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Parenting special kids


Ansamcw
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I am a mother of a lovely 4 year old little girl with Down syndrome...her name is Caitlin. I feel so blessed to be her mother because through her I learned to appreciate my children for who they are and not who I want them to be. Being a mom of a special child like Cai has many challenges for sure but the rewards are so overwhelming that I feel so blessed that I was given the privilege to care for her.

This thread is a place for people to share their experiences...their joys, frustrations, tips, information, challenges...and just any story you may want to share about your child.

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Speaking as a grandparent......I have a four-year old grandson with autism.

What a blessing this child is and how much he has added to our family unit is indescribable!!! Mark's autism is at the end of the spectrum where his communication skills are symptomatic of the condition. He talks very very little. So we have learned to communicate with him in many other ways, while encouraging his speech development, too, of course. He goes to pre-school. No behavior problems (as a matter of fact he makes friends easily). I commend my son and daughter-in-law for the patience and love they show him.

When Mark and I play together, it is the same as my play with my other grandkids in many ways. Our playtime is special though because since we don't use words, we communicate on a different level. I have learned to simply watch at times and only join in his play of arranging his matchbox cars or zoo animals after asking him if it is okay...(interrupting his patterns and "bringing him out of the deep concentration" is sometimes helpful.) We have fun coloring together or going to the park! He knows I love him and I know he loves me. That's pretty much all a granny needs to know.

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Cincy that is very similar to my experience with Cai...She is still non verbal...although she is starting to say words and tries to converse it is difficult to understand her. But what is so marvelous is to see how she compensates for her verabl difficulties. SHe may not understand the spoken word but she truly understands the context of what's happening around her...she communicates very clearly with us through body language and some words.

the biggest challenge I have with her right now is potty training...I tried it before and it didn;t work...now I am just not looking forward to trying it again...I will have to bite the bullet soon...she will be going to full day Kindergarten this fall.

Does anybody have any tips on how to potty train a nonverbal and very stubborn child?

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One of my sons (20yo) is has (undiagnosed) high functioning autism. Probably Asperger's syndrome. He was not diagnosed partly because his 'quirkyness' was written off to having a 160 IQ. We ended up homeschooling partly because he just didn't fit in a classroom. Knowing what I know now about inclusion I would have done things differently. He really struggled in his first year in college. He crashed and burned and is now ready to start over. I think that I interceded for him too much. I wish I had known about AS when he was young. However, because we homeschooled (all 4 kids) and we did it through a private school with 160 other homeschooled students I got to know him very well. We have a great relationship & we talk about AS and why I think he has it. He is learning to find his own solutions to deal with some of the manefestations (self stim).

My youngest son is currently working at a theme park called Sesame Place. As the name indicates it is based on Sesame Street. He is a shallow water guard & he works with the kids on the water rides & shallow pools. He is amazing with children & I've encouraged him to consider teaching. He has recently decided he wants to go to school to be an Elementary Special Ed Teacher. One day I came home and he had done hours of research on special education, starting with Autism & Fragile X (which I had never heard of.) He was so excited he had to show me the pages of notes he had taken and talk about everything he was learning. Something he NEVER liked to do for me (as teacher). ;) He even told me that if he does end up going into special education he wants to write a letter to Clay about being his inspiration. And all this time I thought he was just humoring me when I talked about Clay. (He's not a Clay fan, but not a hater either.)

Does anybody have any tips on how to potty train a nonverbal and very stubborn child?

While my AS son was verbal he was also very very stubborn. We tried potty training initially and it was a disaster. I eventually used a form of bribery or as I called it reward. He loved stickers. So we made a sticker chart. Basically it listed the days at the top and columns drawn down the page. I had him help me make the chart and pick out stickers. Everytime he went potty he got a sticker that he got to put on the chart. Amazingly it worked. It took the control issue out of it. I had a serious issue with control with this child. (Still do, ;) )

I am very, very interested in special needs kids. I look forward to hearing about your challenges & successes.

eta: I just went to the link cincy posted and Wow we did something right. The Potty chart. Worked like a charm.

Edited by diamondjake2001
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Hi, Just wanted to reply to your post. What a special little girl Cai must be and what a blessing to you.

I was very touched by your post and wanted to say how privileged I was to read it. I do not have children or grandchildren with different abilities but I do fundraising for The Bubel/Aiken Foundation and have been blessed to meet many families and their wonderful children.

