I went into the IEP meeting ready to “lay down the law!” I had all of my notes, questions, email print-outs, and work samples with me. The first thing we discussed was a recent issue that happened in the cafeteria with a student taking some of Mj’s lunch. We already had an issue with this a year ago and I was told that there would be “more supervision.” They seem to think that just because Mj can open his own milk carton and feed himself that he doesn’t need as much supervision as some of the other students. Anyway, I digress…We began going through the IEP and I insisted that they add a goal for his social communication. The goal that they had was something about him raising his hand in class?! That was definitely not a strong goal so I had them add one regarding Mj initiating conversation with his peers. We then discussed some issues that we had regarding HW that was being sent home that was way above his comprehension level. All it serves to do is frustrate MJ, which then frustrates me, which then frustrates my husband…and so on and so on. The ESE specialist and his teacher, agreed that it would not happen again. Due to MJ’s age, they began to talk about his transition out of high school. They started talking about a possible vocational/job training program and that’s when it happened. I felt the tears coming on and said, “Oh my God, I think I’m gonna cry.” By the time I said it, the tears were already flowing. I was not prepared to hear about any of the programs and to think about what Mj’s life would look like after high school. I thought I had another year before they would begin discussing these things. I tried to wipe my tears, get myself together and continue looking at my notes but it didn’t help. The entire meeting from that moment on was me listening as they talked about the various programs that may be a good fit for MJ. I listened intently and took as many notes as I could about each and every program. Then they mentioned the need for my husband and me to get a lawyer to begin looking up guardianship. She followed that with a statement about how expensive it was to get that done. It was all just too much. I managed to ask additional questions and read through the IEP but all I could think about was… What is going to happen to MJ after high school? What are we going to do? Will he transition well? Will he get into any of these programs? Will transportation be safe? What job is right for MJ? The questions in my mind have not stopped since this meeting.
We. Have. A. Lot. Of. Work. To. Do.
MJ’s IEP meeting is coming up in a few weeks. Now that he’s 15, the IEP meetings are different and he can now be included during the actual meeting. Nothing much has changed in terms of his current teacher.
She still does not communicate.
She still sends home homework that she￼ neither looks at or grades.
She still sends homework that is completely inappropriate for his comprehension level and oftentimes has no clear instructions😡.
She is one of three teachers at his high school that teach the special needs kids that are in a self-contained classroom. I tried getting him switched to another room at the beginning of the school year and was told, “we tried, but that room is the best placement for him because he is considered higher functioning etc.” Still, Mj is happy and enjoys going to school. He has many friends in that classroom and most of them travel with him to the same aftercare. I really don’t want to take him away from his friends and familiarity of his school and environment. ￼￼￼￼ I am both dreading and looking forward to this meeting. All of these issues must be readdressed and resolved￼￼.
MJ deserves better than what he is currently receiving academically. ￼￼
I will post an update after his meeting.
Thanks for reading.
We have NEVER been able to take a family Christmas picture with all 4 of us in the picture! I was determined to take one this year. Mj is always frustrated, complains, and acts out whenever we try to do it. We tried several times and took no less than 60 pictures. The result was the few that you see below.
Our family picture is my Christmas gift to myself. Something that many people take for granted, and has almost been impossible to do, has finally happened! I’m thankful to God for allowing Mj to cooperate just enough to get a picture 🙌🏽. I wish all of you Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas. #merrychristmas #happyholidays #autismfamily #hedidntwanttobuthetookapic #jesusisthereasonfortheseason #lovemyfamily #mygift #memoriesinthemaking❤️.
Family Selfies 💙
This week started with MJ asking many family members, “what are you thankful for?” Everyone was shocked and happy by his question and it was wonderful to hear how everyone responded. This year I’m thankful to God for all he’s done in my life and for blessing me with wonderful friends and family ❤️.
Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving day!
Mj is currently attending another session of YMCA Swim Buddies! It’s something that we both look forward to during the year. As I watched him swim with his “buddy” yesterday, I couldn’t help but think of the years when he was totally afraid of the water and would do nothing but scream at the very top of his lungs while he was in the pool. I think of the months that we paid for private lessons with someone who was supposed to be trained and certified to teach special needs children, but who obviously wasn’t! The private lessons actually made everything worse!
Now, Mj swims like a fish and it’s his favorite thing to do 😊. Seeing him in the water never gets old. I just literally stare at him and smile. To all of the other special needs parents out there…Don’t. Give. Up!
IT HAPPENED AGAIN😡. Today in my classroom there was another incident of a student calling another student autistic, in a negative way. I had to stop the class and educate them on autism, my son, and the fact that behavior like that is derogatory and will not be tolerated. To some of my students, autistic means dumb! I had to let them know how wrong they were in their thinking. It’s so unfortunate that this is happening more and more. We cannot stop the advocacy. Just think of how many other kids and adults that probably think this same way.
We are 5 weeks into the school year and so far MJ is doing great! He has been handling his homework well and still enjoys going to school. This school year he has art as an elective and so far he really seems to be enjoying that class. Soon he will begin his social skills class again as well as Swim Buddies! I will update again soon.
Well, our summer has officially come to an end. The kids started school today. MJ is now in the 10th grade and Morgan is now a seventh grader! Today’s morning drop off was great. Both kids were super excited and I know for a fact that my daughter didn’t sleep too well! When I got to the front of the school to drop off Mj, I was relieved to see his friends, all of the aides, and the ESE specialist waiting to greet all of the students! Though I’m not totally happy with Mjs current teacher, I am being optimistic about this school year. Here we go!