Wednesday, October 22, 2008

IEP Warrior

Well, today was Javi's IEP. About the most successful thing I can say about it is that Javi's dad, stepmom, Mark and I agree that the teacher is not a good match for Javi. She doesn't seem to have the knowledge, nor the sensitivity to deal with a child on the spectrum that has sensory seeking behaviors and a tendencies to flap.

Javi is not at all happy in school this year. It is evident in his academics that he is not happy. This is the first time ever that he has not even partially met an academic goal. He managed to meet some of his OT and Speech goals.

Surprise, surprise!! He's had a total academic and social regression. Hmmmm....wonder why?

It's no secret that we haven't cared much for his teacher this year. I am sure that she is fine with her other students, but where Javi is concerned, it just doesn't seem to be a match.

She told us that Javi has a tendency to clap and bother the other students. She said even though they work through this problem over and over again, he just doesn't seem to be making the connection to stop clapping and bothering the other students. Hello? Did I hear that right? To a person with Autism, that is like telling someone to stop blinking because it's bothering people. I wanted to tell her she should attempt to stop breathing during the meeting because it was bothering me. She just doesn't seem to make the connection that it is due to the fact that the part of the brain that controls the nervous system is damaged. So, when certain "emotional" chemicals are released in the brain that cause Javi to be anxious, excited, happy, etc, he flaps, or in Javi's case claps.

We ended the IEP with out signing, since we still have matters to discuss. They are attempting to call the ASD program specialist to consult, but frankly, I don't think it will help. Javi feels as though he has no friends. Today he told me that he didn't cry at school today, which has been a pretty frequent occurrence. So, I was glad to hear that he had a decent day today. He said that he still played alone.

Javi is not typically the type of kid that strives to play alone at school. He will typically at least attempt to engage other students, but now, he just says that he doesn't really try anymore. He just plays alone because the kids are mean. He has been telling me that he talks to a girl on the bus and at lunch. She is a little girl in a wheelchair. We had always thought it was sweet that he thought her wheels were cool and that they had things in common, their love for all things Disney. Apparently, the little girl doesn't speak, so any conversations he is having are not verbal ones. We had such high hopes that he had at least made one friend, but according to the teacher, he doesn't sit near her on the bus or during lunch. When I asked him about it today, he finally told me that she doesn't talk because she has a sore throat. He had told me that she had a sore throat once before, but I assumed it was because she had a traech. 

It's so sad to hear these things about him and to see him in this state. He is typically such a happy kid and a such a sweetie. He has completely changed since the beginning of this year. We thought maybe if we gave it a little time, that he would get used to the routine, and things would get better. It's just not getting any better. I think we are finished being patient.

Next step, I'll be contacting the program specialist to talk to her privately with out the teacher and tell her our feelings about the situation. We have suspected it from the beginning, but didn't want to jump to conclusions with out meeting with the teacher and other therapists. Now, I think we have all the info we need to conclude that it's the class is a mismatch, not just Javi being a bad candidate for this program. Fortunately, there are other classes available for him to go to, so we are hoping it will not be too difficult to switch.

We are hoping that there will be a quick resolution. I refuse to let him go through the year like this. The mama lion will pounce if I have too :)


JSmith5780 said...

I am sorry to hear that Javi is struggling so. Hopefully not enough has been lost that if you get him in a proper setting he'll catch back up quickly.

Keep fighting Mam Lion, youa re doing the right thing!

Monica, James, Connor McGuire said...

I hope that you are able to find something that will be a great match for him, and that he will take off. that made me cry about him not having anyone to talk too at school. how hard that must be for him. i did laugh when i read the part about you wanting to ask the teacher to stop breathing b/c it was bothering you. where are the people in this world that get it?? Obviously his teacher doesn't. I agree with Jen...keep fighting!! Our children are worth it!!

~Mama Skates~ said...

r u serious? this teacher is approved to work with autistic kids & she thinks javi can just quit flapping? i'm appalled!

it's so sad to read this post - i feel for javi & tear up just thinking about him not having any friends & crying at school...poor thing! i really hope that u're able to find the right match for him - it sounds as tho his current teacher isn't even interested in working with u guys...there r a LOT of great teachers out there - then one like numb nuts there, has to go and screw it up!

i so wish we lived close - i know that jaden & javi would have a great time together!