Players in the game:
Miss A - regular ed teacher
Ms. B - resource teacher
Ms. C - principal
M - my kid
Let me share the emails with you:
The next email was from the resource teacher (Ms. B), who helps M with writing, calming down, social skills type stuff, etc. This was from her on 2/1/11:
"Thank you for the info regarding M current behaviors. He was not himself this morning in my writing class. He entered the room poorly and needed to be redirected back to the door to enter appropriately, which he did after several directives from me. Additionally, he was trying to be verbally aggressive with another child, grade 4 student. He began with the pencil up the sleeve, pretending it is a gun, which I stopped immediately. I walked him to gym this morning after class and he said in a round about way, not totally convincing to me, he will improve with stopping and thinking about actions and consequences."
From the regular ed teacher on 2/1/11:
"M also had a difficult lunch time. He finally was asked by the students to leave the table and sit somewhere else. I spoke to everyone involved and the students who asked M to sit somewhere else admitted they did something wrong. They also said they were tired of the "bad words" M says and the things he does annoys them. M admitted he did say bad words and his behavior choices are not good ones. The fourth grade students are maturing and they notice the behavior of others in the class. They were able to explain to me exactly why they acted like they did. They agreed to give M another chance to show he can make good behavior choices. M and I had a private talk and I said he needed to change his choices if he wanted to have friends in the class. He agreed to try."
Then I emailed the teacher and asked what the other kids did wrong, just to clarify, and was told that they should not have asked my son to leave the table.
On to 2/2/11:
I got a note in M's agenda saying there was more trouble at lunch today, so I emailed and asked what had happened. Here's the email:
"Hi M's Mother,
I was just sitting down to email you about what happened today, both at lunch and after, in the room. Yesterday, I spoke with all the boys in my class about an incident reported by the person on lunch duty. I already emailed you about this yesterday. I explained to the boys that they were to give M another chance sitting with them at lunch. I explained to M that he had one more chance to show he could sit appropriately with the other students. If he did not make good choices, I would choose a seat for him.
Today, at recess, a boy came to me and said M was touching his hat and him during lunch. This boy said he asked M to stop several times, but M did not stop. The boy did not ask M to leave the table, but he said he wanted me to know. When we came back into the room, I spoke with M and then called the other boy over to speak with us also. M did say he was touching the boy. He did admit the boy asked him to stop. M then told me another boy was also touching this student. So I called up the third boy. Apparently the other two boys are friends and they tease each other. M seems to think this means he can just join in and do the same behavior. I tried to tell M that the situation is different because he does not have a friendship with the boy he was touching, therefore his touching was annoying the other student.
At this point, M "shut down" and said he did not want to talk about it anymore. I sent the other two boys to the their seats. M said he was mad and wanted to go to Mrs. B's room to calm down. I told him that he could use the rocking chair, or he could pick any place in the room he wanted to sit to calm down. He told me he wanted to go to Mrs. B and could not calm down in my room saying, "I will explode." I waited a few seconds and told him he could not leave the room, but he could choose anywhere to calm down. That is when he said if he stayed in the room, "I will just annoy the kids around me."
I told him to choose a place. After giving him those directions, I turned around, walked away, and started to teach a lesson.
A few minutes later, I turned back around. M was no longer in the room. Then the phone rang, and Mrs. B said M was with her. Then, Mrs. B walked M back to my class. Please know, M did not ask permission to leave my room--he just walked out, and I did not know where he was.
I spoke with M at the end of the day--about two hours later--and he said that I have not been giving him his breaks with Mrs. B. I asked him to explain what he meant by "breaks". He said that "my mom told me that I am supposed to have breaks with Mrs. B, and it is written down in my plan." He was insistent that he was supposed to be able to take breaks with Mrs. B. I explained the only plan I knew about was written by Mrs. C, Mrs B, his mom, dad, and me, and that it did not say he could have breaks with Mrs. B.
That is how M and I left it.
