We got to the meeting and I was nervous. We had Ryan join us for the first part of the meeting.
SO HI MY NAME IS RYAN. The Assistant Principal asked him what grade he was going into. THIRD GRADE. We can’t remember exactly some of the other things that he said but something to the effect: YES TO HAVING A NICE HAPPY SCHOOL EXPERIENCE.
The diagnostician asked him if he had any pets. YES TO NOT HAVING LIVING PETS (see our post about this here.) She then said, “I am sure you will get more fish” after we explained to them that the fish didn’t make it. He then wrote TRYING TO GET A SERVICE DOG.
And then he spelled: SO I AM NOT MAKING A GOOD FIRST IMPRESSION. They all disagreed with him and told him how well he was doing as did we.
The school district is incorporating his current IEP and we are meeting in 30 days to discuss the current placement and their assessments with Ryan. I have asked that Ryan be able to complete the assessments with the use of a letter board held by someone who is trained in RPM.
He was offered and started at an autism classroom at another local elementary school about 10 minutes from our home. Unfortunately the type of classroom that best matched his current IEP is not available at our home school. The teacher was in attendance at the meeting so she knows what Ryan is capable of and assured me that there are plenty of opportunities for inclusion and that they would aim for that with him. She also knows that he needs higher level curriculum. She is very kind and eager to work with him.
Once we got home, I sent the teacher 5 sample lesson plans that I have recently done with Ryan and a link to the blog too.
The biggest concern that I have is that the classroom is K-4. I must have mentioned that at least 3 times during the meeting that i was concerned about that though. I still believe that these concerns are valid as we met two other students at “Meet the Teacher” night last week and they were both younger than Ryan.
Fast Forward to the First Day of School.
Once he got home, I asked Ryan about his first day. I knew that he would be brief with me right after school. YES TO BAD DAY. YES TO TREATING LIKE A BABY. YES TO ALL THE KIDS LAUGHING AT ME AT GYM.
I did an RPM (Rapid Prompting Method) lesson with Ryan (on a teenager inventing a flashlight that does not require batteries) and after it, then I asked him to clarify what he spelled earlier about school. He said the following after the lesson: MY CLASSROOM IS TOO BABYISH.
I said well give me 3 reasons why it is too babyish:
YES TO FALLING BEHIND ACADEMICALLY.
YES TO KIND OF CAPABLE OF MORE APPROPRIATE WORK.
I then asked him for the third one to give me an example of what he taught that was babyish. ABOUT CALENDAR.
Third reason: YES TO CALLING MY INDIVIDUAL WORK ETHIC INTO QUESTION.
I then asked him if the kids really laughed at him at gym and he said YES TO THAT HAPPENED.
I told him that he either had to write a haiku poem or give me a possible solution to his school situation so he chose a haiku poem:
MY SCHOOL IS BABY
I HATE IT SO FAR TODAY
MAKING ME GO WRONG
Randy and I talked with him that night about first days of school and that it is a transition for everyone and that we were aware of his concerns and that we would let the teacher and ARD team know. Randy wanted to know a little bit more about what happened in P.E. and Ryan spelled: GYM CLASS BECAME NOT SUPER FUN WHEN OTHERS MADE FUN OF ME.
A quick side note: I don’t know if anything really happened in P.E. or if Ryan is just very self conscious of his behavior. We went to the Perot Museum last week and once we got home, Ryan spelled something similar indicating that others were laughing at him, but I did not notice that while we were at the museum. We found out from the teacher that they were only able to walk by the gym class because the kindergarteners were there. We are still not sure if he meant recess time or if he is just really self conscious of how he appears to others.
The rest of the week so far has had ups and downs (with unfortunately more downs). We are not sure how much of this is just him not being comfortable in his own shoes with his high cognition yet very uncooperative body. I don’t know if anything that transpired this week would have met his expectations. We are aware of this and we know that he is still just 8 years old.
I still read to Ryan every post that I write for the blog for his approval. Here is what he had to say this afternoon about this one: YES TO MY SCHOOL IS TOO HALTING IN MY ACADEMICS. YES TO LEADING ME ON A HOMESCHOOLING. NOT SUPER HAPPY IN MY CLASSROOM. YES TO MY CLASSROOM IS TOO BABYISH.
To be continued…