Sunday, October 17, 2010

crawling under a rock

I usually have a pretty good attitude, even when I'm grumbling.

Today I feel like crawling under a rock and staying there for a while.  Possibly setting up house.

I had a terrible allergy attack yesterday, still trying to breathe today and trying not to take more meds for it so I can sleep tonight.  I have also had many in the past couple of weeks, more than I've had in the past 6 years.

I have an IEP meeting at Captain Comic's middle school tomorrow, and I feel like I have conflicting communications from them.  I get calls from teachers about problem areas, and I email with his case manager about her concerns as well as his teachers. Then when I put it in official language what he needs in place as to accommodate him, she backs off and says he is doing wonderfully, and they are accommodating.  When I reinforce that he needs a paraeducator in every class and with specifics details re: the para's function to address the concerns that are brought to my attention by them, she backs off again and says he's doing fine.

When my conversations with his case manager are not in an official documented capacity, she swears she is, and asks me to trust that she is really advocating for him.  As soon as anything looks official, suddenly I am a pita parent asking for too much, when I'm only asking for what has always worked for him.  When it's not in place, we get what we are seeing now, and it will only continue to get worse until he has the support he needs in place. 

I'm not asking for anything for him, that I have not provided myself for higher functioning students than he is.  I provided classroom support and learning center support to students at the high school level.  He is in 6th grade, and I am only asking for classroom support. I am telling them exactly what works for him.  It's four points of support.  Nothing extreme.  It's less than I have provided for other students twice his grade level, who were more capable of self directed coping skills. 

I have worked in classroom support in a 5th and 6th grade classroom with a student who presented extremely similar to Captain Comic in his needs to function successfully.  There is no way, no matter how wonderful the teacher I worked with was, and how aware she was, that he was not going to miss instruction, assignments, understanding of material, if I did not keep an eye on where he was, what he was focussing on and if it was relevant to the task at hand.  I checked on his understanding of the material regularly.  And this is all I am asking for Captain Comic.

He is not going to fit a neat box of the types of supports they have for more remedial students.  He is extremely intelligent is some ways, placing him in higher academic classes.  If he were in remedial ed, there would naturally be para support in every class.  But he is not, so only receives it in certain classes.

He's twelve.  He just started at a new school, with a new schedule, new team, new teachers, new everything, and he is lost at sea.  Because of this, he is struggling at home, too.  It's tough on all of us, and I feel I have to translate what's going on for him, and how to deal with it for everyone.  He feels like everyone at home is on his case, and in a way, we are.  But we're only trying to help him. 

I'm exhausted and I just want to breathe.  But really, I want to clean house, go adventuring, love everyone a little more.  It's been a tough week.  Thanks for listening while I try to work out some of this outside my head.

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