:):) Smiles, Carol

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My 8 year old son, Tim, is my 'quirky' guy-he has some 'autistic features', but does not currently have a diagnosis of autism. The doctors feel that he fit the criteria when he was younger, but does not at this point-they said that in some cases, features fade. He is diagnosed with sensory integration disorder and gross and fine motor skills delays. He also has an IQ of 140...I assume he didn't inherit that from me , lol.

I knew that he was 'different' when he was an infant who would not look at me, and a toddler who had no fear nor showed affection, and a preschooler who spent hours lining up the toy trains, not stopping to use the bathroom or eat, and ignoring us all... he was such a difficult child and it was stressful....but dh and I both had lots of fears and didn't seek help. Plus, we got really stupid advice from people :blink: , especially because he speaks really well. I'm all for the early awareness that is spoken of now. It's such a change from even a few years ago! If I had to do it again, I would have persued my concerns, and tried to get some help-some things I did on my own, especially using eye contact.

Anyhow, he's a great, unique kid-he has his own ways of seeing things . He went to public school for the first time, for third grade,and did well. Socially, he blossomed! He had a wonderful, patient teacher, and it was an inclusion classroom-another boy in the class is mainstreamed (my son does not have an IEP or receive services other than social skills help). This was such a good experience for my son-he is very rigid and rules-oriented, and had to learn to accept that sometimes, somebody may act different (vocalize in class or whatever) and it's not necessary to get all upset over it. The boy and my son discovered that they share an obsess...er, interest in Star Wars, so now they are friends! I hope 4th grade goes as well.

Ansa, this child did not potty train, fully, till around 4-he was verbal, but very stubborn. In fact, his brother who is 18 months younger, trained before he did! So, I was diapering the older one, while the younger one was fully trained. And I was pregnant-what a time that was, argh...this probably sounds terrible, but I ended up punishing him for messing, by taking his beloved trains away for a day at a time. I mean, he would not stop to use the bathroom-it was gross, and I was so tired and pregnant-so I took them away. I didn't know what else to do. This probably is very poor advice :huh:

Would she respond to a chart? There are free printable ones on the web.(www.chartjungle.com has those, I think) Maybe she could place a sticker on it for every successful trip? My ds loves charts, they make him feel in control of things. Is it a control thing with her?

eta-while i was posting, others said the same, lol. DiamondJake, your 20 yo sounds a lot like my Tim!

Edited by HotMomOf5
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Thanks so much for all your advice. Cincy and hotmom I don't know if she would respond to charts...at times I don't know how much she comprehends or how much is just stubborness in her part. Right now my problem is, when she is involved in an activity, it is difficult get her out of it...she also does not like getting changed...she hides from me when she poops and at times it is a huge struggle to change her.

The problem is she never pees on the potty. She actually stops herslf from peeing or pooping when she is on. She likes to sit there, she loves the attention because we do games or she has so many people around her. But then she pretends she peed...she would even make faces like she poops then takes the toilet paper wipes herself then gets off...then she pees in the floor.

I never did it with charts though and never did the scheduled trips to the potty. I think I will try that...but do I still use the pull ups or go with panties?

I think developmentally she is delayed by about two years so i would say she is really just turning three now...so hopefully she would be more mature now and would be more willing to do the schduled potty breaks...

Hotmom your boys sound fascinating and it sounds like you are very close to your children. I don't blame you for sometimes turning around and punishing them by taking toys away. At times you have to figure out what will work with your kids and I do believe that there is a place for tough love when other strategies does not work.

I know I had to do the same for Caitlin. As much as we all love her and want to do

everything for her I know we have to give limits to her. The other days she refused to change and we were having one of those huge struggles where she was hitting me because she wanted to get away and run around in her diaper. I could've let it go but I knew I couldn't always let her win. So I put her in the naughty room, which was the computer room. She was so angry with me...she wouldn't look at me whenever I opened the door, she would scream. Finally I just left her clothes and diaper in the room with her and left her alone. Next time I checked her she was struggling to put on her clothes herself, she changed her diaper and was trying to put on her pants...of course she snarled back at me again so I left...after a bit I went back in and she was dressed, it was all backwards but she got them all on. When she saw me she came running to me and gave me the biggest hug. She was so proud of herself, she went and looked for her sisters and showed them her clothes. So what started as a disaster turned out to be quite a triumph for her. It certainly is never dull around Cait.