I spoke with Mrs. B and leaving a class with or without permission to go to the CCR room for breaks is not in his BIP. Mrs. B and I plan to meet with M tomorrow to talk with him about what happened, and to review the BIP with him.
I know we have a BIP review meeting scheduled, so we can discuss this at the meeting. In the meantime, we will continue to work with M to help him make good choices."
Ok, first of all, my kid DID ask to go to Mrs. B's room to calm down. The teacher said no.
After I was able to calm down and stop cursing at how asinine this whole situation was, I wrote this email back to the teachers (and principal) involved:
"Hi Miss A (regular ed teacher),
Thank you for the email.
I think there is a lot more going on here than what may be obvious. I definitely think we need to discuss the events of the past couple of days and perhaps put them in perspective. I’m not sure waiting until 2/18 is going to be a good plan – that’s over 2 weeks from now and I think there are things that need to be talked about immediately. I’d much prefer to talk face to face as opposed to email, if we can arrange it. I’m not sure who needs to be involved – likely at least you and Ms. B, myself and possibly my husband if he can arrange his schedule.
For the record, I did not tell M (my kid) that his plan states that he should get breaks in Ms. B’s room. What I said to him was that I thought that when he had testing, he was supposed to get frequent breaks and have a smaller testing group. Clearly that is not what he heard. I did, however, look in the IEP and I see that particular accommodation is only for EOG testing? I thought it was for all testing.
I’d like to understand better why you and Ms. B will be reviewing his BIP with him tomorrow. My opinion is that it has been pointed out to him very bluntly over the past 2 days that he is neither accepted by his classmates, nor very welcome anymore, due to his behavior in class. I think that reinforcing these 2 days by telling him that he requires all these things to keep him in line is going to be more hurtful than helpful. His schedule these past 2 days has been out of whack due to the benchmark testing; and he has been dealing with people basically telling him that they don’t want him around…that’s a lot for a 9 year old with his disabilities to handle. Again, just my opinion. In fact, I’d rather it not be discussed with him until we have all talked and are on the same page. It is interesting to note that the past 3 mornings at home have been good. We started a more scheduled morning at home on Monday and the mornings have been much easier for all of us.
Tomorrow will also be an off-schedule day, as he has his regular 2 appointments; thus he won’t get to school until 12:15p.
Thank you again for the detailed email. I look forward to working with you to help M improve at school."
And then the last email I got regarding this whole f'd up situation, from Ms. B (resource teacher):
Good Morning Mrs. M's Mom,
Thank you for your email regarding the concerns from this week with M peer relations. Let's move our BIP review date up to either Mon., Feb 7 or Thurs. Feb. 10 at 8:15 so we can develop a plan to support him with his current needs. I will shift gears with him during our Thursday and Friday meeting times. We will begin to work on social skills-applying social problem solving to the social problems M is currently encountering and integrate safe ways to release anger/calm down before dealing with the problem.
Thank you for your insight and communication! Look forward to hearing back from you."
I am so unbelievably pissed that my son was treated this way. Have they truly got no idea how much this affects him? We went to see his therapist yesterday, and when she called me in to update me after she had done the session with him, she told me she knows there's something going on with him, but that he won't talk about it. I gave her a copy of all the emails sent back and forth and also some notes that I had written down. We are going to talk about it on Saturday.
This all just goes to show me that the public school system where I live is woefully inept at not only teaching, but probably more importantly, understanding kids who don't fit the norm. They have no idea what to do with these children, little to no training on how to deal with this, and they are probably stretched too thin with all the other things they have to take care of. It's sad.
I was talking to another mother yesterday while we were waiting for our kids to be done with their respective appointments at the OT. I told her that most people fail to understand that kids with ADHD are not just "hyper pains in the ass." There's so much more to ADHD than just being hyper. And then add to that sensory issues....and, well, you see what happens when things get bad.
I've decided to educate people, whether they want to be educated or not. I don't give a shit anymore. I'm making copies of information from a few books I have that are geared toward teaching kids with ADHD and I'm giving it to all parties involved at our meeting next week. If that makes me pushy and obnoxious, then so be it. I've had it.