Okay, for those of you following along at home, school still sucks. I'm this close to homeschooling. Actually, I can completely see why there are SO many of us raising kids with special needs who have pulled their kids out of the public school systems and are proud homeschoolers. For those of you who haven't been blessed with kids who doesn't fit into a mold, you might not know that private schools (at least those around me) don't take kids like mine because, well, because they don't have to. You may have even heard me gripe before about how disappointing it is that the local well-loved Jewish day school in my area won't even take a kiddo like my bird. Anyway, it means that we parents are left little choice but to take what we can get with the public schools. Of course, we fight like mad to be sure they're getting the best services and all that, but sometimes it's just not that easy. It is very rare that I encounter a parent of a special kid who is happy, truly happy, with their public school experience. There's a reason why we have diarrhea before and IEP meeting.
Need a minute to get caught up on why school sucks so far? Here's part one and two of the journey thus far?:
Ok, so yesterday I spoke with the special services supervisor for the school district. She had observed Little Bird in her MiCI (mildly cognitively impaired) classroom one morning last week. She agreed that my girl is super sweet. She did see that she's struggling to stay on task, focus, and follow along with the other kids. It's not because she doesn't want to or that she's being defiant. It's because her body doesn't always do what she wants it to do. Her sensory dysfunction makes walking in a quiet, straight line unlikely, NOT chewing her pencil improbable, and sitting still at her desk impossible. It's not that the teachers aren't working on it- it's that they don't know how. The bird is a tricky one. She's not fitting into any one category. Remember, she's in this class because it seemed like the least restrictive environment at the time. However, it seems that these teachers aren't armed with the right tools. So, this administrator believes that the ASD program would be too socially restrictive for her and that she doesn't seem to match the makeup of that class. Those of us in this world understand that a class is a good fit for your kid if the teacher and the other kids are good fits. She plans to have the Occupational Therapist, school psychologist, etc give her tips, tools, and strategies for better serving LB. Also, they'll have an ASD teacher come in and help with some strategies. I felt pretty good about this plan. That is, until I dropped her off at school this morning.
The teacher caught me in the hall this morning and asked me what happened when I spoke with the administrator. I explained that she didn't think LB was a good fit for the ASD program blah blah blah. Well, she disagreed and even said that it's hard to teach to the other students when LB needs to much attention. I walked away feeling that my baby bird isn't wanted in this classroom. Can you even imagine that? So upsetting. She explained that it's great that the district is willing to help support her, but that she isn't trained in this. I completely agree with her. I don't think this is her fault at all. I feel stuck. I don't want to send my baby somewhere she's not wanted. She's hip enough to pick up on that vibe.
I emailed the special services lady this morning and asked that I be able to observe the ASD class, as well as a bit about my feeling like the bird is not wanted. Her response was that she believes that this is the right program for her, and we need to get the staff the proper support. She still wants to move forward with that plan. No mention of my wanting to see the ASD class. I responded again that I want to observe it. We'll see what happens next.
I truly believe that this isn't the teacher's fault. She really isn't armed with the right tools. I know that the bird is a tough kid to categorize. I get that. But, that doesn't mean that I'll ever let her get lost in the system. You know me, takin' off my earrings and rolling up my sleeves...
More to come.