I'm so annoyed with- Sp Ed teacher

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tictoc, Sep 27, 2009.

  1. tictoc

    tictoc New Member

    The social skills teacher who oversees Bug's aide and generally coordinates his life at school is driving me crazy. Her program officially is the "autism inclusion program" and Bug is the only kid in the program with-o an autism diagnosis. In general, this is okay and I think the social skills intervention is helping.

    However, this teacher seems to have no clue about Tourette Syndrome. Bug is having two different facial tics these days--an exaggerated smile and a grimace--and the teacher is hell bent on eliminating them. First, she and the school Occupational Therapist (OT) decided he should be given things to chew on in class to prevent the tics (didn't work) and then she embarked on a course of "smile therapy" (as husband and I call it), trying to teach him how to have natural smiles. Ummm...that's not the problem. The Cheshire cat grin is a TIC...smile therapy won't make it go away.

    Oh...and she never told her floater aide (who covers for his regular aide at lunch and recess) that he has Tourette's Syndrome or tics, resulting in Bug getting a red stick (for bad behavior) from the floater aide this week for "making mean faces at her." Turns out it was the grimace tic. The floater aide was truly upset and very apologetic when I talked to her about it. She had no idea. It definitely was not her fault (she is a very kind person), but now Bug has decided he "hates" her because of the red stick. He told me it was just too embarrassing to speak up and tell her it was a tic. After all, he is only 6.

    I'm irritated on a couple of fronts. First, the teacher needs to train her aides properly. It is important that anyone who works with Bug knows that he has tics, esp facial tics, since it does look like he is making faces at people. Second, she and the Occupational Therapist (OT) are not qualified to do behavioral interventions for tics. When Bug is a bit older, we will find a CBIT therapist to do that. For now, we feel that he is too young and we are trying to work with him on feeling comfortable with himself, advocating for himself, and minimizing the pain associated with some of his tics.

    I have already talked to the sp ed teacher about this twice in the past week and she seems not to get it. I'm going to try again tomorrow and then follow up with an e-mail to the school psychiatric. Does this sound like a reasonable approach? What else can I do?

  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    The folks over on the Spec. Ed page may be able to help more but if it were me....I would try to explain it one more time (maybe with pre-printed information from the doctor) and if that didn't work....start going up the chain...Special Education dept. head, principal, superintendant, etc. This is a MEDICAL condition and in NO way is this teacher qualified to "treat" it. Nor is it helpful for her to keep this information from others who have contact with difficult child.

    I would think though that for her to be attempting to discipline a medical condition would (aside from being completely stupid) be boardering on illeagal if not way over the line (although in my opinion, she's way over the common sense line anyway). If you've been nice the other times you've spoken with her, maybe it's time to be not quite so nice. I'm not saying you should be downright mean but just add some sterness into your voice and emphasize that she is NOT qualified to "treat" his Tourette's Syndrome nor will disciplining accomplish anything. It's a MEDICAL condition and as YOU are his parents, YOU will decide (along with his doctor) on the proper course of treatment and YOU will decide when that treatment will take place. I would also inform her that she needs to let the aides know so that he doesn't get disciplined for things that he is literally unable to control.

    Keep emphasizing the medical aspect of this. If there are still problems even after talking to her and the rest of the food chain....you can take further action if they fail to provide the proper accomadations for his MEDICAL condition.
  3. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry your difficult child is having to deal with a spec. ed. teacher that doesn't seem to be getting it. Most of the time we have lucked out with good spec. ed. teachers for difficult child but there were two years when it was horrible. I agree with Stang that you may have to start going up the chain if things don't turn around. Hugs.
  4. mamabear01

    mamabear01 New Member

    Ohhhh wow how I can relate. We just did testing with a very bad NP (IEE) (ps don't always trust someone who posts an ad on wrightslaw for testing or help. You can still get a bad apple) and she said my son snarled at me when it actually was a facial grimace. My son has never snarled at me. In fact he did the same face walking up the stairs the other day while he didn't even know I was there.

    My other son does the chesire cat smile (lol that cracked me up as it describes it completly!!!)

    UGH. When are people going to understand these things are tics!!!!

    The only thing I can say is what the pp's said but put it in writing so you have a paper trail. This is very important to do.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I can relate as well. Manster has tics that wax and wane and this summer they were getting bad. It used to be just throat clearning but turned into an exagerated wink. He takes a small dose of chlonodine at night which takes the edge off but doesn't eliminate them. I try to get by on the smallest dose of medications possible. Anyway, I have been telling the daycare workers and teacher to ignore it and I would be pretty upset if they, out of ignorance, tried to "cure" him. Oye.
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Did you talk to her again today? How did it go?