Monday, October 17, 2011

School issues

Last post I mentioned school was not going too well for Max so far this year. The year started out fine. The 2 paras that worked with him last year though did not return this year. One of them was hired when Max was in 1st grade, just for Max. She was awesome and the best para. Max loved her. He was a little upset that she was not there on the first day. He got mad at me when I told him he would be with a different para. It is one he knows and works with some. This para was his first para in kindergarten but it just didn't work out!

The year was going OK. Max was in general ed classroom for about half the day and the other half in resource. I love our resource teacher so I was OK with that. However, this year I keep getting calls about Max is doing this, or Max did that, or Max won't do this, blah, blah, blah. Basically Max pushed somebody, or Max got mad when told to sit in the time out spot and knocked things off the shelve and now he won't pick it up. The latest... He touch a girl inappropriately! Yeah, he is in 4th grade. He has NO idea what inappropriately might be. He hugged a girl and, oh no, touched her chest. Yeah, on a pre-puberty girl. Then somehow his head ended up in her crotch. Yeah, what?? There was a HUGE deal about this. The girls parents threatened to press legal issues against the school. However, nothing was said to the resource teacher, the principal or me about this on that day. The following day the principal wanted to talk to me about an 'incident' that happened at school. I asked the resource teacher for a heads up and she was rather mad about the whole thing. Nobody told her anything until that day.

I go into school to talk with the principal. The whole meeting was less than 5 minutes long. The head in the crotch thing.... what a joke! The kids had been playing some old-fashion freeze tag to celebrate Kansas. To unfreeze someone you had to crawl between their legs. So when recess was over and the kids all got inside Max continued to play the game. Oh my gosh!! Maybe a little back ground to HOW Max's head got into a girls crotch before making a huge deal about it?! Seriously, just crazy.

Max also has chosen to only listen to a few people this year at school. In his defense though, right now he can barely hear a thing due to fluid in his ears. Trust me, I'm sure my neighbors will be glad when Max can hear the TV again!! (he is getting another set if tubes this Friday). So I have to wonder if they are really talking so he can hear them. Are they giving him time to respond? who knows. Is he just being stubborn? Very likely.

I'm pretty sure the principal is calling me to tell me about every little thing Max does wrong just to drive me crazy. Why would he want to drive me crazy you might ask? Because he wants Max gone. About 3-4 weeks ago we had a "team" meeting at school about Max's placement. They increased resource to all day except for specials, lunch, and recess. They suggested Life Skill classes though. Life skills is at another school. There are several in our distract so they choose which one is closest and has openings. I told them fine about resource (stupid now that i look back at that) and that I would go obverse life skills and go from there.

I observed life skill. Well, kinda. The teacher had all her students go outside for snack before I got there. So it was her tell me (and the lady from school who went with me) about how the day goes and what they do. I admit it is something Max might like. I'm sure it is something i might like too. So I thought it over. But change is hard and i figured maybe after Christmas or later in the year. Maybe next year even. Pete was more for next year if at all.

I called a few people and thought more about it. We have decided that, No, we do not want Max in life skills at this time. However, the principal is rather adamant he wants Max gone. The resource teacher told me that if I didn't make up my mind soon about life skills that the principal wanted another meeting. This was before we were sure BTW. I asked what the meeting would be about. She said the principal would say the placement where Max is currently is not fitting his needs, therefor trying to force him out.

We have a "team" meeting Thursday night. We will go in and tell them NO to life skills. We will tell them we want him back in the general ed classroom at least half a day. We will tell them we want speech increased. I will suggest some awesome seminars by our local Down syndrome guild. I will offer someone from the Ds Guild to come and obverse Max (and teachers) at school to offer suggestions. I will ask about a different behavior specialist to obverse if necessary. Our directer to the Ds Guild had offered to come with us to the meeting but it just so happens her kids conferences are on that same night. I have called the directer of special ed for our district. She acted as though there was more we could try or do before something so drastic. She also let me know the school canNOT force a move like that. Pete and I would have to agree, being part of the 'team' and all. Another higher up lady should be at the meeting, somewhat on our behalf. She does work for the school district and all. The directer said with my OK she would give the school a heads up that we do not feel comfortable with life skills at this time. School knows I have contacted the higher ups. They better not think their way is the only way! I did inform the resource teacher that we will not be doing life skills but we are going to ask for changes. I left it at that.

So why are we against life skills right now? First off we want Max around typical kids. How else is he going to see what is appropriate and what's not? Life skills classes are going to have lower standards. The behaviors he has is going to be somewhat excepted in that class. If we want Max to grow up and be around other adults who are 'typical' why not have him around them as a kid at school too? I'm not saying being in a life skills class is bad but it is not what we want at this time in Max's life.

Wish us a whole lotta luck Thursday night. And pray for Max on Friday, when he will be getting his umpteenth millionth pair of tubes!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Down syndrome awareness month

It's already October! I am SOOOO behind in blogging.

Since my last posts were about Max's and Joe's birthdays I should probably do Sam's and Ike's too, right?

Sam turned 8 years old Aug 29. and Ike turned 4 Aug 23.

The day my baby Ike was born...

And 4 years later

The Birthday of my only daughter..

My princess 8 years later..

For her 8th birthday she got a BB gun as a present from the grandparents.
Here is grandpa showing her how to use it and giving her lots of safety tips.
She also got her ears pierced. You can notice in her 8 year old picture up there.

School for Sam is going great. Joe is doing pretty well this year as well. A different teacher can make a world of difference! Max, well, right now not so well. Ike is still hanging out with Sam and I enjoying being a 4 year old.

I'll write more about school and Max when I get some time. I promise to try to get it done before 2 months is up!!

For now hope everyone is enjoying Down syndrome awareness month!!