Today we met as an IEP team to discuss the plans for the next couple months for our little guy. He has been doing really well on the new meds the psychiatrist put him on. His Special Education teacher, who has been doing his “homebound” time, mentioned that she is seeing work that he wouldn’t do in the past. They want him back at school. I feel torn!
Three weeks ago I took him out of school because he just couldn’t handle it emotionally. Almost immediately his behavior improved. Granted he started taking new medicine within days of the escalation, but how much of it is need for medicine, and how much of it was that school was over stimulating him? I’ve wanted to Home-school for a long time, but financially we just can’t do it. Not only that, he really misses his teachers and friends. What is the best answer?
During the IEP meeting several people, including the principal and the district’s Special Education Coordinator, wanted to know why the doctor wanted our son on homebound through the end of Winter break. The easy answer is that we are still treating him for the Autism and Mood Disorder. He has doctors appointments coming up for GI, Urology, and Psychiatry. He is doing better, but he still struggles with aggression, attention, and he HATES transitions.
I told them that I didn’t think he needed to be on complete home-bound status. That he was ready to go to school part time. He needs the services that they can provide him, which I can’t.
- Speech therapy.
- Occupational therapy for the sensory processing disintegration.
- Social/behavioral lessons
This part is hard for me. I have my Masters Degree in Education. I worked as an aide in Special Education for several years. I taught elementary and secondary education. I recently passed the states requirements to teach Special Education. I can meet the unique needs of other peoples children. WHY NOT MINE????????? Part of it is that to him I am the one that snuggles him, plays with him, gives him my phone so he can play Minecraft, reads him stories at bedtime. If he sees someone outside of their regular place – teacher at the store, someone from church at the farm, his ABA specialist at the library – he freaks out. He shuts down. He hides behind my back. IS that what he is doing at home when I am trying to teach him. Is home NOT where he does schoolwork? He once had a meltdown and ripped up a math worksheet at school that was meant for homework. Doing what he deemed “homework” at school created chaos.
- He continues to sleep in until he wakes up on his own. School wants him to start to waking up earlier by 10 minute increments. Right now he sleeps until 10AM – even if he is in bed by 8pm. The SCHOOL’s GOAL is to get him awake by 7am, but I personally think I will continue to let his body decide when he needs to wake up. That is MY GOAL. (I’m such a rebel)
- He will eat at home and then go to school at 11:40. This is when the other students come back from Lunch and recess which has consistently been a difficult transition for him.
- He will do Math with his regular teacher.
- He will go to Art – because he thrives on a creative level.
- He will no longer go to PE and Music – they are just way too stimulating for him and he really struggles with it. During the meeting today he piped in with “The instruments hurt my ears.” He was telling them something was wrong. That something didn’t feel right. He just kept doing it in an inappropriate fashion.
- During the special times (except for Art) he will work on social/behavioral stuff. This was a big win for me. They wanted to have him work on the Language Arts stuff that he missed in the morning.
- Twice a week he will stay after school for an extra hour to get one one one instruction with reading.
- There was a brief discussion about not having Chase go to Speech Therapy and Occupational therapy. They reasoned that his time at school was so limited, that his struggles with transitions were such, that seeing theme twice a week was not to his best benefit. I put my foot down and said HE NEEDED these services. These services were almost more important than learning math and reading. I became very vocal at this point and said “Before he can focus on the learning he needs to learn how share, take turns, follow directions, appropriately express frustration. If he gets those basics down the other stuff will come.” I was shocked and pleased when everyone agreed with me. My favorite part was where someone mentioned that my son is academically right on target. Developmentally, socially, emotionally he is just not there yet. Because he is so bright the reading and math will come. IF WE FOCUS ON THE BASICS. For me and my husband that was a major win.
When we told him he would see his friends on Monday he became super excited. I think a shortened day will work for him. We are meeting again at the end of November to talk about how he is doing.
Quite honestly, if he is doing well I am going to say “Lets not rock the boat.” They may want him at school full time, but why? If he gets what he needs in a shorter amount of time why force him to over extend himself emotionally. I want to enjoy my son when he gets home from school. I do not want him to come off the bus and immediately start crying and run to his room so that he can be alone. I don’t want to spend two hours working on homework. He just spent hours at school taxing his brain. We need time to sit as a family and play games, read together for fun, and let him defrag while playing minecraft.