Tuesday, August 14, 2007

And the plan is...

to keep planning.

I do hate these little mottos.

After meeting for another two hours regarding the educational plan for my son, the adults have come up with a plan for his next year. Until such time as we can a) get his meds under control, b) get his behavior under control, and/or c) find a private school which is set up to deal with a bright boy who has episodes, the district will take care of him as follows.

He will have a seat in a regular fourth grade classroom, and every attempt will be made (slowly and carefully) to introduce him back into a classroom setting. Realistically, that won't actually happen until well into February or March, but in the meantime, he will have a relationship with his teacher and will visit the classroom and participate in classroom activities whenever he feels up to it. He is not to be made to stay in a situation which upsets him ("for his own good") until he explodes, thereby embarrassing him and making his next visit harder.

He will have a district teacher, Mr. Aitch, come to the house to lead him through a self-directed curriculum. Mr. Aitch will stay as long as Saul can tolerate it and will start with what Saul is interested in and branch out from there.

Other rules set forth in the IEP include:
  • Police will NOT be called for "acting out episodes."
  • No PE for Saul -- he escalates in loud situations and under competitive circumstances.
  • Saul MUST be allowed to leave the classroom or ANY area of school as soon as he says, "I need to go to the office." No one should try to talk him out of going to the office. This may trigger an episode.
  • Staff need to RESPECT the Saul's aides and teachers know what Saul needs and will support him. Only Saul's team should work with him or offer suggestions. (In other words, suggestions that "all he needs is a good spanking" or "Perhaps a round of anger management courses will help" are not appreciated and now violate his legal IEP document.)
  • All members of the team will attempt to use the "lingo list" for cues and supportive statements/redirections to keep his environment stable.
  • Saul may dictate answers and essays as writing frustrates him.

Mr. Aitch is pretty cool. He worked with an agoraphobic child last year and brought along that child's curriculum. Started out very focused on the one thing the child was interested in: microscopes. They spent a week looking at various things through the microscope, and then branched out very slowly to include math, writing, history, etc., but always looping back to the microscope. Poor guy. He's sitting in on this meeting, hearing about Saul's behavior, and you can just see him going white. Every once in a while, someone remembered to reassure him, but it wasn't often. By the end of the meeting though, he started popping in a with a suggestion or a question. As we were walking out of the school he said to Dear Butcher, "I think your son is a lucky child. He's going to come through this just fine with a great sense of how to educate himself. He's going to be a great college student."

Thank you, Mr. Aitch.

I told Neo that someone named Mr. Aitch was going to come to the house, and she almost swooned. "I love Mr. Aitch! He subbed in my Science class! He brought us charcoal drawings and talked with us. Saul's sooo lucky!" I looked at Mr. Aitch's card. Sure enough, it says, "Middle School Science and Math Teacher". Kewl.


On the political front, things still suck. I sent a written statement to the papers explaining that I was bowing out for personal reasons and asked the community to respect my very young children by not trying to scope out what those reasons might be. The balance of the Board is now pissed that I made my own statement to the papers. Since when have I sent anything on to you all for approval before I spoke? Jeez. (On the other hand, the article's not all great; I'm listed in the paper as being a native of New York, not of Beantown. Damn.)

Thanks for all the comments on the previous post -- they helped a lot.


CindyS said...

I hope that the IEP and Mr. Aitch hold some of the answers for Saul.

And the rest of the board members can suck wind. So can you go and heckle the board members at the meetings now ;)

I hope this opens a bunch of new windows and doors for you.


Bookwormom said...

I hope this new person works out well for Saul and the entire family. Hugs and positive thoughts~