It's that time again

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lmf64, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    It's time for meetings and phone calls. I took difficult child to school yesterday to have his student id picture taken and pick up his schedule for the next school year. Except for one hour of personal communications class a day his schedule says TO BE DETERMINED. Yes, I know they are covering their butts, but why waste the paper printing out something that doesn't tell you anything.
    So, today we have a meeting to figure out what we're going to do with him this year. difficult child reads barely at a first grade level and probably won't ever read better than that, so going to regular classes is almost impossible. He can't read the required material, do the homework or read to take tests. He is really a smart kid with a high vocabulary, but the reality is that he won't ever be able to prove it to anyone based on his tests/classes.
    The last plan we left with in June (after school got out) was that difficult child will be working on learning a trade, but walls keep getting thrown up in the way because difficult child isn't 16 yet. He'll be 16 in February. I wish there was a way to get him into a special school on a ranch somewhere. He loves animals. He was on horseback for the first time when he was 6 weeks old. He has finally faced up to the fact that any job he does will be physical not mental and seems to be okay with it. He needs to begin now. He is only going to feel more alienated by classmates by sitting in a room by himself with a 1:1 aide until he turns 16. There is one organization that works with disabled people in the work place, but difficult child isn't going to like being around the majority of the people they assist. He doesn't see himself as disabled and gets irritated easily when he feels like he's being forced to be with his "peers".
    We finally got him out of the Developmental Disability group at school. The majority of the kids in that group had MR, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS), or another major disability that prevents them from ever living a productive life and difficult child just didn't fit in that group, but it took two years in junior high and 1/2 a year at the high school for them to finally say okay this isn't the right fit for him. He's now in the Autism Spectrum group and gets along better with the kids in this group better. But the majority of the kids in the AS group are mainstreamed for the majority of the day and like I said before difficult child can't handle the work of the mainstream classes, so he sits in a room with a 1:1 most of the day. Heck, he actually spent the majority of the school day asleep or pretending to sleep.
    The 1:1 he finally got after Christmas last year got more work out of him than he'd done in his entire school career, but he moved so he'll have a new 1:1 this year. I will meet them this afternoon. I am not happy as I was to be included on the decision process on who was hired. I can tell you this much if it's another soft spoken female I will pitch a fit. difficult child needs a strong person and if that person is male all the better.
    The teacher in the AS program was pulled from the high school to early elementary. I was so mad when she told me that I wanted to do something/anything, but after thinking for a day or so asked her if she was happy with the change/had asked for it. No she hadn't asked for it, but was kind of happy that it would most likely be less stressfull, so I dropped it. We will meet the person they have moved to the position this afternoon also.
    I will not put up with another school year of daily phone calls. I will not put up with another year of my child being allowed to spend the school day sleeping. I will not spend another year of them writing my son's ability to live a productive life off. My son can and will be able to do a job to support himself and it's their job to make sure that he has the skills available to do it. I know he probably won't ever be completely independent, but being a tax paying adult is not out of the question.
    Keep your fingers crossed that the district is finally going to do their job and help my child to become the best he can be.
  2. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Gotta love the school system. Always trying to fit a kid into an existing program rather than creating a program designed for the kid. Funny how IEP stands for individualized education plan and yet you son's choices are limited to what's available. I would continue to push for the career training, learning a trade and a life skills curriculum in general. Are they using computer software to help with his reading issues. They have great word processing programs available now with voice recognition and programs that allow you to scan a page of text and the computer will read it. How are his math skills? Being with a 1:1 all day could be a good thing if they find the right person.

