Catching up

17 May

I’m trying to catch up on a lot of things this weekend.  One of them is rest, as I am currently on the downhill slide of a death march, which involves finishing up all the junk teachers have to do to finish a school year.  We have a ton of last minute IEPs, mostly by teachers who procrastinated too long and are so far behind.  Next week is a 6 day work week for high school teachers as we have graduation on Saturday that we all have to work at.

I’m in the process of getting over a cold, which is largely caused by stress.  I’ve been getting home wellinto the evening every night because of the massive amount of paperwork.  I had one parent in particular who really went after me and I may blog more about that later as it demonstrated how to get what you want while you alienate a teacher who wqs otherwise sympathetic to the cause.  Basically participate in a full-scale ambush.  I’m glad when kids have parents that are good advocates and generally am happy to work with them.  But when an adversarial relationship is insisted upon which does no good except guarantee that I won’t get to see my own kids, then we might have some difficulties.

I’m also working on video, audio and pictures for Covington’s 4th annual Autism Walk!  I got some really good footage, not to mention a nice t-shirt!

Good stuff ahead!

D.

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4 Responses to “Catching up”

  1. Parent May 18, 2008 at 6:57 pm #

    I have been reading. I am located near you I believe in metro Atlanta area. I have two boys on spectrum. I am most concerned about older son who is 8.5 and rising 3rd grader. It has taken 5 years but his eligibility has finally been changed to one I think more suited-Autism/SI. Anyway, we brought in outside advocate for our son last November and now I am thinking I did the wrong thing. Advocate is very low key, I just felt that all my written concerns were NOT being handled according to the IDEA. Anyway, I am finally learning after 5 years of IEPs for older ds just a tad about advocating for your child.

    Thanks for the always interesting and informative Blog.

  2. Daniel Dage May 19, 2008 at 6:41 am #

    Thanks for reading! Your concerns have been much on my mind (not yours exactly, but parent advocates) and I do really need to blog it. My IEP series is a good place to start, but there are some other things I’ve learned since then that might be helpful. Or provoking, depending on your point of view!
    D.

  3. Anonymous May 20, 2008 at 7:40 am #

    Please do share:) As a new Spec.Ed Director will be incoming at end of June, there are a few parents in our county who would like to advocate as a group. But I do hesitate since each child is different, hence I part of IEP. There just seems to be a history of “higher functioning” 3-5 year olds in our county’s spec. ed program that are NOT receiving appropriate education at a very critical time. What I am finding is the county is not suggesting ESY even when there are emerging skills, and signs of regression at 3-5 age range. Than they back pedal and start to offer it around age 6 or 7.

    I am in the midst of writing PWN, for my older son, but am hesitant. I know they will use the IEP even though I have not signed and am not in agreement. At almost 9 he truly needs some social skills goals, mainly conversational skills. He talks but only about his obsessions. They ignored the two I proposed.
    We did finally get lunch bunch put into his IEP-something that made a difference at least for his self-esteem.But, they have cut his OT-basically he will not see OT or recieve services next school year. Yet, his adaptive skills show a deficit-I brought it up during meeting they jsut went right on past it. The child cannot button or snap his own pants, yes he can button on a board, but not his own pants so at school if his jeans have buttons/snaps, he just yanks them up/down. He did just master shoe tying last week after we worked with him 8x a day for two weeks. All the school did for buttoning/snap issue is send home theraputty. I would think that most almost 9 year olds are able to snap/button their pants especially if they are mainstreamed. HE also cannot jump rope something the school’s P.E. department makes a HUGE deal about. He is one of only six 2nd graders who cannot jump rope at least 10 times in a row. Umm, isn’t that indicative of either visual spatial or some other type of motor deficit? He now freaks out when he sees a jump rope. I still have images of the reg.ed teacher with her head down the entire almost 4 hour meeting. I suppose we shall see in August how my older ds handles no more resource, no OT, and co-teaching classroom for the first time.

    In the scheme of things, I know I am blessed:)

    Hope you are feeling better.

  4. Daniel Dage May 20, 2008 at 7:29 pm #

    Thanks for reading and commenting! I think you reinforce a lot of my thoughts where you are working hard and are the decisive educational agent in your son’s life. The teachers and therapists are along for the ride as you’re the one putting in the hard work! The school curriculum isn’t geared for adaptive skills like tying shoes or snapping pants, despite whatever you put in the IEP, especially as he gets older.

    As part of the system and as a consumer, I see the struggles involved just in recruiting and retaining a half qualified teacher. So I admit I’m a bit cynical and jaded to the point where my expectations are pretty low on public schools, given all that we, as teachers are expected to do and the small resources we are expected to do it all with.
    D.

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