I am far behind over here. I still haven’t written about our summer birthdays or updated you on the house which was painted about a month ago. And, well, this post isn’t going to move me forward with either of those things.
This post is more just…me just needing some support.
You may remember last year, during IEP season, we worked to get Paul in General Ed for some additional time. It was set to be the first hour of the day, from 8:30-9:30, and then recess, snack, and the lunchtime recess.
Except for the first two weeks of school-there was some confusion and he was in general ed all morning except for 1/2 hour. They even did push in services like OT, PT, ST. It wasn’t really what we were going for. I picked up on this and then chatted with the special ed teacher. I only have a glimpse of how this got confused. The minutes were messed up, but not the Gen Ed minutes, only the Special Ed minutes, so they must not have looked at all of it. And they certainly didn’t read the notes where it clearly laid out when Paul would be where. Twice.
But ok. So we scheduled an IEP to amend the minutes. I observed Paul a couple of times so I could see how he was doing, particularly in the Gen Ed room. After observing, I wrote out a few behavioral suggestions, along with a list of probably 20 sensory or fine motor activities his aide could do with him to “break up” the desk work. The half hour of more intensive work from 9-9:30, mostly at the desk, was behaviorally problematic. Paul was clearly bored and frustrated- becoming vocal, not wanting to sit at the desk, not wanting to do writing (hand over hand, or otherwise).
Then we had the IEP. It was supposed to just be about amending the minutes, but when I was told how everyone was going to be invited, I knew something was up! Lo and behold, the Gen Ed teacher recommended moving him out of the room from 9-9:30 and instead have him back in later (around 11, maybe?) for a snack and read aloud time.
So his Gen Ed minutes would stay the same, just at different times.
And I’m not trying to be a pain in the ass. Really.
But I’m having some problems, and I never sign anything at an IEP meeting, so nothing is set yet.
First- yeah, Paul will be an angel during snack and read aloud time, because there’s food. I haven’t really gotten an answer, despite an e-mail and a phone conversation, about how much of that time is munching on crackers and how much is work. But I don’t want him to only behave when there’s food. I want him to behave, period. And he has to be taught how to do that. We lose our opportunity to modify his behavior if we only allow him in Gen Ed when he poses no challenges.
But even more than that, I really want to believe that we’ve worked reasonably hard for Paul to be successful before we change up his schedule. And I’m just not convinced. They’ve been providing him with alternate sensory/fine motor activities for 2 weeks. And the only things they’ve actually tried were things provided by me, along with Paul’s private OT, and their OT (her ideas were along the same lines as what we gave.)
I’m not the educational professional here. Where are all their ideas? When a child with DS and/or ASD is bored and frustrated doing desk work, what do you do? SHOW me that you’re doing your job. If you haven’t tried anything else, then tell me what you’ve at least thought about trying and why you didn’t do it.
I’ve got more ideas. A whole page of ideas, and in 4 different categories- support ideas, new sensory/motor ideas, ways to modify the work, and behavioral support for the staff. So what are they thinking of?
And just 2 weeks. To me, that is not long enough. It takes 6-8 weeks to modify behavior. I think that’s how long we should work at it, and if he hasn’t improved in that time, then we can explore our options.
I mean, honestly, am I unreasonable? It pains me to call another IEP meeting. I’m a considerate human being. I understand how busy they are. I don’t like taking up more of their time. But really, have we made a solid effort to help Paul be successful? I don’t think so.
And this negative behavior? It needs to be dealt with now. Not later. Now. Because the kid is strong, and it will get harder. And he is clever and could just become more challenging. And above all, he’s smart, and we should all get to see that.
So tell me your thoughts. And if anyone could shed some light on the expectations of each of the teachers when Paul is in Gen ed, I would appreciate that. I am just not clear on what the general ed teacher is supposed to be doing with Paul. Does she modify work, or is it solely the special ed teacher? I know you can write in the IEP consult between the teachers every week. I think because Paul has an aide with him, he is just sort of floating along in there, with the aide taking care of everything, and the teacher just letting that happen.