It has been quite a summer waiting for the IEP to be settled. I am really pleased with our final version. Riley will spend the majority of his day with his typical peers. He will be pulled out to the resource room for 30 minutes each of reading, writing, and math and a few other small goals including time for speech, OT and PT on a weekly basis and he will spend approximately 80% of his time with his class. I think this is a great starting point for Riley. He will tell us quickly with his behavior if this is a good fit.
We were able to meet his teacher last week and tour the new school and see the classroom. I was very thankful that we were able to do this. The teacher seems like a good fit and seems really open to working with us towards a successful year. I was really really honest about Riley's behavior and how bad it can be at time. She didn't flinch so I'm hopeful that she really is open to Riley being in her room.
When I say Riley can be horrible at times I don't think people really comprehend what I mean. He isn't aggressive thankfully. I don't think he will be a student that they will have to clear the room for. But he does get very creative in looking for ways out of work that is challenging.
The best, and possibly the funniest, example of this I can share was a week this summer when he was working with his tutor. Thankfully Michelle has an awesome sense of humor and a ton of experience with kids way worse so she isn't phased by Riley's creativity. She saw him two days in a row... on Wednesday he was horrible to the point that he tried to get out of work by wetting his pants. Go ahead and gasp... I did. Not something he has ever tried before or after and it didn't work. He still had to finish his work. So Thursday the ever diligent Michelle returns to t
Really trying to ignore his attitude today, but thought I would share his one-liners.
- "That answer is rude. I can't write rude answers!"
- "I will X it out, so I can't answer."
- "You stink!!! OH MY GAWD why do you stink!!!!!"
- While reading one question in grammar it involved the teacher being nice. He says " can't do it, it is just lies"
- "It's my work, I answer how I want"
- "you must read to me!!!!!'
- When finally convinced to ready he did it in his hymn singing loud voice.
- "You need a nap!!! Not me!!"
- "You driving me crazy!"
- while reading his sheet he screamed "SHIT" "I SAID SHIT"
Hard day to keep a straight face.
This effort took place over about 45 minutes. He was impressive in his excuses and retorts. I can just picture him waiting for her to respond. He knows the value of shocking an adult and the distraction it causes. The longer an adult spends responding, correcting or even laughing, (cause we all do from time to time) the less time there is to do work. The power of distraction is a tool that Riley has superior skills using.
When I told both the general education and the resource teacher a version of this story neither of them flinched. I took it to be a good sign that they have thick skin and have the potential to deal well with Riley. The worst thing possible for a teacher is when they think that Riley is cute and they let him use it. He is cute... we get it. But what is cute now when he is little won't be in a few years. He is capable of so much if he uses his powers for good instead of evil.
Tomorrow morning my boy blazes a new trail for himself at a new school. I keep reminding myself that he handles these transitions way better than I do. He has never had trouble making friends and engaging adults and I'm sure that this school will be the same. He'll be rock star wherever he goes and I'm lucky I get to follow along for the ride.