Friday, March 2, 2012

My Child Did What?

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At Random Guy's recent IEP and 3 year review meeting I was told he was going to lose some services.  I was not surprised but I was a little nervous. He is doing so well he doesn't need the extra help from the occupational therapist and speech teacher. He will be in the classroom almost the whole day now. The only pull out he has left is his social skills group. The rest of the help he will be receiving in class or in informal pull outs to catch up on any class work that he is behind in.
The school social worker said that when she interviewed him for the 3 year review he gave her the best interview she ever had with a student. She said in all her years she will probably never see an interview like that again. She was so impressed with his speech and how well he conversed with her.  I was so glad to hear all these wonderful things about my Random Guy.  Usually he is kind of a taciturn kind of guy. I also know that he will still need some extra help socially, so we all agreed to continue with the education plan, but to change the amount of services needed. This is from Random Guy's hard work as well as all the hard work that the teachers put in for Random Guy at his school.  This probably wouldn't have happened as quickly if we had stayed at the neighborhood school.
We moved Random Guy when he was going into the 3rd grade. He had been having trouble with bullying. He was physically bullied in kindergarten, 1st grade and 2nd grade. In second grade the teacher and principal were saying that the bullying was a two way street and that Random Guy was doing some verbal bullying too. Considering that Random Guy was reacting to being bullied for years, it was not surprising that he was misbehaving at school. My problem was how the school was handling it. The principal had changed that year, and she was much different from the previous principal. She was very abrupt and did not handle these things well. I struggled with the teacher and the principal for months over this issue.
When the school choice catalog came in the mail one week, I realized that it was time to try something different. I called the next door school and asked questions about bullying and their program specialists. If there was a speech teacher and occupational therapist on hand, would there be a way to work on social skills and so on. I got some good answers, but the best answer I got was when the school social worker didn't know the answer to one of my questions about bullying and went to the principal and got back to me within a day with the answer. They have a way of working with the kids so that bullying is taken seriously and not tolerated.  I registered Random Guy for the next door school and waited to see what would happen. We got the slot. It is a very popular school with waiting lists to get in at the Kindergarten level. In 3rd grade there was room for my guy.

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I had some work to do with the teachers and social workers, but all the educators in that building believed in Random Guy and understood what a fun kid he was.  The neighborhood school only saw his deficits;  the next door school saw his possibilities.  Thanks educators for your hard work and faith in my Random Guy.

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