Monday, July 12, 2010

Brainstorming school ideas

For the first time this year, G. is going to ESY for six weeks. His goals are things like taking off his shoes, walking from one activity to another, looking up from an activity when someone calls his name.

Meanwhile at home he is reading sight words, memorizing Dr. Suess books and trying to order us around all day long.

I've made some progress in recent IEP meetings, but I'm starting to think up a combination of public school and homeschooling that I believe could work. This fall he will be in a self-contained class with kids with all sorts of disabilities (in this district, anyone who can't be mainstreamed is stuck into the same class together, no matter the disability) I like the teacher, but I still think the focus will be on functional skills, which G. is pretty bad at. They seem to get so stuck on things like taking off your shoes that they don't have time for reading, computer skills, etc.

Meanwhile, B. is singing all day long, and actually talking a little less. I think it'll sort itself out with time. At ABA he's working on letters and numbers and many other challenging things. He's not going to public school until I get really organized and recruit a really good advocate!

And J. is as social as ever. I feel like his personal assistant, setting up playdates and pool get-togethers every day!


KAL said...

It's so hard to know what the right program, the right solution is. Sounds, though, that there has been progress in many areas! Nice to see a post from you :)

Niksmom said...

Your recent email prompted me to search out your blog. (For some reason, I'd deleted it from my reader thinking you had left us forever. Glad you didn't!)

What you write about in this post is a bit of what we are up against, too, with school. Nik isn't quite ready for general education but he's going to fall even further behind his peers if he is placed in a strictly functional learning environment. We're looking at how to shift the focus to academics with functional elements included, possibly a split program.

Just because your district has always done things a certain way (i.e., what you wrote about "in this district, anyone who can't be mainstreamed is stuck into the same class together, no matter the disability") doesn't mean it's legal to continue to do so. Push for the INDIVIDUALIZED part of that IEP and make the district work with you to provide the academic teaching and supports G needs, too!
our school was suggesting a more restrictive placement based on our stated concerns about certain functional skills. Once we flipped things around and said we wanted the focus to be on academics before functional skills, they changed their tune and are working with us.

Just my (long-winded) two cents' worth. So gald to see you back online. The boys look like they've grown a TON since I last saw pictures!
We recently discovered that

Mom to JBG said...

Thank you for your advice.
I have to admit I over-simplified the situation:
the school district will try to do academic things with Greg, but they can't get him to do any of the things he can do at ABA or at home. It seems to be a motivation/re-inforcer problem.
Even at home, it's only a fraction of the time that Greg wants to work on anything academic, but I can get him to participate in short bursts.
At this point, Greg doesn't seem motivated to do anything in order to please another person, and really needs his favorite, favorite reinforcers to work on school-type things.
We'll keep on working with the school system. It's another world here than it js on the East Coast. I taught Special Ed in Massachusetts, and it was completely different. Decades ahead of TX.