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Hotmom, your 8 yo son sounds ALOT like my son. He has always had problems with transitions. I learned early to let him know several times before a change in activities. For example, if we were at the park I would tell him 30 minutes before we were going to leave, then at 15 minutes, 5 minutes & 1 minute. If I followed that pattern he would very easily leave with me. If I just said, okay it's time to go (like I could do with any of my other children) he would absolutely melt down. He would appear to be a spoiled brat, but that wasn't the problem. He just couldn't handle sudden changes in his own internal plans. He is just now learning to recognize this about himself. He also gets totally absorbed by what he is doing to the point he can't hear anything else. He was a thumb sucker until he was 8. When he sucked his thumb he totally zoned out. When he stopped sucking his thumb he began playing with his hands in a very ODD way. I just learned last year that this is called self stim. A friend told me to get him a key chain that he can play with. Looks more normal but fullfills the need.

He also was very rule & justice oriented. The interesting thing was that he didn't care if he was treated unfairly but if he saw anyone else treated unfairly he had a fit. This young man is a very very deep thinker. He is tender hearted & loves deeply.

The last 2 years have been very very hard. We thought we were losing him. Thank God he decided to move to PA with us. He has made a life for himself here. He's got a good job, church group & is planning on tackling college again.

Hotmom, we were able to get an IEP for my son based on qualifying for the gifted program. This was in FL and while we had the paper, the school never managed to do any of the things they were supposed to do which is one reason we began homeschooling. I really wish we had known about the benefits of inclusion.

When we first tried potty training I got so frustrated. I know I punished him because I 'knew' he was able. What I didn't understand was that he may have been able physically he wasn't emotionally. I figured out that we were both driving each other crazy so I just quit. I waited a year. When I presented the idea again, I used the sticker chart.

Ansa, your conflict with your daughter choked me up. I imagine it was awfully upsetting & frustrating for you but wow what a wonderful success your daughter had. The way you describe your daughter's response to potty training was exactly the way my son was. He would sit on the potty and look at books and then would act like he had actually done something and then go hide behind the couch and pee or poop. It was sooooo frustrating. The sticker chart helped both of us remove the emotional side of it. If he wanted a sticker he had to produce, so to speak. He figured it out and when he trained it was day & night and it only took 1 week. Good luck & I hope you will keep us informed.

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My son, Nick, had learning difficulties, but is now in grad school and will graduate this May with a degree in special ed. Though he is not allowed to tell me much about the children he has worked with, I can see you need a lot of patience and understanding. Nick wasn't potty trained until 4. All the other mothers were happy. But when he made up his mind to be potty trained, that was it. No accidents or anything. Maybe this may work out with Caitlin.

My brother, Frank, had an awful accident when he was 7. He went through life being treated differently and cruelly. I loved him dearly. He was older and so good to me. I think I was the only person in his life who did not treat him as being brain damaged. He was just my brother and we did a lot of things together. He died a few years ago and I still miss him. He went through life having no opportunities. Thank you, Clay, for bringing inclusion to many children.

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Yup inclusion has really been a God send with my daughter. Its a great thing that her school is so small.But everyone loves her there. Her potty training is goin good in the school and when we travelled to Florida I got her to use the potty a lot ...but now at home she is truly being stubborn again, she is very erratic with it. I would like to bring her every hour...but if she does not want to go she struggles so i don't force her. But at least she is able to go in the potty now. I think I will just have to bite the bullet and take away the diapers.

Claywright, its great to hear about your son. Congratulations and thanks for sharing your memories about your brother.

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Speaking as a grandparent......I have a four-year old grandson with autism. 

What a blessing this child is and how much he has added to our family unit is indescribable!!!  Mark's autism is at the end of the spectrum where his communication skills are symptomatic of the condition.  He talks very very little.  So we have learned to communicate with him in many other ways, while encouraging his speech development, too, of course.  He goes to pre-school.  No behavior problems (as a matter of fact he makes friends easily).  I commend my son and daughter-in-law for the patience and love they show him.

When Mark and I play together, it is the same as my play with my other grandkids in many ways.  Our playtime is special though because since we don't use words, we communicate on a different level.  I have learned to simply watch at times and only join in his play of arranging his matchbox cars or zoo animals after asking him if it is okay...(interrupting his patterns and "bringing him out of the deep concentration" is sometimes helpful.)  We have fun coloring together or going to the park!  He knows I love him and I know he loves me.  That's pretty much all a granny needs to know.

