A sassy, crafty mama bird from Los Angeles
raising a very sweet little girl with Autism
and a new baby boy in the Midwest... and other stuff, too.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

School Does NOT Suck This Year

Many people followed our school plight last year with the school sucks saga and have asked me in the past few weeks how things are going this year. Night and day, my friends. Night and day. If you're unfamiliar with the story, feel free to catch up on the old posts here. Suffice it to say, last year Little Bird was placed in the wrong program. I knew it right away. She knew it right away, too, which is why her behavior matched her discomfort. Her teachers knew it, too. The only people who didn't get it were the school district's special education administrators (big surprise, amiright?). So, we fought and fought and fought some more to get the girl placed in the right program. We were victorious, but not until April. Yes, that means that from September through March, I sent my kid to school every day, fighting with the administration, trying to get her moved, getting phone calls from the school about her behavior (which was pretty typical for a kid with ASD, but not at all typical for the kind of kids these teachers were accustomed to teaching). Within days of moving into the ASD program, which we'd wanted all along, we knew she was where she belonged.

So, here we are today: new school year, great ASD program, great ASD teacher and paraprofessionals, great support staff, great therapists who understand my kid and are working on things that are truly relevant to what she needs. Her teacher emailed me last week saying "we will do anything for {Bird} to be successful and happy." ohmyfreakinggd I want to clone this woman!

Little Bird is in an ASD class with 5 other kids for a good chunk of the day. She mainstreams into a general ed second grade class with a teacher whose background is in literacy- perfect for my books/reading/spelling obsessed kiddo! She goes and comes home smiling. She belongs. She is loved. She is achieving more academically and socially than she even had the opportunity to in the last program. She brings home more smiley face stickers and even 100% markings on her work. Hallelujah.

Is it perfect? No. Are there some issues? Yes. She loves the teacher and wants her attention. Sometimes she even acts out to get it. "Throwing your shoes into the toilet is not okay" is a thing I had to say to her. She literally does these kind of things and waits to see the teacher's reaction. Not sure where this rebel streak comes from. *looks away innocently*

Last year, I had a nagging feeling that Little Bird was unwanted in her classroom by the teachers. This year? She missed 2 days of school so we could travel to visit the doctor and when we got back to school, I got a note from the teacher saying that they missed her and her sweet, happy smile :)

Yes, we won. Victory!*

*For now.

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