Archive for May, 2009

Songs that were just not made for retail…

Doug, Isaac and I were on a mall expedition yesterday evening, when we walked by an establishment that sells clothing. It was playing music at a pretty loud volume. 

the song?

Been Caught Stealin’ by Jane’s Addiction. 

 

I don’t think that song was made for retail. Seriously. 

just sayin.

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May 31, 2009 at 7:44 am 1 comment

Special needs and Kindergarten, take 5.2

Another installment of “where does Isaac go to Kindergarten??” is here! 

This was an unexpected installment, because I thought I had it all figured out until Wednesday, when the IEP meeting hits. Yeah. Notice the word thought. 

So, here goes…

We had pretty much ruled out the private kindergarten because of cost. It was astronomical, enough to make everyone and anyone choke. So, after crunching some numbers, we decided that we couldn’t swing $850/month for one year of kindergarten, as wonderful and super as this place may be. 

Yesterday, I was home, getting Doug all recovered from some oral surgery (he was SOOOO looped out!), when I got a phone call. It was the director of private kindergarten. Umm..I thought we had said no….

WELL, she was calling to do something that she’s never done before…offer a scholarship to a child-and that would be MY child for kindergarten next year. We’re looking at tuition that would be on par with the private school I work at, the aftercare programs that I would need for Isaac next year and pretty much everything else under the sun. 

Hrm. 

So, now, my perfectly honed plan has gone into tizzy fits and screams. And I have to make a choice by Friday. 

BLAH!

 

Oh, and you think the school district has given me any sort of heads up on what their recommendations are for Isaac?

Nope. Not a clue. 

So, I’m getting ready to call the school psychologist and find out what their ideas are for next year, as I have to know by tomorrow. Plus, it’s disgustingly unacceptable that I have no idea what their idea of the plan is right now, and meeting is on WEDNESDAY. 

Save me.

 

So, anyone got any good ideas? Anyone want to make the choice for me, because I just don’t know what to do.

 

Like I keep saying-getting into Kindergarten should NOT be this hard. It really shouldn’t.

May 28, 2009 at 8:25 am Leave a comment

The end is near!

When you’re a teacher, there are just some things that are universal truths-

One being that March is the longest month on the face of the planet, and the other being that the end of the year creeps up on you, and you have no idea where the time went at all. 

Right now, I survived March. That was brutal. But to be expected. Now, here we are the end of the year, and I’m fast trying to figure out how to get everything done by June 25! 

I’ve got a ton of things on my list that need to get done. As of right now, here’s the list:

  1. Go through homework from 7th and 8th grade internet safety/cyberbullying units and grade accordingly
  2. Log said homework into online gradebook
  3. set up online gradebook for final grades for grades 1-3, enter grades for 4-8
  4. Inventory the closet of software and books, put on to spreadsheet and make copies for principal and secretary as well as me
  5. Clean computers, tables and chairs
  6. figure out what stuff is coming into the lab from one of the recently closed schools for next year
  7. Come up with end of the year awards for 8th graders and other classes
  8. figure out how to get the scheduling person to split next year’s 8th grade into two classes (that’s one tall order. I’m NOT taking them as one group. NO WAY!)

Yeah, doesn’t seem like a lot, but it really is a lot to do. I’m 1/2 way through the closet, thanks to the detention kids-I’m so over making them write lines-they’ll be productive in my room..inventory that closet!  I’ve also got to really get down to working on that homework/classwork from the 2 oldest groups. So, hopefully, I can get it done this weekend. Who knows. 

It’s just all got to get done, and it will, but argh!  All of this just means another school year is on the downswing and it’s almost summer!

May 24, 2009 at 3:30 am Leave a comment

Kindergarten and special needs, take 5

Drumroll, please!

It’s time for…

THE KINDERGARTEN SCREENING! 

Please note: I did not bring my camera along with me to document the hilarity/fiasco/stupidity that would be ensuing. 

 

Isaac was #1 on the list, and allowed me to put on his compression vest for him (sensory support for proprioceptive input..) and wander into the gym for the screening.

Immediately he was nametagged, picture taken for reference and then immediately taken to the phys ed section of the test.

I was NOT happy with this-for cripe’s sake, they see the kid who is wearing a compression vest and a set of AFO’s and you’re making him jump and hit a target? Really? It’s just so stupid and pointless to make a kid do something that you know darn skippy well they can’t do. What is the point of this? I’d really love to know.

Then, he went to the other side of the room, that was closed off by the gym wall, and was given the rest of the screening. I was not privy to 90% of it, but saw the teacher of the classroom I visited…hrm…

 

So, I waited and waited and waited, and I heard Isaac give his ‘No thanks” statement a few times when he was asked to do things. that was quite hilarious. The screeners were saying “at least he’s polite..” well, darn skippy my kid is polite!

 

I did get a chance to talk to the PT and OT about Isaac, his needs and his sensory supports that he requires to be successful. The OT thought he could do more vest time, but I don’t know. He’s been quite successful with just the hour a day of compression time-I don’t know what increased time would do. It just doesn’t seem totally needed to me, but what do I know. 

The PT was very interested in Isaac. She kept calling him a “pepper pot” and trying to find solutions that would work to keep him in district instead of going to a private Kindergarten, because she wants him on her caseload. Imagine that-someone wants my child rather than wants to find a way NOT to deal with him! Go figure! 

And as of right now, she’ll probably get her wish. I’ve  been all over in my head about the payments for the private kindergarten we loved so much. It’s 212.00/week and I just don’t know if I can swing that. As much as we loved it, 8500/year is just almost too rich for our blood. We’re scraping to pay the tuition right now for aftercare. It’s almost exorbitant…but what can you do? 

