Snow angel

January 23rd, 2016

Beautiful girl was thrilled to be out in the snow today, in spite of the fact that it was so deep that she couldn’t really do anything in it!

Has anyone else noticed how much bigger and older she’s looking these days? It really struck me today when she was all dressed up in her winter wraps.

 

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I haven’t forgotten that there were two questions in my last Katie Q & A that I haven’t yet answered.  Here’s one of them.

How did we come to the decision that school would be the best option for Katie?

Part of my reason for putting the answer to this question off was that we’ve been waiting to see whether her current school placement would improve. In spite of the efforts of her new school team, the year has not gone well for Katie so far. She’s exhibiting very poor behavior, including out-of-control stimming, failure to respond to prompts of her new teacher and new para, very little focus and cooperation with the learning process, and even a disturbing trend toward self-harming. Because we haven’t seen any of this behavior at home–at all!!–and her new team didn’t understand what they could expect from her and subsequently didn’t report any problems, it went on for too long before I became aware of how bad it was.

So now we’re discussing other options with our fabulous special ed director. In her words, “You have brought Katie too far to watch her regress now.” It’s our turn to take our favorite special needs parenting advice–keep all your options open! What works best can change from year to year even for the same child. We’re not sure exactly what’s ahead for Katie and school, but I’ll let you know what happens!

 

 

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8 Responses to “Snow angel”

  1. sabrina says:

    She does look older. Thanks for sharing about school…it’s been really helpful to get your perspective. :)

  2. MamaV says:

    She’s so cute!! I am sorry to hear that her school situation isn’t the best right now… I hope you can work out something helpful and healthy for her soon.

  3. Esther Paris says:

    Any chance you can visit the class & observe? Does the District have an Education Coach (a special ed specialist who comes in and gives instruction to the teachers)? Our school recently got an Education Coach. His input is really fascinating and all the students like to see him.

  4. Susanna says:

    Esther, thanks for the suggestion!

    I first realized what was happening when I went in for a parent’s day several months after school started. I was stunned and sick at heart as I watched her. It was unbelievable. When I went home and described her behavior to the rest of the family, they said they had trouble even imagining Katie acting in those ways.

    Note to self: Ask to observe right away at the beginning of any new school situation! By the time her poor behavior was caught, it was a firmly entrenched habit that hasn’t improved in response to the staff’s efforts since then.

    We’ve kept Katie in this elementary level MDS class because it was so ideally suited to her needs and she was making such excellent progress. Her age qualifies her to be placed in a middle school MDS classroom, so we may try that next, and see whether it’s a good fit for her.

    Some readers will doubtless wonder why we don’t home school her. Katie needs lots of direct one on one time in order to learn and progress. For the past two years, the amount of one on one specialized education time she was receiving at school far exceeded what I can provide for her myself. Additionally, moving her physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy sessions out of our home and into a school-based setting has been a win-win situation for her and the rest of our family. And although I’m confident I could teach her if she was my only student or I otherwise found sufficient time, because of our state’s requirements for home schooling students with special education needs, bringing her home and teaching her would be a much lengthier and more complicated process than just…bringing her home and teaching her.

  5. Esther Paris says:

    I’m probably biased because of my job but I suspect, as you do, that an appropriate public school setting is probably better for everyone at this time than home schooling. Even if you ONLY consider speech therapy, PT, OT, adaptive PE and the like, the amount of time demanded by those services outside of a school setting is enormous. Being able to get regular access to them seamlessly is HUGE.

    So if there’s an Education Coach who can step in, watch, take notes, and advise the teacher and TA then perhaps that could help.

    It could also, I hate to say it, be simply a personality conflict at work. I’ve seen it time and time again. A personality conflict in a regular classroom is grit-your-teeth-and-bear-it for a year. A personality conflict in a BD or Multiple Issues class can spiral to a disaster very quickly. Perhaps just moving her will solve everything.

    We’re just about to the half-way point this year. There’s still time to make a positive difference for the year in thjs classroom, possibly, or in another classroom. I really hope your District has an Education Coach. Perhaps even a Behaviorist or Social Worker could observe and give the teacher and TA some ideas.

    Hugs to all! I hope it works out. My heart breaks for your aching heart in this complicated scenario.

  6. Tami says:

    So sorry to hear Katie isn’t having a good school experience this year. :( I will be praying for her and the situation. May God bless you with a wonderful solution soon. It’s not taken Him by surprise, and He will work it out for good… Please let us know how things work out. Love you!

  7. Laura says:

    Praying for His wisdom to guide your steps in working out a good solution for Katie and your family. Blessings!

  8. Janelle says:

    She’s adorable!! I hope you find a solution to the school issue soon. I’ll be praying for wisdom for you and your husband and her teachers.

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