Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Where have I been???

OK, life has been toooooo much!!!! The little man stayed at that placement for the rest of his school year. It was actually not too bad. Sometimes it was actually good. There were problems, but they were small, and were fairly easily resolved.

And then the other shoe fell. And hit me in the head. Twice.

At the end of the school year, we were working on the plans for next year. Reworking the IEP, etc. As we were heading out the door, the school officials casually mentions that he does not qualify for a summer program, he is too "bright" for a self contained classroom, and he may be attending another school next year. WHAT????!!!!?????

O. K. WHAT!?!?!?!?!

They wanted to pull all services from him, but they said they would do it slowly. Um.... NO!!!! We agreed to mainstream with a lot of support from an aide, a full time aide. They agreed to a summer program, kinda. They agreed to keep him in that school. BUT, to get there, we had to hire a lawyer, and spend a butt load of money. A big honking butt load.

Wait, it gets better.

He loved his summer program. Score 1.

But, in September, school started again. One more shoe. OWWW!!! This is getting painful. He is getting NO support. None. His full time aide turned into a floating aide. Someone who would show up once the little guy was in full melt down mode. He was spending every day in the principal's office. WHAT??? It just kept getting worse. I was at the school every day, getting phone calls three times a day on some days. It was at the end of my rope. I was desperate, and getting more so.

Then, we got a phone call from the assistant director of special ed for our district. She said that someone from a different program saw our guy, and felt that they were the perfect program for him. Would we be interested in seeing the program. Um, yeah. We checked it out. We loved the sped teacher, loved the aides, loved the principal, loved the program. Loved it.

We described it for the little guy. He resisted at first, and then said he would try it. He was getting desperate, too.

The first day at the new program was difficult. Lots of changes, lots of new stuff. So it went well, considering. The second day. BIG GIANT SHOE FELL!! OWWWWW!!!!

I got a call at 1:30. They said to come in, because he is out of control. I got there, and it was BAD!! There were cops everywhere. And ambulances. WHAT THE HELL??? I walked in and he was sitting on a little chair. He looked freaked out. Just freaked out. A cop got in my face and said "Do you know what happened?" I said "No, I just got here." He proceeded to tell me that the teachers (3 of them) were restraining him and he head butted one of them. He is NEVER supposed to be restrained, because he is VERY sensitive to touch. It scares him and hurts him. He was just trying to get out. The teacher got hurt. The police called my son a criminal, questioned him without me there, and said he would be charged with assault. When I told the police that he was autistic, not to mention 8 years old, and all of 65 pounds, the officer said "So what, he's still a criminal." WHAT????? Needless to say, I took my son out of there.

I got a call later from some higher power in the district saying that my son would be suspended for three days so they could figure out what to do. He said that as far as he knew, no charges were being filed. I asked him why our son was being suspended for defending himself while 3 adults pinned him to the floor. What about the teachers who were in violation of his IEP? No response other than "Give us three days. Someone will be in touch"

Wait, there's more. When we got home, my little guy crawled into my lap and cried for three hours. Then he fell asleep, woke up, cried some more, and fell asleep again. Later that night, I got a call from the lawyer mentioned earlier, who helped with his summer program. She said that the school department lawyer called us and said that our son was "facing serious charges". I spend the whole next day on the phone trying to contact someone at the school. I was finally told that "as far as he knew, there would be no charges, and someone would be in touch."

On the third day of his suspension, I kept calling the school to find out what was happening. Finally, at almost 3:00, I got in touch with the same person I'd been speaking with who said "Of course you know that's there will be a meeting Monday morning to welcome him back to school, and discuss what will happen moving forward". No, I did not know that, thank you very much, because I have been calling and leaving messages for you all day.

So, Monday morning comes, which brings us to yesterday. I got my point across that we COULD sue them for violation of his IEP, and that he could have been seriously hurt. They were being very nice. I assume that their lawyer told them that they better play nice. They apparently will be doing everything short of washing our feet to keep us happy at this point. There will be an IEP meeting on Friday. But, at this point, I have lost all trust in them, and the public school system as a whole. Too little, too late.

My little guy has been asking to be homeschooled. We had a practice run while he was suspended. That is probably what will happen right after Christmas. What follows is his list of reasons for homeschooling.

1. Work gets done
2. Extra work gets done
3. No bullies
4. The room is quiet
5. Mama gets company
6. I have good behavior
7. No issues with the bus
8. Really good field trips
9. No backpacks to carry
10. Great learners
11. Great teachers
12. Nice classroom
13. I'm comfortable here
14. Mama gets extra hugs
15. PLEASE!!!

And his speech:

These past three days have been the best school days of my life because of you. You are the best teacher I've ever met. You take me on the best field trips. For the first time, I like school.

OK, anyone out there have homeschooling resources, curriculum, any idea how the heck I should get started???

Peace out

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