So you ever feel like you have a kick-ass IEP, but it doesn’t really matter in the slightest because no matter what anybody writes in a (legal, by the way) document, your kid is going to get treated just about the same way as if you hadn’t spent hours writing IEPs and FBAs and BIPs?
That’s not a super fair thing to say, really, because I know, I really, really know how hard Jack’s team tries with him. But I also know that Jack was jumping on a rocking chair today and his aide told him to stop but he kept doing it and the side broke off.
Now, that’s not okay. Jack shouldn’t have jumped on that chair and we’re going to replace it.
(Jack’s apology note to his teacher read in part, “I will give you half my money. I hope half works.” Sniff. He also used such words as “outrageousness” and some ALL CAPS phrases. He’s practically ready to start commenting on blogs.)
Anyway, I fully acknowledge Jack’s culpability here. Absolutely. And I KNOW how hard he can be to keep in line. And I KNOW that his team has a lot on its plate and I KNOW that they work hard.
But I also read the story of what happened in Jack’s communication notebook and the thing that jumped out at me—after my horror and distress, of course—is that this is an illustration of a kid that is screaming for some sensory input or regulation or something. That maybe the reaction to his jumping on the rocking chair should have been to take him to the therapy room to let him jump on a trampoline or to take him into the hall and let him run up and down it a couple of times. At the very least, maybe to tell him that he needs to stop jumping, but why not come down and do some spinning in the carpet area?
All of things are suggestions I painstakingly made sure were in Jack’s documents.
Given a choice between “stop jumping and sit down” and “ignore the warnings and keep self-regulating” well, I know what I would have chosen.
Jack’s team this year has been great—really, really great. They have been understanding to an amazing degree. They have loved Jack and tried so very hard to not judge him. His teacher this year has been phenomenal. I wish I could drag her along to the second grade next year. Some of the special educators/paraeducators who work with him are worth their weight in gold, and I hope that they can come with him next year. The administration is incredibly accepting of Jack and me and really seem to get that his disability drives his behavior.
I’m just afraid that there is a core non-understanding of autism, which is natural, because I have a kid with autism and there is a lot that I still don’t understand. I guess what I wish is that when they are in the moment that they would not just look at the behavior, but at what is underneath the behavior.
For now, I’m just hoping to get through the rest of this year without major incident and next year when I meet with Jack’s team before school starts, it would be great if y’all could remind me about this post and that I should talk to them about thinking about Jack’s motivations for behavior instead of just thinking about the behavior itself.
Because preventing a mishap beats the shit out of buying a new rocking chair for the teacher.
On a totally unrelated note, is anyone selling a rocking chair for cheap?