Sunday, January 4, 2009

DCMM: He's Not a Bad Kid, But it Sounds Like He Is

My son Jack is having a tough time in kindergarten this year. Most of this is due to his disability—he's autistic and needs a lot of support. My husband and I, Jack's teachers, and Jack's aides think he needs a one to one aide, meaning it would be someone's job to sit next to him all day and make sure he can learn with the rest of the class and remain safe.

We have a meeting scheduled for this Tuesday at which time we will be presenting our case to Jack's educational team, as well as representatives from the district. This is the second meeting we've had about this issue. At the first meeting, everyone who works with Jack on a daily basis (and me—his mother) said he needs one to one support. Then the special education supervisor from the district who had met Jack once turned us down.

We're going in better prepared for round two.

We've hired an attorney and an educational consultant who will be accompanying us.  And I'm spending the weekend combing through our stacks of paper for everything that will support our case. Some of this is data from various evaluations and reports. A lot of it is made up of anecdotes from the communication notebook his teachers send home, as well as my personal notes.

Let me tell you, there's nothing more upsetting that sitting down to make a list of all your child's failures. I'm making lists of times Jack behaved unsafely, of times he wasn't able to access the curriculum with the rest of the kids, and of times that his disability brought about behavior that could have been prevented or lessened if he'd had a one to one aide present.

There are a lot of incidents.

I think a big benefit of getting a one to one aide for Jack would not only be that he would be more successful at school, but also that I could stop focusing on the negatives that support our case and start concentrating on all the wonderful and positive things that Jack does.

Wish us luck!

Original DC Metro Moms Blog post.

Come on over to Jean's main blog, Stimeyland, after Tuesday to see how the meeting went.

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