You all know I have a long, sometimes difficult history with Alex's stepmom- his Mommy. You know we haven't always gotten along (understatement), and I will be the first to admit that the woman is damned near incapable of being tactful or polite. She says what she thinks, no holds barred. When it comes to her daughter...yeah. Not that I can say much about that, I just stormed Alex's assistant principal's office this morning. Good news, by the way, now he is looking into a walking harness, too. Alex doesn't have one in his IEP yet, but he will. because he needs it. I sent him to Elaine. I love Elaine. Also, it looks like Alex's bruise may have come from sitting too close to the table. Maybe we can scoot his specially made chair back, maybe we could pad the table edge, who knows. We'll figure something out.
But, back to the story. That woman, she's all "analyze, analyze, analyze!" I swear, she can be just impossible to talk to sometimes! just ask her neighbor. Heads up, make sure the neighbor has knocked a few back before you ask (that's not going to be a hard one to time) because it's effing hilarious. (sorry, Mommy, I had to and you know it ;) ) Seriously, though, if you can come at her making sense and not tossing BS, she's pretty easy to get along with. All you need is a calm attitude and a reasonable explanation. Neither of which this school has.
I hate this school district with a passion, which you probably remember from last year. I thought once Alex's sister was unenrolled we could breathe a sigh of relief, get the girl what she needs, and start again next year with a different school. That is assuming the problem is this district and not Jefferson County. I'm telling you, when it comes to special education, I'd choose St Louis County over Jefferson County any day, but we're going home, so whatever. (Sorry, Rae, I know you love this district, but no.) But, Mommy still needs things. Why? I'm not sure, but she has reasons and she has rights. Check FERPA, check your Procedural Safeguards, check your State Compliance Plan, check your District Policy. District policy like this one labeled policy 2415...
Like I said, know your rights, because there's a good possibility your schools don't know their own policies, much less the laws protecting your children.
ok, so that's not the point in this post, but we are getting there.
We had a meeting today. It did not go well. It was a scheduled meeting, I sat there and listened to the meeting being scheduled while nodding that we could be there in time. But when Mommy asked to review the sister's records to show the principal a piece of what she was explaining, he said that what she was wanting is too time consuming and she would have to schedule a meeting. She scheduled THIS meeting! They have her chasing her tail, the principal sending her to central office, central office sending her to the principal. She schedules meetings where they tell her that that meeting can't be this meeting, it has to be a different meeting. Oh, I can see why she is fed up. I can totally see why she's losing her temper. How many meetings do you have to schedule for it to finally be the right meeting? "It's the wrong Alice!" Good Lord. So, Mommy was rude, the principal was rude, nothing was accomplished except making the already turbulent relationship worse.
and, we get to the point.
Now, you all know autism, so I'm sure you are more than familiar with food issues. If not, you can go read Bec's How To Help a Selective Eater. The woman is freaking amazing, if you aren't already following her, go do it. You can find her on Facebook here. Ok, so, the girl's biggest issue is milk.
Milk belongs in a baby bottle and only in a baby bottle. Unfortunately, Mommy had to take it away when she turned 5. I have to give Mommy some serious credit here, she has not given in on the baby bottle issue at all. Instead, she is going through hell trying to find any and every way to get dairy products into this child without giving up and getting bottles. She's working harder than anyone should have to to not give in. She's buying milk shakes or ice cream cups with a McDonald's Happy Meal, no matter how it looks to the snobby, judgmental parent in the driver's seat who's thinking, "WTH? Seriously? My kids don't get ice cream or milk shakes with every meal." Mommy takes my confused, WTH are you thinking looks and goes on because she knows this might be her only chance to get calcium into her child today. She's willing to pay extra and to look like a "bad" mom to keep her baby healthy without caving to the baby bottle. That's dedication. She's more mom than I am.
Then there came the promise of hope.
Alex's sister opens a small paper carton of milk at school...and drinks it.
Mommy talked to the principal we worked with over the summer. He said she can ask the cafeteria about purchasing milk through them. Mommy thinks on it, but calls every grocery store she can find in a 15-20 mile radius of her home. Believe me, I googled all of the numbers for her. Not one of them carry small cartons of milk in any flavor. Mommy isn't about to give up, she calls Prairie Farms. Prairie Farms tells her that this milk is a school-specific item and has to be ordered through the schools, she tells Mommy to contact her local schools. So Mommy calls the sister's school and talks to the head cafeteria lady, who is happy to help. Mommy orders 14 cartons for a week and pays the school for them.
This past week, the sister drank every bit of the milk Mommy bought through the school.
Today, after the failed meeting with the school, the principal called her. Now, he is most definitely aware of the sister's feeding issues, especially the milk. This has been an ongoing concern and the issue has had a prominent position in all of our discussions this year. However, once he heard that Mommy was buying milk from the school, he decided to call Prairie Farms. He said that Mommy is no longer allowed to purchase milk through his school, she would need to check her local grocery stores.
Low blow, man. That's not even cool.
It's funny, though. He couldn't make an in-district call to the Director of Student Services to simply ask if Mommy could have a copy of the sister's records, but he could search out and call Prairie Farms over the legitimate purchase of 14 cartons of milk per week. Good to know that even though their 120 kindergarten students make it impossible to write and implement a detailed IEP, and the overwhelming number of students they have needing services puts a necessary limit of 60 minutes on therapy (so not allowed), they make time to track their milk cartons. #Priorities