That sounds a lot like my 2-1/2 year old grandson, Owen. He was born 3-1/2 months prematurely and weighed 1 lb. 13 oz. He seems healthy and normal in every way except that he only says a few words (in English, Spanish and baby sign). His nanny only speaks Spanish. He also is obsessive in certain behaviors, like pushing buttons, and it's hard to get him to eat. He goes to preschool and is very happy there but ignores the other children and plays by himself. He loves to play with adults and his 9-year-old male cousin. He makes eye contact and will snuggle when he wants to. Like most 2-year-olds, he'd rather run around than sit still on your lap. He's a beautiful, happy, sweet little boy and so far doesn't have meltdowns. The specialists who work with him are saying he "probably" has autism.

I love this thread. Blessings on all of you and your families.

M

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Well the school year is over for Caitlin. She will be going into 1st grade the coming school year. At this point our biggest problem with her is still potty training and mostly here at homr. Whenever we travel...its very easy to get her to go to the potty. But here in the house...its a struggle everyday. She fights , she runs away, and cry if you try to put her in the potty. At least now she would actually go in the potty. We are about to go completely without disposable soon...I believe this will be the only way she will finally learn not to depend on the diapers. It will be tough for us though. We tried this before and it was 2 weeks of cleaning nightmare. But she is older now...and we know she does have the ability to control it outside the home. So wish us goodluck.

She still does not talk too much but her vocabulary is increasing for sure. We are now scheduled to go to Montreal so that she can have extensive evaluation in the childrens hospital that may last for a week or two. We want to be able to pinpoint her specific learning disabilities. She is such a joy to have around...and aside from the potty problem there really does not seem to be much of a delay because she is very adaptive to her environment and continues to learn to do things independently. But I feel that I need to make sure we are not overlooking anything in helping her achieve her fullest potential. Sometimes I'm afraid that because she seem so high functioning that her problems will be glossed over.

Right now she is off to speech therapy sessions. It was so difficult to wake her up...but as soon as she sees her pair of shoes, which is her signal that she is going out...she perks up right away. I really can't imagine life without her. Last night we spent around fifteens minutes playing this game where she would run back and forth across the room acting silly. The joy in her face was a sight to behold that I ended up getting choked up with emotions. What a blessing she is...

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:D

Caitlin is so lucky to have you as a Mother. I would love to see her running back and forth. I will never have grandchildren as my son has decided never to get married. My marriage is (was) a disaster and I think probably has scarred him. I'm in the process of a divorce now after 30 years and I am very scared and nervous. But this is not about me. My son who has always struggled with a learning disability has graduated from grad school with a degree in special education and has gone off this morning to work as a substitute teacher in a special classroom at Middle school (aaaggghhh). He could not get full time job. He asked for middle and high school and said as a third choice, elementary school. Please send him your prayers and good thoughts, as I send mine to your families.

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:D

Caitlin is so lucky to have you as a Mother. I would love to see her running back and forth. I will never have grandchildren as my son has decided never to get married. My marriage is (was) a disaster and I think probably has scarred him. I'm in the process of a divorce now after 30 years and I am very scared and nervous. But this is not about me. My son who has always struggled with a learning disability has graduated from grad school with a degree in special education and has gone off this morning to work as a substitute teacher in a special classroom at Middle school (aaaggghhh). He could not get full time job. He asked for middle and high school and said as a third choice, elementary school. Please send him your prayers and good thoughts, as I send mine to your families.

(((claywright and son))))

wow ...it is a huge accomplishment to finish grad school specially with a learning disability. Congratulations to you both. I'm sure he will have a great time teaching middle school. I actually love that grade level...kids are still enthusiastic about school and not to hard to discipline.

I also think people do change as they grow older...I wouldn't worry about his decision not to get married at this time. It may still change.

Good luck on the changes in your life. I know it is a scary time...hope all goes well for you!!!

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Thanks for your thoughts. Nick has been substituting almost every day in special ed classes. He is in a good district and it seems that the teachers care a lot about the kids, but the ones with emotional problems are the hardest to control. He loves his work, even though he has to travel to a different school and a different level every day.

I read your postings and send you all my love, thoughts and prayers. God must know where to send these special children. It must be very hard and tiring, but hopefully you have family who can help you out. I wish I lived near you so I could help you out, but cyber encouragement is all I can send. I don't know how to solve problems.

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Aww you are sweet.

