Saturday, October 25, 2014

The Pink Eraser and other Updates

As you all know to say this school year has been bumpy for Riley is an understatement.  This last week has been a particularly bumpy one.  Monday and Tuesday Riley had great days and then every thing went sideways on Wednesday.  The morning aid was gone and they weren't notified of the right away so the day started out bad and Riley was not able to pull it together the rest of the day and Thursday wasn't much better.  Thankfully Friday he was back to himself and had a great day at school.  

I should start by clearing up what little I know about the pink eraser incident.  I think it was a misunderstanding based on half a conversation.  I've come to the conclusion that they were checking/helping look for the hearing aid that Riley had taken out.  I think in addition to the hearing aid he turned up a pink eraser.  The kid has a serious addiction to pink erasers. I seriously would return them by the handful to his 1st grade teacher because he collected so many of them.   So there is no ongoing pat down going on.  The person that helped Riley to the car that afternoon passed on a message and something was seriously lost in translation.  At the end of the day I am totally ok if they help empty his pockets to make sure the hearing aid is accounted for.  

After this train wreck of a week I was ready to have a sit in in the principals office next week but I'm happy to report I won't have to do that.  Riley's special ed teacher called Friday early evening.  She has been one of the few people on Riley's team that I do truly trust.  She has been put in a challenging position.  She is new to the school that Riley is at and her time is split between two buildings in the district so she is only at Riley's school in the morning.  So she is having to build relationships with a new principal and new general education teachers.  It has been a challenge for her as well.  She called Friday evening because she didn't want me to go into the weekend without the information updates on what was happening with Riley at school.  

We spend 45 minutes discussing the challenges and my concerns and fears.  She addressed head on my fears that he is in a gen ed classroom with a teacher that doesn't doesn't like him and is too overwhelmed to help him be successful.  There is a lot of coaching going on with her and her comfort level with being able to balance it all is improving drastically.  I have to trust that report.  

She had a few ideas to help with teachers anxiety with Riley being "destructive" in the classroom.  Apparently she has a very complicated organizational system for her classroom library and gets quite upset when it takes hours to put back together.  Riley seems to be one being blamed for all of the disorganization but really its something that all the kids struggle to put things back where they belong.  So the special ed teacher has suggested a much easier system that I'm going to help get set up in the classroom.  Imagine this....  we are going to put a pink dot on the books that go in the pink bin and a green dot on the books that belong in the green bin.  I'm going to help get this earth shattering system set up.  Something as simple as books shouldn't cause anyone that much stress.  So a little help from us will hopefully take a bit of frustration out of the equation.  

The really big piece that will be implemented next week is the fact that they had aid hours approved to help Riley.  He won't have a one on one all day but he will have extra support as needed through out the day.  A key piece will be to help with transitions and help him get back on track right away instead of letting things escalate to the point where he is under the table refusing to come out.  She will not be in charge of Riley's instruction.  That remains the responsibility of the gen ed teacher. The aid they have set up to start next week is transitioning from an assignment with a couple of other boys at Riley's school who need less assistance.  So the teachers are already familiar with her and know the quality of her work and she is already family with the school and teachers.  Riley has met her but hasn't worked with her.  

The possibility of Riley moving schools during this school year has been taken off the table.  Unless something really really drastic happens he will remain in his current placement.  They are committed to making him successful there.  During his next IEP all placements are back on the table and really they should be.  I think it is only fair to Riley that we evaluate at the end of every year.  I'd prefer not to keep moving him around but we have to do what is best even its hard.  

FEB 2012


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