The Countdown: 4 days, 11 hours, 50 minutes, 10 seconds… Till Halloween? Till Thanksgiving? Till Christmas? No, silly, till the FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL… Fall is in the air, the kids are beyond bored, and mommy needs a massage.
Getting ready for this school year has me a little bit in knots. My youngest, Connor who has Autism, is going into 2nd grade. My oldest, Payton who has off the charts ADHD, is going into 4th grade.
Connor had it rough last year. First, he was not on anyone’s Special Ed roster for a month. Then, a brand spankin’ new “inclusion” teacher thought it would be good idea to isolate him whenever he misbehaved. Even worse, he was bullied and taunted both in school and on the bus. Needless to say, he had some regression. Starting in January, I drove him to and from school. In addition, we increased his services to include adult supervision in specials to protect him from the bullies, added social skills training to teach him appropriate behaviors so hopefully the bullies would stop, and ensured that first/then was followed to bring him back up to par. AND, we made it!! He ended up having a FANTASTIC year!!!
But, because Connor has such a hard time with change, we asked if his special ed teacher from last year could remain with him through this year. The Assistant Principal we had was trying his best to make it happen. But, then we got a new AP over the summer. Last Wednesday night at 10:30 pm, I received an email from his panicked Spec. Ed teacher telling me it was not going to happen. Whenever I get an email like this, I know what it really means. She wants me to fix it. But, this time I decided to take another road.
Being the mommy I am, I still called for a meeting immediately. I was ready, with a smile, but barrels loaded. The Principal, Assistant Principal, and new Special Ed teacher all attended. I had a clip from the movie Just Add Water with Clay Marzo & Dr. Tony Atwood. (It is a must see-http://goo.gl/EOhz6). Dr. Tony Atwood explains Aspergers like no other. This clip opened up great dialogue between us and they loved it. Then I showed them a short intro video of Connor (thanks to my ingenious sister). This really hit home. My sister wanted to give them a head start & feel like they already knew Connor before he even stepped foot in school. At the end of the meeting, I gave them his Daily Data Sheet and all of his first/then rewards. It was extraordinary and I left on cloud nine! Today we had our “Meet & Greet.” The Assistant Principal and Principal really made over both boys & because they showered them with attention, Payton & Connor walked down the hall a little taller. All of Connor’s teachers from last year sought him out, gave hugs galore, and stuck to him like glue. AND, his new teachers were PHENOMENAL by making him feel safe & secure in his new classroom. Too boot, Payton’s new teacher is FABULOUS. It looks like the road is going to be much smoother this year (fingers crossed!).
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