New school has ME wanting to cry (very long...sorry)

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by TeDo, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    difficult child started school at his new school today. I met with the 4 core teachers yesterday but newly hired SpEd teacher had to be at another meeting with administration. OK. They were very understanding when I explained (in the 1/2 hour they gave me) in a nutshell a lot of what difficult child experienced at the last school last year. I explained that most of what the last IEP used as data is not relavent because it was during the "Risperdal fiasco". I also explained the past principal's "goal" of pushing difficult child out of the school. OK. They all listened intently and asked a few questions. Then we go to an assembly with all the middle school kids and parents. Each core teacher gave a brief synopsis of what will be going on in their class. OK. I spoke to the "lead" regular ed teacher about some of the things that were said and how difficult child's IEP did have accommodations for some of the stuff. One plus, the kids were told they would have phy ed every day. In the handbook they handed out, it gave a schedule by grade. It is a very small school so the whole 17 kids in difficult child's grade go to the same classes every day. I prepared difficult child for the schedule as it is written in the schedule. He does fine if he is prepared. Now, keep in mind that difficult child basically missed the entire last quarter of last year because of the "Risperdal fiasco" and principal's "goal".

    difficult child rode the bus to school. I went after I dropped easy child/difficult child off at school here (difficult child is 20 min away). They have homeroom first thing in the morning. We were under the assumption that his homeroom was the room where his locker is (according to the schedule). But no, the kids find out their homerooms during the assembly right away in the morning today. difficult child handled this very well. Then he goes to his math class (algebra). There's a substitute teacher and difficult child had no clue. UGH. The sub told them to read pages ** to ** and do problems 1-30. No instruction of any kind. difficult child read through the pages and it made no sense to him. Para (supposedly 1:1) takes difficult child and 2 others to resource room to work. difficult child had no idea he was going to be pulled out (WE were not told this). But I am there so he only had a mini meltdown basically caused by para who is pushing difficult child to work. SpEd teacher and I talk and he is going to have difficult child backed up a little in math because he has had NONE of the prep that the other kids have already had (different school, different curriculum). Great.

    Time for next class, difficult child goes happily. I leave for a couple hours. I get a frantic phone call from para, as I'm leaving to drive back there, that difficult child is having a meltdown: tipping chairs & tables, throwing his glasses, hiding in a corner, you get the picture. "Tell him I'm on my way". I get there and difficult child is crying hysterically. He wants me to take him home NOW and I am going to homeschool him because these teachers don't know anything, etc. I get him calmed down and he tells me that the last class he was in was hot (window conditioners in a FEW rooms) and the door was closed. He layed on the floor because it was cooler. Teacher tells him to sit in chair or leave the room. difficult child leaves the room and goes to resource room expecting me to still be there. I had told him I would stay at the school and he was expecting me to be there. Para is the only one there. SpEd teacher came into the room and difficult child began yelling that he was going to call me and picked up the receiver. SpEd teacher unplugged the phone. difficult child throws the receiver down. Phone breaks. SpEd teacher and I talk some more. SpEd is awesome. He totally understood WHY difficult child was acting the way he was and had some great ideas to help.

    I get difficult child calmed down again and he happily goes to class. The rest of his day is band/choir, wood shop, and gym. Great. Para starts talking to me and SpEd teacher about HAVING to be in with difficult child during shop because shop teacher wants an extra pair of eyes. OOOOOKKKKK?? SpEd tells para to just leave difficult child alone and just observe. Para informs us that shop teacher has kids do worksheets about each machine for the first 2 weeks and then the have to PASS a test before they can use them. No problem, SpEd will help him. Para makes a comment about difficult child being "kicked out" of earlier class. SpEd corrects her and says he was given a choice and CHOSE to leave. Para just can't seem to "get it". SpEd confides in me that para is frustrating him. She is set in her ways and pushes kids to conform. He is going to talk to her. I leave to go pick up easy child/difficult child.

    I get home and get a call from "lead" regular ed teacher to "fill me in on difficult child's day". I was there for most of it so yes I know. I try to explain WHY these things happened. She continues to tell me what I already know and that difficult child was wandering for the last hour of school. Turns out he had health instead of PE and no one told him (SpEd didn't even know). She goes on to say "WE had a meeting and we are going to do x,y, and z. Then we will have a meeting next Thursday to see where things are sitting. We just can't have him putting staff and other students in danger." I ask if they talked to SpEd because x, y, and z were not what WE talked about. "No, he had to leave at 2 so I will talk to him tomorrow". When he was tipping chairs, no one was in the room except SpEd and para. Info to regular ed teacher came from para since SpEd was gone already.

    SpEd had some awesome ideas that I had already talked to difficult child about and he was willing to give it another shot. Then THIS phone call happens and I can tell you right now that x, y, and z are NOT going to work. been there done that. I AM going with difficult child tomorrow and talking to SpEd some more. This is just not right. I just want to cry for difficult child. Today was a major setup and HE is being penalized for not handling it "appropriately". DUH! It will be interesting to hear what SpEd has to say about all this.

    Sorry it got so long but I am just steamed, frustrated, depressed, hurting, etc. Thanks to those of you that actually read this whole thing.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    I'm amazed they put him in a shop class. I don't care how much they know and how supervised they are, accidents WILL happen. Those machines can be mean even with people that know and respect them (and I'm so glad it wasn't my finger the band saw got when I took shop, though I managed to get myself pretty good with a rasp).
    Sounds like you have a good SpEd teacher, now if he can just get the rest of them in line. I thought it was only my Kiddo that throws her glasses in those moods.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That's how you know he's GETTING angry! LOL They're the FIRST things to go. Once he took a lens in each hand and twisted 180 degrees. Then some "bright" GUY decided to help and twisted them back. Can anyone say SNAP?!?

