Saturday, March 27, 2010

Step Two

Ever since E was about 2, I've known something was not quite right. Even though his sister was similarly slow to speak, E seemed a little slower, and I had him evaluated by the Early Intervention team in my area. They felt he was just within the borderline of acceptable speech. They were impressed by his obvious intelligence, though.

At his 4th and 5th year appointments, I brought up his behavioral issues with his pediatrician. I forget when I talked about "Oppositional Defiant Disorder" with him, but he reassured me that wasn't it. I eventually got a referral for a child psychologist and took E to him to get assessed for sensory issues. The psych was noncommittal. Felt like a waste of my time.

It was his first grade teacher who raised the issue of autistic behaviors. We met with the special ed team, who had him evaluated by the OT. They weren't convinced there was anything particularly needed, but they gave him small group social skills instruction.

Thanks to a parenting list friend who has a profoundly gifted daughter, I was informed about the twice-exceptional child, the child who is both gifted and has some sort of neurological deficit. She was the one who told me that I had one of the nation's experts in 2e kids right in my backyard. We saw this psychologist and got a comprehensive evaluation. This was Step One. She diagnosed E as having Asperger's and some ADHD. However, we only just got her full report and recommendations a few weeks ago.

I took Step Two: I e-mailed the school to ask for a meeting to determine eligibility for Eric to receive special ed services. We met yesterday, and they made it pretty clear they think he is not eligible because he is making effective progress. We refused to sign off yesterday and requested time to discuss it further.

So we contemplate Step Three: the appeal. And I am not looking forward to it.

I also have 8 weeks left in my academic year. I am teaching 6 separate class, the equivalent of 4.5 classes (3 are half-classes), and I have 4 different preps. It's time for the year-end evaluations, so I have to compile the narrative of my year, and I have more meetings to attend than I can deal with. I'm co-leading an inservice on technology this week, and I should be preparing for that now. My daughter had a dance competition last weekend and will have another in 3 weeks, and in June she has a recital.

The next time I go to the doctor (in June), my blood pressure had better be within range or my doctor will be making noises about my going on BP meds. I don't see how that's going to happen if I'm stressed like this. :( However, the good news is that our daffodils are blooming already here in New England:


Amy P said...

What does your current list of demands looks like? The administration might be more cooperative if some of the items don't cost much (although you know how far I've gotten with chewing gum). If you remember that book "Re-Forming Gifted Education" that I blogged, that might be a good place to look for ideas.

I think I'd make a list of things he needs, then make a list of ideas for how to meet those needs: maybe an extra recess or an extra PE, fewer math problems (if he's got his facts down cold), going to 3rd or 4th grade for a particular class, getting an extra solo visit to the library at a time of day when he usually has problems, etc.

Wendy said...

Our report has a comprehensive list of E's needs. But it's actually kind of hard for us to really articulate those needs since we don't really know how the school works, if that makes sense.

I'd like to see:
1. small-group social skills instruction.
2. advancing a grade in math
3. some sort of extra help when he has a writing project to help him work on the skills he needs to come up with ideas to write about.
4. never EVER keeping him at recess as a punishment for not doing his work.

Amy P said...

"But it's actually kind of hard for us to really articulate those needs since we don't really know how the school works, if that makes sense."

Yes, that totally makes sense. Everything looks reasonable and easy, as long as there's an existing social skills group. #3 may be sticky, though.