On May 16th, I stayed home sick. On the 17th at 8 a.m. I had an IEP to go to that I was positive would be no way to reschedule should I need to cancel. Luckily, I was able to drag myself to the meeting - I felt LOTS better than the day before but had no energy for anything.
The Autism specialists from the County have been working with Therin to put in place a self-monitoring system to take the burden off of the teacher and give him the tools to keep himself on task. They reported that while Therin is a very smart boy and could be doing the school work he is unable to self monitor with the amount of time they are allowed to spend with him per week to teach him the system. Since they've seen him 3 or more days a week for a couple of hours each time during many times of the day (recess, math, reading, direct instruction, morning, afternoon, etc.) They collected A LOT of data. Therin is very smart but he doesn't do his work in the large classroom setting unless he is being prompted. The teacher is doing her absolute best to promt him and be able to teach the rest of her class. And their conclusion is that to properly teach Therin the self monitoring concepts and keep him on task for classroom learning -- he needs an aide. Then she point blank asked the District Guy "Who are you going to get to do this? This is beyond the scope of the services we provide. We will be unable to come out and be there as often as Therin needs to learn the system." In a way, it was probably good that I was sick so that I didn't stand up an whoop! The tension was so thick you could scoop it with a spork. The District Guy grudgingly agreed to an aide for Therin at 3 hours a day for a 6 week trial period. Then he signed the IEP looked at me, and tersley told me that he felt that he felt that all of the FAPE protocols had been met . . blah, blah. . . basically it seemed like a sour grapes kind of thing or a CYA kind of statement. Gee, the Autism Specialist collected data to back up what I had been saying about my son since Kindergarten! I wasn't surprised - it just ticks me off that it took so much red tape to get what my son needs. But we got it!
But it makes me wonder. . . did I get it because of all the hard work from the team of wonderful people that I'm working with? Or did it happen because Therin's teacher let slip (on purpose with my blessing) that I was looking into getting an advocate?
So when I sip from the victory cup -- there is a bit of an aftertaste -- but not enough to stop enjoying the taste.