We’ve been talking to Monkey for the last few days about starting school. We’d put it off because of the IEP meeting issue and not knowing what to prepare him for but, obviously, if we’re not meeting until the 2nd week of classes we needed to prepare him for starting in his previous class. So, we’ve talked it up. Duhdee took Monkey to the open house last Friday. Now we just wait and see.
Hopefully he’s matured enough over the summer that we do not hear any more about the substantially separate classroom. After making so many good gains last year in the integrated classroom I’m incredibly frustrated and angry that this is even a topic of discussion. I don’t think he did as well as he could have. I’m an incurable optimist and I think there is always room for improvement but I think that means he should get more support where he is. I do not think it’s appropriate to move him to a more restrictive environment.
I’m sorry his teacher and the classroom aides felt overwhelmed last year. I also don’t think it was Monkey that was the cause. They told us, more than once, that they had a very challenging group of kids. Some of the “typically developing peers” were struggling and acting up. They told us, more than once, that Monkey was one of the best behaved kids in the class.
The main issues were his eating of non-nutrative items, his distractability/high level of activity. Monkey likes to eat bubbles, shaving cream and the water in the water table he does it here and he does it at school. We’ve tried several ways of stopping this but with limited success. Any ideas?
Monkey does not stay with a challenging or novel activity for more than a few seconds. Except for a few favored activities (painting, water play and computer play primarily) he will sit for 5-10 seconds and then run off and wander the classroom until someone goes to retrieve him and bring him back. He will play again for a while and then wander off again. No one thinks he’s ready for medication, not his teacher (I asked over the summer), not the folks at the Fragile X clinic and not the psychiatrist we consulted with. So…any ideas?
One thing we are insisting on this year is that they actually develop a sensory diet. It was in his IEP last year and they blew it off. Not this year. It’s too important. I’m hoping that will help. Otherwise I’m just not sure.
I feel as though figuring these things out is their job, this is their chosen career. They’re supposedly highly qualified to teach in special education classrooms. But ultimately the responsibility for educating Monkey falls on us. We’re his parents and we love him more than anything…I just wish I had a ton of experience and training to fall back on here. I’m feeling a bit alone and overwhelmed here.
Great way to start off a new year, eh?