Thinking it all over

February 9, 2008 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

Fair warning: this is long. 

I’ve kind of kept quiet about a few things that have gone on around here, in regards to Isaac and his school. This is for two main reasons-first off, I’ve been generally happy this year with the teacher and he’s got the same therapists as last year, so there’s really no learning curve for all of us. Second, I’ve been too tired to really actively “be there” with the schooling for Isaac. With what’s gone on around here, with the month hospital stay, my medical drama and then Isaac being Mr. Clingbutt when Doug’s been gone, with good reason, I’ve been pretty hands off this year. I’ve kind of let them do as they please…

I called a meeting in December to discuss some things that I had some concerns about. I was pretty ok with the outcome of this meeting, until they started dropping the ball, and I stopped hearing from the usual suspects…OT and PT. PT, I understand, as she’s not only got the kids at the school, but she travels and does related services for kids who are NOT in the school. She’s only there a few days a week, and I don’t totally mind writing her a “How’s it going?” note. OT…well, she’s assigned to the classroom..There’s no excuse for not giving me a MONTHLY update. I’m not even asking for 1x/week anymore. I know what she does is fine, I know Isaac’s making progress, but it’s to the point where I’m really through not getting answers that I want, having 3/4 teachers/therapists on one page, and then having 1 completely different.

So, finally, when things were quiet (before all heck broke loose again…) I made a phone call. First off, I wanted to let Marsha know that I was NOT displeased with the therapy and curicculum that Isaac was recieving. I’m not. He’s made leaps and bounds. (For those who don’t know…when he started this program summer of ’06, he had 1 word…and he would have these terrible meltdowns because he couldn’t communicate to us. He was resulting to withdrawing from the situation because he was getting trampled by kids at his day care.) I’m just concerned that I’m not doing enough here.

People can say what they want, but as a Special Educator, I know how important carryover is, and how important it is to have the family work with the child as well to get as much progress as possible. I always found that it was the best when family AND school were on the same page.  This is where my brain is right now. I really want to help Isaac. I really want him to make the leaps and bounds that he’s made now even greater. I want him to be able to show that he is the smart, smart aleck, silly boy with the deep wells of knowledge that we see every day here.

So,back to the phone call that started this whole thing…

I had written a very simple note that said “Hi (OT and PT)! How’s Isaac doing? Is there anything we can do at home to help him progress?”

Don’t think that was out of line there…

so, the OT wrote back a whole list of things they are doing (with no suggestions) and the line started off with “When he is compliant…”

Huh. What? Head teacher, Speech Therapist and PT say nothing about his compliance. They all say he’s a joy and he’s having a great year…say what OT?

So, I have a long convo with OT the day of the emergency dentist incident. She says this:

“I’m working really hard to be Isaac’s friend…”

Again…say what?

I know my child is difficult some days (Ok, more than some), but when you have to work at being a child’s friend, and showing them that…it’s time to pawn the kid off on someone else. I know that well. There were kids I’d say “Not a chance” to in my classes, because I knew that it would be too much work for me to be even a semblance of civil. I know my limits.

So, I brought that in on Monday morning…because I also wanted to have words about them closing school so late on Friday…that was part of a contributor to our nuclear weekend.

So, I sit down with Marsha and Sara (social worker) and basically lay it all on the line. I also made it clear that I don’t want Isaac in his current room for a 3rd year. It would do him no good. I want him integrated. They agreed on the no current room for a 3rd year. As Marsha said, he’d be treading water.  She said she’d been thinking about this for a bit, and she knew the perfect room for him.  I said “Oh, not (insert integrated teacher at his current building’s name)’s room?”

She said “No. (insert name I’ve never heard before).”

I said “Who’s that?”

She said “She’s at Pine Bush.”

Wow. I was floored. Now, we’re not just talking classroom switch, we’re talking whole building switch.

Yes, Pine Bush is closer to E. Nowhere…a whole 12 minute drive vs. 20-25 in good traffic…and with no Starbucks stops to his current location.

BUT, it’s further from Mom and Dad, and if Doug is in Med again, I wouldn’t have the option of shooting over on my way home and picking him up, or dropping him off on the way down.

So, Marsha goes on and on and is extolling the virtues of this new teacher, creative, amazing music circle, would really mesh well with Isaac.

Ok, fine…

and now I’m worried. I was fine with this until the other day, when my overtired brain went into paranoia overdrive.

Why Pine Bush and not the classroom in his building? Is it more than a good fit for Isaac? Do they just want a quiet year with no parent nit picking the IEP, and being on the phone? Are they sick of Isaac? 

Then the rational part of my brain took over-and let me tell you, that’s been hard to find lately with all that’s gone down here.

Is the room at his building going to be overfull again? Is it going to be a completely bad mix for Isaac? Is Isaac better off at a new site-fresh eyes, and people who won’t take his garbage… Or maybe just to shake him up a bit? Isaac’s a lot like me…he may be too comfortable at the current site and not really on his game as much as he would be at a new site.

I’m going to view the new site on Wed. I’m apprehensive. A lot more apprehensive than when I took Isaac to visit his current site, because I knew the current site, and I knew how they operated. It was more for me to see how Isaac would fit in, and if he’d like it there or not. (No one breathe a word of that to Jill, our old coordinator!) I know no one at this site, and not sure what I think of it being on an elementary school campus, even though they have their own pod.

It’s a hard choice for me. I’ve said to a few people that if he didn’t get integrated through where he is now, that I’d find another program for him. It’s hard to decide what’s best. Full, new program or just new site, same files and things?

I don’t know. My brain is so full…and everything is rolling aorund in my head. It’s hard to know what’s best. It really is.

Ok..rambing over. I’ll know what I want on Wed, when I see the new-to-us site.

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Entry filed under: ECEC, parenting hell, school, shrimper.

Friday Fill ins, 2/8/08 Isaac’s favorite time of the year

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