Actually the only thing difficult is getting her potty trained...but other than that it has been pretty easy being Caitlin's mom. She is the sweetest child. And of course you have to be ever alert to what she is doing and you have to be clever in figuring out what she is saying. BUT she is very thoughtful and generous and loving. Every time I get upset with her sisters she always tries to come between me and her sisters...she tries to distract me or just sits with them. The other day I was so upset with her...she was in the verge of tears. I was feeling bad and guilty...Then she puts her hands in her face...then she goes..."Boo"...she started playing peek a boo to try and make ME feel better...that just made me laugh and hugged her and she laughed as well too.

She is truly an angel and I always felt it was a privelege that God entrusted her to us.

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Well, I hope I can revive this thread. I need some place to vent because I am just pissed at my son's school this morning.

Let's see, quick history. My son is 16. His official diagnosis is ADHD, clinical depression and anxiety disorder with undiagnosed learning disabilities.

I knew since kindergarten that there was something different about him, but it wasn't until grade 4 that we got the ADHD diagnosis. Since then, we've had him on some form of drug for his ADHD (ie Ritalin). In grade 8 we started seeing a developmental psychiatrist rather than just a pediatrician specializing in ADHD. The change of doctor was my choice, after a lot of research into his behaviours, etc. I am fairly certain that he is actually NVLD (non verbal learning disorder) rather than ADHD but since there are few specialists in Canada I have never managed to get a firm diagnosis of this. However, the developmental psychiatrist diagnosed the depression & anxiety which I feel are correct. So since grade 8 he has been on a combination of Concerta (time release Ritalin) and Zoloft (an antidepressant). This combination has worked quite

well for him.

Also in grade 8 we managed to finally get him on an informal IEP by involving an advocate from the Board of Education. Up until then, he had struggled with organization and written work in school, even though he was tested as being above average in intelligence. So with the IEP in place, he is supposed to receive certain accomodations each year. These include photocopies (as opposed to taking written notes), the option of writing tests in a quiet environment, and having any projects "chunked" into smaller parts that are not as overwhelming for him. Each year I try and arrange a meeting with whoever is assigned as his resource teacher, along with all teachers, the board of ed advocate, and the principal. I find it is helpful if we can start the year off on the right foot, and all on the same page.

The first year of high school went well. He had a great resource teacher and each of his subject teachers were quite co-operative in keeping in touch with me and keeping me appraised of projects, due dates, etc. Then grade 10 happened and when I called the school to arrange our beginning of semester meeting, I was advised that the resource teacher had retired over the summer. So he was assigned to another resource teacher, who also was his old English teacher. Except she had no idea what she was doing. I couldn't get a team meeting set up to save my life. I contacted the board, and they tried to intervene, but by the time we got anything set up, he was already failing a subject and we were near the end of the semester. Suffice to say that with a lot of hard work and tearing out of hair, he managed to get a 51 in the

subject and pass. Same thing happened 2nd semester. Meeting at the end of May, almost failed a subject. But the board of ed advocate attended this one and she was wonderful. She insisted on seeing his guidance cousellor right then and there to make sure his subjects would be balanced for grade 11. She insisted that he be retested since his last test results were sorely outdated. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I thought my problems were over.

So here we are in grade 11. He only has one academic subject (English) and then phys ed and two techs. Should be an easy year, right? So this morning I make my usual call. Find out he has a new resource teacher AGAIN. So I call her and get total bitchiness and major attitude. I ask if she could set up a team meeting so that we can be sure everyone is aware of the accomodations set out by his IEP. She tells me that my son has no learning disabilities, and his only problem is avoidance. She says that she'll talk to the teachers and see what week is good for them. She says she's already been approached by his tech teacher because he will do the hands on work fine but won't do the written work. I try again to say that he has issues that are identified in his IEP and she again tells me he is being lazy and just avoiding doing any work. I hang the phone up in a fog and then just sit here and get angrier and angrier. I can't remember the board of ed advocate's name or number. So I called back to speak with the bitchy resource teacher but they say she is busy and will have her call me back. She hasn't called.

I'm just livid. Why should I have to go through this each year? Why do they shuffle kids around from resource teacher to resource teacher? And why is it such a big deal that we should put the accomodations that have clearly been defined in his IEP in place? Grrrrrrrrrrrr.

Edited by luckiest1
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Thanks, toots. I finally got a call back from the bitch resource teacher. I kept my temper and politely told her that I would like to invite the board of ed advocate to our meeting, but I had misplaced her name and number. I got total cold, stoney silence in response. So I repeated myself. She finally responded "I'll call her". I said great, but I would still like you to give me her name and number for my records. She spit out her name, but refused to give me her number (which I will look up myself). I really get the impression she is pissed that I am insisting on this, but I have had enough experience going into these meetings to know that it will go a whole lot smoother with someone on my side. And it looks like no one at the school is this year.

