour and 45 minutes.

    He is also doing some bullying and some threatening. His standard is, "I'm going to punch you." He does that at home too. For him it is just a standard response (most of the time it is just blowing off steam but with difficult child you just never know.

    They also are very concerned because academically he just isn't progressing. His reading is still so low as is his math.

    We are going to put him on an waiting list at an alternative program within our school district. He would attend his current school in the mornings and then be bused to the alternative school. The numbers there are very low. I'm not sure how low but I think there are many adults and not a lot of students.

    I think difficult child will be very upset at first but I do think that this is what he needs. I hope it is something that can actually help him.

    I also asked what they see for difficult child when he enters high school. They are thinking he will not be able to handle regular classes and will need vocational help. They wouldn't be surprised if he stays til he is 21.

    I love the staff we met with today; along with all the bad they are sure to tell all the good as well.

    Feeling a bit down tonight even though none of this is all that surprising-I think more than anything is thinking of difficult child being in school til he is 21. He struggles at so much in so many ways that sometimes I get to wishing just something could go his way, be a strength. The reality is he has a ton of positives; just wish some things could come easily for him.
  2. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It sounds like a day for a true warrior mom. I'm sorry you're having to deal with this stress- he had been doing so much better. I hope the alternative school helps him and he adjusts easier than you fear. He's only 12 so I wouldn't put too much stock in how things will be over 5 years down the road. He has a tender side and as you pointed out, many positive things going for him so you never know. Just take it one day at a time and know we're here for you when you have to make those tough choices.
  3. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Sending {{{hugs}}} to you and husband. I wish, too, that something positive could happen for your difficult child...
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    (((Sharon))) Sending hugs and support to you and H, and difficult child.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Sharon - it sounds like you've got a good team there. I'm so glad they're being proactive.

    I think that it will be *really* important to have a good transition plan for difficult child. It's not too early to start looking at options, Sharon, and I'd really very strongly encourage it. I have yet to see a transition plan that is worth a darn. I failed that part of sped advocacy abysmally - neither one of my kids' transition plans is worth the paper it's written on. You also need to be prepared for the possibility that difficult child may decide he has other plans at 18 or whenever. I sincerely *hope* that won't be the case, but... a la old thank you, you may not have much of a choice, and you need to have a backup plan B, C, D, E, and probably F.

    I know it's hard to imagine where difficult child will be at 18 or 21 or 25, but I think it's really essential that you find out what programs, services, supported employment, living situations are available, *now*. It's far better to over-plan, rather than get hit at 16 or 18 with the possibility that difficult child will need supports past HS and have to start scrambling then. Two or 4 years simply is not enough time to get things together and get a child prepared. In my opinion, transition planning should start well before the mandated 14-1/2 age because it's an excruciatingly slow process and, at least with- my kids, getting the team to focus on anything meaningful in terms of goals was impossible. Boo living on his own and thank you going to college? Yeah, sure, there are some brilliant transition goals. Now, can we rejoin the real world?? ;)

    I think the changes to IDEA the last time around made it not mandatory for state agencies to attend IEPs where transition services are discussed. If I had it to do over again, I'd pester the agencies until someone showed up. You need to have a good feel for what is realistically available, not what is available on paper. In my experience, the transition specialist with the school district is only going to know what should be available, not what really is. Boo's had been bugging me for years to sign up for a para transit pass.... which isn't available in our county, LOL.

    These transitions, from elementary to middle school and then to HS, are a bear. We see the growth in our kids, but sometimes we also get smacked with their ongoing needs. I think you need to take the time to feel badly that he may need more supports and a longer period of time in school, but then you have to remember what the goal is (bless Fran) - a law-abiding, responsible, productive adult. And "productive" is a pretty relative term for some of our kids. Today, I'm content that thank you is healthy, relatively safe, relatively happy. He's still a baby really, even at 19, and while he could be doing so much more, he isn't stagnant, he's still trying.

    A gentle hug to you - I hope the new schedule will be good for difficult child.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    I'm sure it is a bit of a downer to have the words spoken.
    They are telling you that your difficult child isn't going to have that normal journey
    through the school system. I know you know that but having those words spoken
    are always a bit of a kick to the teeth.

    Having you son in school until 21 is a good thing. It gives difficult child more time to mature. Trying to
    get difficult child to function post high school will be hard enough. 3 extra years will give him more time.

    Having a good team is a good thing.
  7. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    Sharon, I'm sorry. It's hard to hear those words spoken out loud.

    I'm impressed that they were able to look ahead and have an idea of what will need to be in place for difficult child. That's something a lot of us haven't had.

    Sue has given great advice. Take time to lick your wounds.

  8. ML

    ML Guest

    I agree that having him in school longer could be a very good thing for him in terms of helping him mature and prepare longer for the "RW". But having said that, I'm sorry that it seems he can never catch a break. I feel that way often about manster too. Big hugs of understanding and support.
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Klmno-Thank you-it was a true warrior mom type of day. Whenever he does get in I think the hardest part for him will be the initial transition.

    TM-Thanks for the hugs and the good thoughts.

    Jo-Thank you for the hugs and support.

    Sue-Thank you for all the good ideas. I do think I need to start looking at what will be available for him as he gets older. It seems so overwhelming to think that far ahead right now but I agree it is good to start now. You are so right about productive being a relative term for our difficult children.

    Fran-It was hard to hear the words spoken aloud. I do think it will be good for him; it's just hard to wrap my mind around it. For difficult child it will mean 4 extra years as he will be 17 at the end of what would be his senior year. It is nice to have a good team-wish they could follow him to 8th grade and then high school.

    Heather-Yep-hearing it spoken aloud was hard. I'm glad they were honest with me when I brought it up. It is nice to know that they are aware of how significant this needs are.

    ML-Thank you so much for the understanding and support.

    Truly, I want to thank you all. It is difficult but I know we are making a decision that should be good for difficult child. The spec. ed teacher took her visitation day today to the alternative school that difficult child will be on the waiting list for. She wants to make sure it will be a good environment for him. We all agree that we want to make sure it is good for him because difficult child is so impressionable and in many ways so very naive.