Well we had MJ’s IEP meeting recently and it went “as expected.” They went over how he was doing on his current goals and added in some new ones for next school year. I was thrilled that I didn’t have to fight with them on his speech therapy. He will continue to have 90 minutes of speech therapy per week. However, I did agree that the occupational therapy was no longer needed. MJ has come such a long way with his hand writing and it is completely legible. What I found, was that the OT given at his high school was mainly to improve a child’s handwriting and nothing more. It was funny to see their facial expressions when I immediately agreed that OT was not needed. They assumed that I was going to put up a fight about it. I did have to mention a situation to the ESE specialist in regards to another child taking MJ’s lunch. It was an issue that I was able to figure out after a few weeks of questioning MJ. To make a long story short, one of his classmates was asking him for his food every day and MJ was actually giving the child his food! The teacher and the aides had no idea that this was happening because they were off to the side assisting the kids that needed the most help. Once I made them aware that something was going on, they spoke to the child as well as everyone in the classroom to make sure that it wouldn’t happen again. Initially I was furious about the situation but right now I’m just thankful that I was able to figure it out. Lately, I’m being really selective with the battles I choose to fight. I know God’s got my back and MJ’s back, no matter what.
We are now in the second half of the school year. Though I’m still not completely happy with MJ’s teacher, he seems to like going to school and she actually has great teacher’s assistants in the room. There’s not as much homework anymore so it’s a little easier going at home. I recently received a letter regarding his upcoming IEP meeting. Now that he’s older, he’s invited to attend the meeting. I’m not sure how I feel about that yet. Needless to say, I already have a list of items that I will be discussing at his meeting. Until then, I am going to continue taking it one day at a time.
It all started with MJ’s first high school Open House. I was eager to hear all of the information that the teacher would give us about educating our special needs kiddos. Well, I was extremely disappointed! She greeted us as we entered the classroom and sat down. She then played a video of the administrative team introducing themselves to the parents. After the video, she gave us a sheet that detailed what subject was taught on a specific day (the school operates on a block schedule). She then said, “do you have any questions for me?” I could not believe that she did not tell us anything about what the kids would learn in her class, nothing about projects, nothing about the process at lunchtime, nothing about reading, nothing about math, nothing about social studies, nothing about science, nothing about their electives. SHE TOLD US NOTHING! Well, when she asked the question, I looked around at the other parents to see if anyone was going to begin asking questions…No one did, so I took out my journal and began asking what I believe to be basic questions, that I assumed would have been automatically answered during her open house presentation. What stands out the most is when I asked about what reading and math curriculum she used. Her response was, “I don’t have a curriculum.” I immediately repeated what she said with a scowl on my face. How can she not have a curriculum?! Where is she getting the information to teach my kid?! From that moment I knew that I would have to set up a parent/teacher conference with her to really find out what “curriculum” she uses. I don’t want MJ to be “work-sheeted” to death! I don’t have time for him to be completing meaningless worksheets day after day and not truly learning anything. The conference will be in the next week and I am praying that there is a good outcome to it.
For the last few months we have noticed that MJ only watches the TV with the closed captioning on. We have no idea how he knew what that was or how to use it! All of a sudden we realized that every single show he watches now has the closed captioning feature on. What I notice is that he is reading everything as he is watching the show and I believe it helps him understand and process what he’s seeing more easily. The funny thing is that now my daughter is doing the same thing as she watches television. She says, “mommy I like it!” Recently while watching television with my husband, we both looked at each other and said “closed captioning,” because we could not understand what a particular character was saying lol. He now has all of us using that feature so much more. I’m actually glad that he is using it as he seems to be enjoying his favorite television shows even more these days😊.
I’ve been picking out what MJ wears daily since he was born. As he got older and was able to dress himself (around age 8) we began selecting his clothes then laying the items on the bed so that he could dress himself. About 1 year ago Hubby made me realize that at this point I shouldn’t still be picking out his clothes every day. I agreed with him. I’d been doing it for so long that I forgot that this is a life skill that he must learn to do on his own. For MJ, making decisions is difficult. Unless the choice is McDonald’s or Chick Fil A, he really takes several minutes, maybe even up to an hour to decide on anything else, including whattowear. He gets frustrated and says um, um, um, um, um, 1,237,000 times while continuously pointing at his cheek.
We explain to him that he can select shorts and whatever T shirt he would like. I started out by showing him what shirts and shorts he could select from. He still consistently asks us, “but what should I wear, what shirt, what shorts?” There are days when he can’t decide and because time is not on our side, we end up, again, picking out what he should wear. One day last week, I noticed that he did not ask us what to wear! I went to his room to see him already dressed and putting on his shoes! I was in shock! The funny thing is that his clothes did not match at all lol but I was definitely not going to say anything about that. That didn’t matter at all! I was so proud of him. This summer we will continue to work on this so that he feels confident in selecting the right clothes to wear for any occasion.
Happy Father’s Day! I posted this to my Instagram account and figured I would post it here as well (hope the videos play). This year we treated Hubby to a much needed massage and some treats. He’s an awesome dad to our children and we love and appreciate him so very much❤️.
I also can’t forget about the man that raised me! I can’t begin to explain how great of a father he was/is! I’m so thankful to God that he was chosen to be My Daddy 😍.
I have been so busy that I totally forgot to post about our visit to MJ’s new high school! About two weeks ago, Hubby and I went to visit Mj’s high school. The school is huge and has over 2,700 students! As soon as we went into the front office we were greeted by the ESE specialist. I found it so funny that the first thing she mentioned was how safe the kids would be and how they were supervised everywhere they went. She seemed to already know that that is what we were most interested in! She went through explaining the morning drop off and told us that the official tour would start in a few minutes. During the tour, all of the parents and our kids, were able to visit three classrooms and meet all three ESE teachers as well as one of the teacher assistants. We also met one of the speech teachers who seemed to be really warm and friendly. MJ was so happy to see several of his friends from the middle school who had moved on to high school the last two years. MJ commented about how big the school was and I could see that he became more comfortable after seeing familiar faces. The entire visit really has relaxed me a bit as well (Hubby is never worried). MJ has done so well in middle school and though I’m still a bit nervous, I’m also excited to see what the future holds.