    Everyone in 8th grade and up does shop. Start simple and gets harder as you age.
  4. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    poor guy...i hope para can either get on board or get out of the way
  5. keista

    keista New Member

    ((((HUGS)))) Middle school is oh so incredibly difficult. Reading your story, I was having flashbacks to my own experiences with son and his school.

    If it makes you feel any better, considering the circumstances, I think difficult child did VERY well, and at least you have SpEd on your side. That para needs to find a new job.

    You will get through. You'll pick some battles, and let others slide. Some battles you will fight in a passive aggressive way and find great joy in that - at least I hope you will. I still smile thinking about the ALL black and white art project son did on Escher - his teacher kept insisting color be added to EVERYTHING and son is a strictly pencil and paper artist for his non digital art. Hee hee hee. Escher is mostly B&W!:devil: It's a small victory, but very satisfying.
  6. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    He can't get to sleep now and his stomach is in knots. He's EXTREMELY worried about what's going to happen tomorrow. I'm halfway thinking I should just call them tomorrow and tell them he's staying home until THEY get things figured out WITH SpEd. Not sure yet what I'm going to do. I know I'M going to be losing sleep tonight to.
  7. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    If you can, I would keep him home tomorrow and YOU go to school and kick their butts into gear.
  8. keista

    keista New Member

    I've got some gingerale I can share.

    As tempting as it sounds, that just gives them an 'out'. I don't know the whole story of last year, but like you had posted here, the principal was "pushing" him out. You keeping him home, gives them that opportunity.

    Hopefully things will at least seem better in the morning. Better enough to go try again. He did make a good choice. He did calm himself down and went to the non-core classes. in my opinion these are HUGE positive accomplishments. "Our" kids are not always able to recover from a bad morning. It may take a few weeks to get a good rhythm and routine going, AND to get all the teachers on board, but the only way to do that is to keep going.
  9. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    He sounds very anxious. While I agree that keeping him home tomorrow is an option, I'm also concerned that it may start a school refusal cycle.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Might be a little late for this tonight - but we're familiar with the anxiety/sleep link here... anxiety kills sleep, and lack of sleep adds to anxiety while reducing coping skills. So - this might be for "next time".

    If you can override the anxiety by creating a physical need for sleep, it really helps.
    This would have been a good night for... swimming, a long bike ride, or any other physically demanding activity that would wear him out.
    If the body is tired enough, it usually forces the brain to shut down too. Quality of sleep might not be ideal... the anxiety may wake him up later... but its a good start.

    Next, add non-medical sleep enhancers.
    - aromatherapy
    - warm milk with a bit of honey
    - a bowl of cereal
    - turkey (yes, some research out there claims that turkey is especially soporific)
    (you can still try some of these tonight)

    Do you have worry dolls? (those nesting dolls that fit one in side the other)
    If you do, have him write down his major worries, and put one worry to bed inside each doll. The doll will keep the worry safe until morning, and he can then open the dolls and take his worries back. Sounds stupid - but it often works. By the time you take your worries back, you've had a good night's sleep and with a fresh mind they don't look quite so scary.
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    You guys are so awesome. I still feel like crying. difficult child is finally sleeping. I'll decide what to do in the morning. I told him we should give it another shot and I WILL stay there the whole time unless he tells me I can go. Part of today was my fault for not being there when I told him I would be and then not telling him I was going to leave for a bit. I guess worrying about him backsliding again combined with my own feelings of guilt are what is keeping me awake so far.
  12. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I'm sending caring and supportive thoughts your way. Obviously impromptu schedule changes, unexpected teacher switches, an unfamiliar para combined with the excitement of a new school year add up to too much stress for difficult child's. Fingers crossed that somehow tomorrow brings improvement. I know all too well how it is holding your breath for a full school day. Sympathy hugs aimed your way. DDD
  13. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Para sounds horrible for a special needs kid. Is she the only one available?
  14. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    That para is "supposed" be on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. There is a different one on Tuesdays and Fridays. SpEd said it would be interesting to see any differences in difficult child between the two paras. He has his theory and it matches mine! He admitted he shares a lot of the same concerns I do.

    difficult child got on the bus and seemed only mildly anxious. I had to keep reassuring him that I WILL be there all day if I have to. I will be leaving in a few minutes to take easy child/difficult child to school and then heading to the NEW school. Hope I don't walk into a disaster again. My stomach is doing flip flops and my heartbeat seems a lttle fast. Like I don't know these symptoms. UGH!
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    The para sounds like a lazy slob who blames others in order to duck out of responsibility. Running to tell tales to the class teacher once SpEd went home sounds about right. You need to not only talk to SpEd, but also to class teacher and para. Make it clear that difficult child was set up for failure with the changes, and that he really did very well, considering. With support he can do better but pushing him too hard and also ignoring the warning signs or using them as a 'reason' to clamp down with discipline rather than easing back to help him de-stress, is what will escalate the situation.

    I really hate it when these people not only do not get it, but actually think THEY are right and we are wrong, and then proceed to maker a huge mess out of a situation that actually had a chance of success, before they stuck their big feet into it.

    I hope today goes better.

  16. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Para needs to be replaced, period. Or she needs a major attitude adjustment. A para works with & for the child assigned...not by her rules but by the rules set in place by BIP & IEP.

    I hate this stuff...