Duhdee and I really need to get better at being early for drop off. We have a 5-10 minute window that is the ideal time. It is between the time that the doors open and the arrival (en masse) of the general population. We tend to get there just when everyone else does so the classroom is in an uproar. It’s just not ideal for getting Monkey to walk in and settle. We need to try to beat the rush! Maybe tomorrow 😉
Just as we were getting ready to leave Monkey’s teacher stopped us and said she wanted to talk to us. The team leader had told her about the change in Monkey’s classroom placement and she wanted to speak to us about the change and about what maybe could have gone better. She clearly and sincerely cares about Monkey and despite our anger at how this all has unfolded we’ve never questioned that. We’ve never questioned the classroom staff’s affection for Monkey and we’ve never had a complaint about how they’ve treated him.
She said she has spent a great deal of time thinking about the entire situation and she said she is treating it as a learning experience for her. She said that she may have done us (and Monkey) a disservice by giving us only the glowing reports and not letting us know about the challenges she saw during the day. We admitted that we had felt taken off guard by the June meeting. It was a really positive talk. We let her know that we truly appreciated that she’d taken the time to go to the Fragile X seminar last month. We shared a hug.
I think this was all a tremendous learning experience for us as well. We were too passive about Monkey’s IEP. We wrote a great IEP and we did not insist that it be followed. I think we were more concerned with team building than we were with making sure Monkey’s needs were being met. We need to find a way to do both. We need the positive relationship with Monkey’s teachers and therapists and we need to make sure he gets the supports he needs to succeed in the classroom. We have to admit that keeping him in an integrated setting is going to be an uphill battle. We have to acknowledge that the only way we can maintain that setting for him is by being strong advocates for him. He will need a lot of support if this is going to be possible and I think Duhdee and I are finally catching on to exactly what this is going to require of us.