Tuesday, September 14, 2010

School. Oh School.

Dreaded school, how you drive me crazy and leave me sleepless. You make me crazy. I hate your pointless homework exercises, "modified" for my son, but not at all in the manner in which we discussed at length on the phone and during the IEP meeting. I hate the stories I hear from my son about you, how you aren't holding up your end of the bargain, while I stressfully comply with your every request for funds, paperwork, home programming, homework, integrity. 

So, The Kid and I were meeting yesterday with a new OT that will be giving us some additional sensory, fine motor and executive functioning help, and I proudly state that his IEP has a pretty good sensory diet written into it, that he gets two sensory breaks a day where he does vestibular and proprioceptive activities, and that they are working with him to advocate for himself when he needs additional breaks. I ask The Kid to describe the kinds of activities he does during his sensory breaks and he says, "I only get one break a day and I usually go to the therapists office and play with littlest petshops."

The OT looks at me. I say, Wow, there's another IEP being followed to a T!!!


What part of 'sensory' break don't they understand? What part of 'sensory' diet don't they understand? And even if they don't necessarily 'get' OT as a therapy, what part of working with children does allowing a kid out of class to play perseveratively with toys do they think these 'breaks' are going to accomplish? Don't they even know they're shooting their own feet here?

I called his teacher today, left a voicemail asking for details on The Kid's sensory breaks and just checking in to make sure his program, AS THE IEP STIPULATES, is consistent.

It's so frustrating. I work my butt off to give The Kid a stable, consistent enviroment. Why is it so much to ask to have a school follow what they've previously agreed to?



  1. It's the same all over - all the kids are expected to fit into a 'one size fits all' type of factory and any differences are just too hard for school systems to deal with effectively through under-funding, not enough teachers, not enough commonsense in the system.

  2. That sounds very frustrating! Does your school district have an autism team (a group of teachers, therapists, administrators who are knowledgeable about autism and coordinate with the schools and teachers providing educational services to all students on the spectrum in the district)? If not, you may want to advocate for such a program to keep the staff informed about the needs of autistic students and the benefits to everyone involved in meeting those needs. If so, contact someone on the autism team to push for implementation of the IEP. They should provide you with the support you need (and they have more clout to get things done).

  3. Mine finally got the jist when my youngest fried (end Gr 1), and my eldest's social skills/behavioural skills led them to tell me 3 days before the end of the year he was having trouble (Gr 3)... All the same year....
    Mama was not happy. See.... what they forget is that I have paperwork and lots of it. NOT, to mention Behavioural Services can be called directly by us and THEN they have to comply.
    I had 3 days and made the most of it..... Sometimes, you have to play mean. Find out what your rights are, contact special ed or the superintendant... etc etc etc.... And remind them that should he "melt", etc... not to suspend him b/c they are your lawyer will have a little chat.....

  4. oh no !!!
    How frustrating
    Thank goodness at least The kid can talk and tell you

  5. Wow. So realistic...unfortunately.
    And - wonderful that your son caught you up on what was really going on.
    Thanks for writing this; gives me the strength to prepare to deal with similar situations.