    Good luck!
  3. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    Christy, thanks for your response. Yes, isn't it wonderful that an IEP is only an IEP if the child fits in a program of the schools choosing. He has used some computer programs for the reading, but right off hand I couldn't tell you which ones. His math is basic. He can add and subtract on paper, multiplication and division can only be done using a calculator, but at least he knows how to use a calculator. He can do some simple, mostly food based, division. He will look at a group of whatever (usually ribs I don't know why) and automatically know how many each person should get. Yes the 1:1 CAN be great IF they hired the right one. The school was trying to say he needed to be sent to another school (out of home/out of school) placement last fall when difficult child was having daily meltdowns because of improper placement. I refused to allow them to do that to my child without at least trying a 1:1 first. They finally agreed to try a 1:1 and move him from daughter to AS when I threatened them with due process and Pacer. This school district doesn't really like me because I won't let them push me around. I am so glad my mom doesn't work for the district anymore. I CAN BE A B**** when it comes to someone not doing their job for my son.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    You hit the nail on the head with that one. It sounds like you are prettty awaare though and assertive enough to stay on them. That's what it takes many times. Good luck!!
  5. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    What a waste of time. Part of the time wasted was because of difficult child. Can you tell me why I thought it would be a good idea to take him to a team meeting? Argh. difficult child walked in the room ahead of PCA and I. He walked in, looked at the table full of people, walked around the table and walked out with a growl on his face and said "we're leaving!" Okay, so leave, but I'm staying here. It took him about 20 minutes of him being loud and demanding and me ignoring him/not backing down for him to sit his butt down in a chair and participate. Then of course because he's there he gets to have his input. His input was I know my mom doesn't want me to, but can we work on me getting my liscense. To which they said oh yes that'd be a good thing to work on. UMMMMMMMMMM NO! I will not take the responsibility for him being behind the wheel. Why don't they get it through their heads? I've told them more than once that I won't be allowing him to drive till he's responsible for himself. I can't take on that liability.
    Anyway, to the real waste of time. Having the meeting in the first place was a waste of time. The only thing we accomplished was that we know that the 1:1 they hired will be picking difficult child up at home in the morning in the school van, even though I told them that the bus ride in the afternoon causes more anxiety. We did discuss the real problem (student) and they will be working on keeping them off the same bus.
    We met the new teacher they put in the AS classroom. OMG if she weighs 90 pounds dripping wet it's a miracle. AND when we were talking she told me that she's an occupational therapist by training so she knew how to handle his sensory issues and will be spending the first week or so doing a sensory evaluation with him. First of all he doesn't truely have any sensory issues, he has anxiety issues. Secondly Excuse me, but why is an occupational therapist teaching in a public high school? I sincerely hope that she has teaching credentials or God help this district. Also, the first time I get a call that difficult child is scaring the teacher, too bad. They knew when they were looking for a teacher that difficult child would be in the program and they know how he can be and I've told them more than once that if they back down from him once that he's got them right where he wants them and from there on out it's their problem deal with it and what do they do? Hire someone 1/3 of the size of difficult child, who thinks she's going to tell him what to do. hahaha
    We also met the 1:1 they hired without my input. She may have a chance with difficult child. I will withhold judgement for the time being. She didn't seem to be fazed by difficult child's behavior so she might just work out, but it will all depend on how far difficult child is going to try to push it.
    We also know that difficult child will have an "office". The only time during the day that he will be expected to be with other students will be one hour for a personal communications class. I'm not real sure I like this arrangement, but I can live with it for the time being.
    We also know that we will be having another meeting September 23rd to discuss how the plan is working. Plan, what plan? They're going to spend the first couple of weeks honeymooning with difficult child and sit at the meeting and talk about how they don't understand why everyone else has had trouble with difficult child, he's just a dear. ARGH
    The 1:1 they hired offered to take difficult child to the Y to work out some mornings and the interim case worker (his case worker had twins two weeks ago) is a family friend of the Y director and she is going to ask that he be given a scholarship so he can go. Now if only difficult child will cooperate and actually get out of the van at the Y and go in. Keep your fingers crossed.
    difficult child's psychiatrist attended the meeting by phone. Have I ever told you all that I love that woman? She is so dedicated to ensuring that difficult child gets what he needs. I'm sure her time is compensated, but how many others would make sure that an IEP for one of her students is on her schedule to be available for the meeting.
    difficult child's skills worker also attended the meeting. I hope the district uses him as a resource. He can get difficult child to go out with him and has finally got him staying out for longer.
    I was so happy difficult child's PCA was scheduled for today. She came to the meeting and was here for me to decompress afterwards. She works during the school year for a nearby district so she knows the ins and outs somewhat. Of course each district operates just a little differently, but...
    I was a little disappointed that difficult child's Mental Health Social Worker wasn't able to attend the meeting, but I knew two weeks ago that she wouldn't be able to be there.
    The regional Austism Consultant ran the meeting. I'm not sure what to think of her. She seems too ready to agree with difficult child just to get him to quiet him down. She was the one who told difficult child that working on getting his liscense would be a good idea. She gets to be the good one who says yes difficult child do it. I HAVE to be the bad*** b**** who says not a chance charlie brown.
    If you made it through this novel you're probably using toothpicks to hold your eyes open and wondering why I would take all that to say this, I HATE that it takes 11 adults to decide how to prepare difficult child for adulthood and wish I had a magic wand to wave over his head and heal him so we wouldn't have these long, non-productive (for the most part) meetings every month.
  6. Christy

    Christy New Member

    You are so right! Driving is scary even with typical teens. I can't imagine allowing my son to get his license given his temper and impulsiveness. It would be like handing him a weapon.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    I agree with the no license!!!!! In our state, all children except the most severe daughter are required to take the classroom portion of drivers ed for graduation. But there is NO WAY that we will ever allow Kanga to take the behind-the-wheel portion.

    When I taught ED, I had a child like your son in my room. I was so ticked at his former teachers. This was an Learning Disability (LD) child whose coping skill was mostly sleeping and a few outbursts. I changed his instruction to 100% verbal and picture based and he did all "worksheets" and "tests" verbally. He went from all zeros to straight As on 8th grade work (he was a sophomore).

    Have they tried a fully verbal curriculum???? His 1:1 can read to him and record his answers or they do have software that does that as well.
  8. lmf64

    lmf64 New Member

    I have just completed typing up my notes from yesterday's meeting, but now I need to go back and add something about me refusing to allow him to drive unless he earns the money to pay for driver's ed (it's not a school class), completes and passes the class, passes the permit test. With a permit he can't drive unless he's with an adult so at least that way he's supervised. So maybe I'm bending, but not breaking. HE WILL NOT get his liscense and be able to drive unsupervised until he is 18. Besides putting in there that he has to earn the money and pay for the class on his own says ain't happening folks lol. This kids gets $10 a week for mowing at my parents house and can't hold on to it long enough to even drive home. He has to stop on the way home and spend it. The class is $250 and therefore it ain't happening. I know I'm mean, but I can't completely crush him.
    Triple J,
    In my notes I asked about text/voice computer programs. I know there are such programs, but don't know if this district has any. I also said I'd be willing to research such programs if the district doesn't have any. And Thank You for your word of encouragement. I don't expect that my son will be able to catch up like that, at least not that fast, but he is smart. He just can't read. His verbal comprehension is phenomenal. The district tried it for one class when he was in 6th grade, before we had this coctail of medications on board and I would like to try it again. I asked about him taking a shop class, as he enjoys building things, but think he needs to do it without other students in the classroom at the time. I think the best class for him would be a US history class as this is a topic he enjoys. I will also add that to my notes for discussion. Would you have any other suggestions?