Saturday, December 13, 2014

Goofy's New "Team"

I started enrolling the boys in the new school a month before our move date so that we could have everything in place before they started and there would be nothing to worry about. The process coordinator has been great, she had a lot of hope for Goofy in his new school. She said he could get remedial reading and another reading and RtI reading. Reading would totally be addressed. I was excited. We talked, we made plans.

As the moving date came up, I called the school to find out how we were going to get together to be sure that Goofy's plan is followed and how he will continue with things that are comparable to what he already has. I have not had any luck with counselors in regular schools so far. Anyway, I was told there was no need. No need for a team meeting that I was requesting! Not cool. So, we're discussing in a less polite way than "discussing" implies when she basically tells me that his current IEP doesn't matter because they will write a new one within 30 days and informs me that I will be invited to attend that meeting. I got snippy and she promised to have the process coordinator get in touch with me.

The first day of school came and I still don't know who's doing what or how his needs will be met. I go meet the resource teacher, who is also very nice. She said she worked in our old school and I am so freaking happy because it's a little bit of a link to what we are used to. She will get it. I just know it... She's pretty good but I don't know how much any of the team are listening.

He's been getting 30 minutes per day of remedial reading since the start of first grade. It's one of my biggest concerns, the one I talked with the process coordinator about the most because everything else is covered in his IEP. His reading trouble is well documented in his IEP and in his education record. We had a plan and in the course of two days, the teacher decided that based on her casual assessment, he didn't need remedial reading anymore. I asked why he wasn't evaluated by a reading specialist and when I didn't get an answer, I tried to make an appointment with the principal. She wasn't immediately available so she called me back with a phone call that absolutely belongs in the Wal-Mart check out lane...or on Jerry Springer. So, I went to the administration office to talk to the Director of Special Education, she wasn't there but her assistant was very helpful and hopeful and there are more reading programs available in the school than just remedial reading.

The teacher emailed me back again to let me know that the reading specialist said he read level J just fine, he will not be getting remedial reading. We could have dealt with that, I think, worked on finding one of those other programs the administration office mentioned...but the tone of the email told me to back off and butt out, while the words told me that the teacher and resource teacher would let me know if there was a concern. Then I lost my temper.

I'm starting to wonder if I'm even capable of being nice anymore. There was a point in time that I could rationally discuss things, Alex's best principal ever taught me well, but I feel like I'm just too tired to bother and I'm irritated about having the same argument over and over.

The past 6 months have been rough and the final abrupt change has knocked us on our ass. I thought I had prepared for it, I thought I had it under control. We talked it through, we eased into it, we teamed up with the schools and wrote detailed IEPs... Everything was perfect. Both teams were awesome and did everything they could to fully inform the new schools on the boys. We worked together and talked things out.

However, I didn't count on a pissing contest. The regular school district has an attitude problem (Alex's actual school is great). Everything going wrong at the new schools is being blamed on the old schools for being lazy and incompetent, everything the old schools did to ease the transition is being ignored. Goofy's new school thinks they know best, better than the team that worked with him or the parents that live with him. I think we're back on the "professionals" and "credentials" argument. I am not at all looking forward to Goofy's IEP meeting Monday.

I have come to the conclusion that I can't handle everything on my own. Walter and Goofy are really struggling with the change, and I am not handling it well. Being a single parent is a hell of a lot harder than I remember it being. I decided to ask for help. This week we are starting family counseling and I started looking for an advocate. Even if things don't go well Monday, I have the right to request an IEP meeting at any time.