If I sent him to where I work, the payments per month would be 310.month-that’s a 502.00 savings. Yes, you read that right. 502 per month. That’s just a lot of money. 

So, right now, we’re back to square one. Public school (where I’m not sure I want him..but we’ll see at the meeting) or private over at the school I work at-wonder what I have to do to get services out of the district that my school is in because it’s not our home district…hrm. Must look into that. 

 

So, the big IEP meeting is in just over a week. Am I in freak mode? YES. Am I going in loaded for battle? Yep. I don’t want a kindergarten repeater-this would be absolutely crushing to Isaac-especially if they let his therapy get in the way of his academics. With a half day program, and the head of the CPSE/CSE’s lack of wanting to give us a full day program, this is what’s going to happen. ARGH!

I so want this to end. Like I keep saying-it shouldn’t be this hard to go to Kindergarten. It really shouldn’t.

May 24, 2009 at 2:20 am Leave a comment

A visit to the Teddy Bear Hospital

As I was sifting through fun things to do for the weekend, I stumbled upon Albany Med’s annual Teddy Bear Hospital day. I figured it looked cool, and the allure of the MediFlight helicopter was too much for us to pass up. So, we grabbed Cannuck, Isaac’s panda, and hopped in the car and headed down to Albany Med.

Of course, my vehicle obsessed boy ran right for the helicopter and sat inside…with permission of the medics of course!

What's that? What's this on the helicopter?

 He asked a LOT of questions, but that was just fine with the medics, who patiently answered every last one of his “What’s that” and “What does that do?” questions.

Then , of course, we visited the fire truck. How can you NOT visit a fire truck with Isaac around!

Driving a fire truck yet again!

 

Then, we finally made it inside…

pointing the way to Teddy Bear Hospital!

and went straight to check in, where Isaac recieved his Teddy Bear Specialist ID card!Offical Teddy Bear Specialist!

 

Notice my child’s photo. All of the other children were smiling nicely. Very nicely. My child has to make a face. Seriously. This is blackmail fodder for years to come!

So, after we got the ID badges, we moved on to the primary care division of the hospital, where Cannuck got his weight, blood pressure and reflexes checked…and got 3 shots.

Checking Cannuck's blood pressure-100/60!

Then, Cannuck got measured on a really cool giraffe growth chart

and then we went over and learned about 911, sunscreen and how to cover our coughs, with Jim, who really should think seriously about going into pediatrics!

Jim taught us how to dial 911, and not to just use the police button-which Isaac tried!

We then went over and decided Cannuck got hurt…and needed a head cast! So, one of the medical students did that for us!

While the cast was drying we went and played OPERATION!

Time to take out the funny bone!

and then we went and saw x-rays of a famous green friend!

and we saw hand, foot and rib bones!

And then, after some face painting, it was time to check out with our awesome patient, who got a cast, surgery, shots and x-rays!

bandaged up and ready to go!

 

So, now, Isaac is a certified teddy bear specialist, and we had a great day!

May 18, 2009 at 4:01 pm 1 comment

When Preschool and 8th grade collide…

This happened during a review on the tools in Microsoft Word, and the class was loud as all get out, and I was just in one sarcastic mode…

8th grade Student: “Mrs. F! I did it! I did it!”

me: “Ok, Dora the Explorer. Did you avoid Swiper?”

8th grade student: “Mrs. F, I’m Diego. Get it right. And I have a rescue pack!”

Oh, and did I mention this kid has (not kidding) 4 brothers and 2 sisters…and  his youngest brother is in the Nursery 3 program and his youngest sister is 1 1/2?

May 17, 2009 at 8:23 am Leave a comment

Special Needs and Kindergarten, take 4

Round 4-which is ultimately close to the end, trust me on that one. My poor psyche and soul can’t take much more of this kindergarten drama. Sending your child off to Kindergarten should not be this hard or this drama ridden. Seriously!

So, let’s discuss the pertinent updates to this insane situation…
The past few weeks have been times of visiting and delusion on the part of some of the players involved. We’re going to do this bullet style!

  • I went to visit the K-2 program and at the same time, visited the rest of the public school. I was so unimpressed. The principal was as plastic and patronizing as I thought. Bah. 
  • The teachers in the k-2 room were amazing, but Isaac will NOT go in there. His peers next year in that room would be completely non verbal, unlike my darling child who is more verbal than the day is long. OY!
  • We have kindergarten screening next Thursday first thing in the morning. I’m not too thrilled with that…but, we’ll see what happens.
  • The people in the public school are delusional. They asked to get a doc’s appointment that is only 3.5 weeks away, moved up. Yeah, you try that with this doctor…
  • I went to visit the private Kdg twice-once with the school director (the one he’s at now) and once with Isaac. I was most impressed both times. 
  • It was nice to see Isaac WANT to stay at a kindergarten rather than run screaming as he did from the Catholic School Fiasco. 
  • This is an integrated program, where therapy is built into the day and they get specials-Spanish, Music, Art, PE. I’m all for that, because in a half day program, they would get NONE of that. NONE.
  • So, unless our inept school district (and I say that with all the love in my heart for these poor, deluded souls…) offers us something SPECTACULAR, we’re shelling out insane tuition for one more year. Hey-it’s one year. we can do anything for one school year. 
  • Did I mention my child was PARTICIPATING in answering questions during “shared literacy time” (that’s story time for those outside the educational buzzword circles…)

Oh, and to make matters more fun, we had to adjust Isaac’s IEP time. It was at a time I was teaching through, and I knew that if I asked for the time off, I’d be shot on sight. It’s the end of the year-lots to do, not a ton of time to do it all in. 

Thursday is screening, and who knows how that’s going to go.

 

this should not be this hard. Seriously.

May 17, 2009 at 7:57 am Leave a comment

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