Thursday, October 23, 2008

When it rains...

It pours!  Wow, can't believe that the weekend is already here.  This week has been such a whirlwind with everything that's gone on this week.

Grandma Audrey is still hanging on.  We can't believe that she has hung on this long with what the doctors and hospice had said on Tuesday.  Bless her heart, just hoping she will remain peaceful and is not in any pain.  Please keep her in your prayers.

Still no resolution with Javi's IEP.  Not that we were expecting one this quickly, but just thought I would update.  We are still planning on contacting the program specialist to see if we can possibly switch schools and have him placed in another NSH class, but we are trying to determine the best and quickest way to get him out of the class with minimal mediation.  As anyone who has dealt with difficult IEP matters knows, you have to be very very careful how you word things.  One wrong move, and mediation can drag out for months.  We are hoping that we can go about it from two angles:  

A) Javi technically lives with his dad now and has for the last year, though we share joint custody.  My address has been listed as his home address since he began school. Previously, there was no real benefit to changing it, since we had been at the same school for three years with out any issues.  The reason we didn't change it last year was because we thought it might be a good thing for Javi.  His current school is one of the newer schools in our district, so it has state of the art facilities, computer labs, classrooms, etc.  

Long story, short, if we were to change the address, that would put him at a different home school and would change the location to the nearest NSH program. So, by default this may change his placement.

B) It's obvious in so many ways that this is a shear mismatch of student to teacher and parent to teacher.  I don't think any mediation will do it at this point.  Javi has been stamped with the "problem child" stamp and frankly, I think any further intervention may make things worse instead of better.  

It was evident in the teacher's note in the communication log today that she was already on the defensive.  She noted that we should try to talk about his day in a more positive way and that we should encourage him to tell us about the good things that happened at school, instead of focusing on the negative.  EXCUSE ME???????  She even went so far as to list questions we could ask him.  I guess she thought we were too ignorant to come up with positive questions on our own.  It's not like Javi gets off the bus and I ask him "Hey, so who was mean to you today?"  or "How many times did you get in trouble today?".  The nerve of her to even suggest that, after most of her commentary in the log has been negative, if any at all, which we have all brought up amongst ourselves on many occasions!!!  Which, BTW, we did nothing to suggest that it was her fault that he was miserable this year.  We just simply said he's unhappy and it's evident in many ways.  He feels like he doesn't have any friends and more often than not, plays by himself because the kids are mean to him.  In what way does that indicate we are pointing the finger?

I was so perturbed by her audacious insinuation that we are somehow spawning negativity and that is what is leading to his inability to be happy in her class.  

Lady, you can candy coat things any way you want, but no amount of focusing on the positive aspects of his day is going to change the fact that he feels like his only friend is someone that he is carrying on imaginary conversations with.  (see previous post)

Javi's stepmom wrote the response to today's communication log.  I knew I was not in the right frame of mind to word things eloquently.  She did a wonderful job of being polite, but it was also to the point.  I am certain, that no matter what we write, she is going to be on the defensive, so I can't wait to read the response.

Our next step in the process will be to contact the two other mothers whose children are in the other NSH program that we want him to transfer to.  We can find out more about the teacher and whether or not the class is full.  Javi was in the same class with these two kids since K, so he will at least feel like he has friends with all these chaotic changes.  Most children have that comfort of having students that they are familiar with, so why isn't it similar for children with ASD who have an even harder time with change?  I am still not seeing the benefit to breaking them up.  They told us that they try not to place all the ASD kids transferring to NSH in the same class.  I don't think there are any studies that show that it hinders growth to have some form of continuity in friendships for kids with ASD, but I am not an expert.  

From there, we will be speaking with the educational consultant provided by the regional center for their input and then contacting the district's program specialist. 

We are hoping to have a resolution before all the holiday breaks begin, since it can be difficult to get anything done during that period, as we have experienced in the past.

Ok, I think this post is slowly becoming a novel, so for those of you that are still hanging in there thanks for reading!!  I will continue to keep you all updated as it unfolds.  Sorry for the ranting, but I tend to get fired up about these subjects, as any mama would.


JSmith5780 said...

I must say, it is so great that all four "parents" work so well as a team for Javi!

baby trevor's mommy said...

I agree with Jen. I know you and x have a good relationship...but it's really really great to hear that even step-mom is working on Javi's behalf.

To everything else...all I can say is wow.

And you're SO writing a book someday!


~Mama Skates~ said...

and i 3rd jen's comment!

that teacher?! gawd, i would want to snap her in half! good for u in showing restraint - not sure i'd b so patient!