Hoping to someday find M's brother adopted in the U.S. -
Myckola Oleksandrovych Markov - 8/26/2003

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Truth Is

I tend to tell it like it is.  I don't like sugar coating things or playing the politically correct game.  So, I've been open about our struggles with the school system over the past couple of years.

But today I want to say that I am so delighted with my children's teachers this year.  I get emails just to ask if I have any concerns, and letting me know that my child is doing well.  I get responses back to my emails in a timely manner.  My kids have gotten little post cards in the mail from one of the teachers, welcoming them to the school.  Its all the little things that matter.  I can tell when someone cares enough about my kids to take the time to try to get to know them.

So, the best thing that happened this week, comes from something that was requested last year.  M's teacher last year kept asking for an aide to help redirect her because she was "exhausted" from doing it at least 20 times a day.  Umm... it was K (and don't little kids NEED redirecting?) but whatever...

I was frustrated because M's teacher was expressing concerns about things M was doing, but then she wasn't following my suggestions to correct them.  I was at school for another one of my kids one day towards the end of the year, and I walked past her room and saw her sitting at her work table, with her FEET DANGLING.  My child has CP.  She has an IEP.  In the IEP it detailed that she was to have foot support.  I pointed this out at the beginning of the year.  Her teacher had her writing at the table, and her feet were dangling.  Um... maybe that's why her handwriting wasn't getting better or she had trouble completing the work?  M acts out when she is frustrated or feels that she needs attention (not being taken care of is a huge trigger and um..hello!)  I complained to the PT who immediately fixed it, but that had been the case all year.  M's teacher complained about her behavior, but wasn't following the IEP that had accommodations that M needed.  And that wasn't the first time.  M has a very traumatic past.  People that work with her need to understand that in order to understand her.  I explain it to her teachers every year.  Some "get" it.  Some don't.  But the fact is that those who don't take the time to understand her and "get it" are not successful in how to interact with her.  

So, the short version of the very long story is that after a LOT of meetings and a LOT of me disagreeing with the IEP team on how to best label/qualify M and help her, they offered a Functional Behavior Assessment.  From there they said they'd put together a Functional Behavior Plan.  All I wanted the teacher and staff to do was to listen to me on what made my kid tick, and how to best deal with my child, but I agreed to the FBA because they said I could provide lots of input and suggestions that they could follow.  That was at the end of last school year with about a month left in the year.

Fast forward to the beginning of this year.  My kids are at another elementary school.  The people there reviewing M's records found that no one ever did the FBA.  There is no FBA.  I was never asked anything about M.  Nothing was observed or collected.

I can't say I'm surprised; that school did one thing well.  They screwed my kids over.

BUT the good news is that M's current teacher isn't have any of the issues that her teacher last year was having.  I've asked multiple times because I just cannot believe my ears.  My child is behaving at school like she does at home.  (for right now) She isn't having a problem.  The consensus from everyone is that the FBA is not needed.

The issues are far from all resolved, but I feel so much more positive about this year.

And I will say one more time that I LOVE LOVE LOVE my kids teachers.  


SammE said...

I'm so happy to hear that things are going so well in the new school! And that M is especially doing well. :) Hope the whole year is wonderful for them and for you. :)

mamaporuski said...

Yeah! So glad when things go right FINALLY, they usually stay right with the school, only needing changes and reminders here and there. They always tell me they like it when families are involved because many parents are not involved, ever. I of course think it's their way of just dealing with me :)

We witness a miracle every time a child enters into life; but those who make their journey home across time and miles, growing within the hearts of those who wait to love them,are carried on the wings of destiny; and placed among us by God's very own hands. --Kristi Larson