I’ve mentioned before in some post way back when that I might someday blog about #2′s school situation so here it is. This year is his first year in junior high. It has been quite an adjustment for him. It has also been an adjustment for me as a parent because I am now dealing with an administration that does not know him. For those that are new to my blog #2 has asperger’s.
The first week of school was quite rough for him and resulted in school suspension. I approved the suspension and discussed with the administration that the behavioral issues were in his file along with the situational triggers. I don’t think the school ever read his file. I’m quite certain the IEP wasn’t ever read because well…I just know because when parent/teacher conferences happened I got a huge apology from the administration.
There were other things that happened to lead up to what I’m getting to but I’m not going to go into detail. Instead I’m going to get to the point. I eventually had to get an attorney to help us. I had talked to a couple of friends that are Special Education instructors and followed their advice. I researched the laws the best I could for our state and it looked as though the school was walking the line on being legal/illegal. I didn’t think I would ever get to this point but #2 needed an advocate.
The experience with the attorney has been wonderful. It has NOT been a fighting situation. We have not been demanding in that the school provide for our son. We needed help in communicating. Our first meeting with our attorney’s advocates, the school administration, and the school’s attorney was very informative. I had to laugh when the school’s attorney said #2′s behavior was typical of a child with autism. The school administration loves #2 and wants him to succeed. They are working with us to make that happen.
We’ve had testing done on him that the school has paid for so we can all better understand #2. The results were fascinating. We found out this behavior was happening a lot more than we were told about in elementary school but they ignored it thinking he would grow out of it. Well, he didn’t and here we are. The attorney has taught me a lot more about what can go into an IEP that I didn’t know was possible. Same with a behavioral plan. This has been a very positive experience.
The school has noticed in difference in #2 since we’ve all been working together and the flow of communication is better. #2 has more confidence and his behavioral issues are improving. I think a lot of that is from the results of the testing. We as parents were able to learn more about #2 and how he thinks. We are able to better taylor our wording towards him. We had no idea he didn’t recognize emotions within himself. If he was feeling mad, he didn’t know how to express he was mad because he didn’t know mad in himself. He could tell the emotion mad in others but not in him.
I am very thankful I stepped up and got an attorney for #2. It has been a positive experience not only for us but I think for the school administration. I don’t know how often schools have parents with attorneys that want to work with school instead of being demanding. Our goal was better communication. We didn’t want to fight therefore we didn’t.
Photo Credit: Mary_on_Flickr