Tuesday, May 5, 2015

It's okay to be angry, and I'm allowed to demand answers!

   It's been a hell of a month. It's May! Mac comes home in just over 2 weeks. The school's trying to "play nice" while still trying to find a way to get Nixon out of school.
   At the last IEP meeting, the principal suggested "at home crisis teaching" for half the day, which is Nixon would have a teacher from the county come to our home and teach him for 3 hours a week and he'd go to school in the afternoons for "specials" (Phys Ed/Art/Media, etc.). This was brought up as a solution for the aggressive meltdowns he had been having. I was opposed and had asked that the new schedule (mornings in the Special Education class with just his aide and the Special Education teacher then afternoons with his classmates for specials starting with lunch), be given 2 weeks before any further suggestions were made.
   After 4 days, I received a call asking about my willingness to consider the "at home crisis teaching plan" as Nixon was not adjusting to the newest educational situation. I asked, again, for the full 2 weeks agreed upon in the previous meeting. It takes him time to adjust to change.
   I had also made changes to his diet, his allergy and asthma medications (I took him off one that has been known to cause aggressive and violent behaviors in children with ADHD), I've started giving him a small cup of coffee which acts as a destimulant for those with ADHD or ADD unlike other people who use it to stay alert. I also bought him a necklace diffuse with essential oils meant to help keep him calm and focused, and I do a small massage on his feet and his back every morning before school.

   The second week of his new classroom setting saw a calmer, more quickly redirected Nixon when he did start a meltdown. He had a field trip, I went with as a chaperon. He had one meltdown at the beginning, but he recovered quickly, even from mid-meltdown he redirected himself!

   Last week was a funky week. Monday we came home from visiting Mac's family in Miami, and because our flight was so early, I kept Nixon home to let him adjust instead of sending him to school tired and cranky. It'd be setting him up for failure and he deserves better.
  Tuesday he was sent home early, turns out he caught pinkeye somehow. Wednesday he had to stay home because I couldn't get him to the doctor until the afternoon. Thursday he was okay, the medication for the pinkeye started working and he was able to return to school.
   Friday was a bad day. He was defiant, throwing things and abrasive. I had to go into the classroom and get him to leave school. Something was off, but I can't quite explain what.

    He's lost outside Phys Ed time, though I haven't gotten an exact explanation on why, yet. He told me today after school (another less than stellar day) that he had indoor recess. Today was beautiful outside. All the other kids had outdoor recess. Recess should not be taken away from any child, let alone an ADHD/ASD child.  He needs the outlet!

    I called the school as soon as I got home and left a message for the Vice Principal (also known as the top of the IEP board chain). She called me last night, in regards to Nixon's behavior last Friday, and inquired about the "crisis home teaching" plan option again. I explained that, as was discussed at the last meeting, that was only an option if his behaviors hadn't improved in the new setting and from what I was being told, he was more easily redirected and having few meltdowns. She admits to me she hadn't looked at his recent charts and was unsure if that was true or not.
   Then excuse me, but why the bloody hell are we discussing this?! He had a bad day, yes! But he went from having bad days that last hours to have a meltdown that he recovered from in less than 20 minutes! That's progress, in case anyone is wondering!

    The same VP called me tonight regarding the message I left after school. I was firm. I was passionate. I was angry! I was so pissed off that it feels like these adults are sabotaging my son's education so they can get him off their hands, instead of recognizing the progress he's made.
   I expressed my feelings about him losing outdoor recess. I was passionate about wanting answers regarding his lack of physical education options. And I was reasonably angry about how uninformed I was about these choices being made and how their affecting him. I was quite firm with my demand for answers about the recess being taken away and the PE situation when we meet for another IEP meeting on the 13th.

   I'm not sure how the Vice Principal felt after our conversation. I know she spent some time placating me, which is never a good idea when I'm in "Momma Bear" mode. But I made sure I was heard. I've advocated, I pleaded for the board to see Nixon and to understand him and his needs. I feel as though it's all falling on deaf ears and now I need to kick some dirt and raise a little hell! I'm angry, but it's okay. I'm allowed to be as long as it's a constructive anger.

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