Am I the only one with these kinds of issues? I just find it totally wrong that the teachers seem to think that because a child turns a certain age, their disabilities magically evaporate. I mean, before the IEP, I used to fight the "he's lazy, he's irresponsible" battle, but now that it's already been diagnosed, why should I have to fight it again?

Sorry for the rants.

Edited by luckiest1
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Thanks, toots. I finally got a call back from the bitch resource teacher. I kept my temper and politely told her that I would like to invite the board of ed advocate to our meeting, but I had misplaced her name and number. I got total cold, stoney silence in response. So I repeated myself. She finally responded "I'll call her". I said great, but I would still like you to give me her name and number for my records. She spit out her name, but refused to give me her number (which I will look up myself). I really get the impression she is pissed that I am insisting on this, but I have had enough experience going into these meetings to know that it will go a whole lot smoother with someone on my side. And it looks like no one at the school is this year.

Am I the only one with these kinds of issues? I just find it totally wrong that the teachers seem to think that because a child turns a certain age, their disabilities magically evaporate. I mean, before the IEP, I used to fight the "he's lazy, he's irresponsible" battle, but now that it's already been diagnosed, why should I have to fight it again?

Sorry for the rants.

Don't know about the school system in Canada but there are certainly some teachers, etc. who shouldn't be teaching or advocating. My youngest daughter had a math teacher who belittled all of his students and after many complaints by me and others, they finally fired him and then told us that he was an alcoholic but had been trying to get sober. Excuse me....it went on for a whole year of school.

We have to fight for our kids first and foremost. She sounds like an incompetent asshole who is about to get busted. You go get her Luckiest :crying1:.

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Just an update, if this thing doesn't log me out again.

The teacher assigned to my son is the head of the resource department, and I requested that if he ever had to switch again, he be switched to her. So that was probably why I was so upset yesterday - her attitude came out of the blue. Anyways, last night I spoke to my son about her, and he said that she is always nice to him in the resource room and he really likes her. He was happy to hear that she was now assigned to him. So I told him that I found her a bit icy on the phone, and he put it down to maybe she was just having a bad day. So I decided to believe him.

This morning she phoned me to set up our team meeting. She was sweet as pie. Like, seriously, a different person. We had a lovely chat. I have no idea why the difference in attitude, except that maybe she really was having a bad day yesterday, or I caught her in the middle of something that was pissing her off. In any case, I feel a whole lot better about things today. The appt is not until Oct. 10th, so I guess I will find out then how the rest of the year is going to be.

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That's good news, luckiest! Back when I read CV everyday I saw a number of posts similar to yours. Everyone seems to dread the IEP meeting. Vent away when you need to! I think it's fantastic that the school systems now accommodate kids with different learning styles, or try to, but it sure sounds like the parents need to advocate strongly for the children before things actually happen. The last college that I taught at had an excellent program for the students, but we didn't get any specific instruction on how best to teach students with particular needs. It was left up to the students to tell us what they needed, but most never did. They'd just bring us a letter that said they needed extra time for an exam or a quiet room, and that was about it. I had one student who was a sweety, who loved to talk but had a lot of difficulty making his thoughts clear, they were all a jumble, and I just had to wing it with him. What I did a lot was repeat back what I thought he was trying to say, to see if I had it right and simultaneously convey what he'd said to the others. There were days when I didn't have the time or energy though, and I'd just say OK and move on. I wonder if regular K-12 classroom teachers these days get any kind of training in their degree programs, or is it just the resource teachers who are trained?

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I think mainly it's just the resource teachers who are specially trained (and not even all of them, sadly, as I found out last year). And yes, only those kids whose parents advocate for them get what they need, it's sad but true in this school system anyways. I have spent most of my son's life beating my head against the wall with school boards. What it really boils down to is quite simple (a few photocopies, breaking projects down into chunks, and some communication with home) and not all that time consuming for the teachers, but it's all the red tape and attitude that gets in the way. For my son, because of the anxiety disorder, putting the onus on him to ask for special helps almost defeats the purpose. The one thing that makes him most anxious in a school situation is to draw attention to his difficulties. All he wants is to 'fit in' and be like everyone else. So left up to him, nothing would get done.

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