Title: Donning My Autism Warrior Mom Gear
Tags: Eunice Crankyponts Autism Warrior Mom
Blog Entry: So, I have spoken in past blogs about the fact that I feel because my son is being taught at below grade level and he is below grade level in many areas that I think he should be held back a year. Well, FINALLY, I got a meeting. I think I talked about it yesterday. Well, the meeting is this coming Friday and I will don my Autism Warrior Mom gear. What does this mean? This means that I am not going to take NO for an answer. I am going to advocate successfully for my son. I am going to bring every piece of paper that I have to present my case. I have both a copy of this year’s IEP and a copy of next years IEP. I have a copy of his report card. I do not have papers that he has brought home from school but I have mental notes in my head. It seems to me that the homework is not even being graded because he is always coming home with school work that has no stamp or mark up from the teacher. As I see it, this is ridiculous. Incidentally, I really think because he feels he cannot do the work his self-esteem is plummeting and fast. Do they really want to progress him to the next grade level and have his self-esteem plummet even more? I do not want my child to continue to call himself “stupid” or say “I wish I was never born” or even worse “I wish I were dead”. Seriously, he is saying these things and I just cannot justify him moving up to the next grade level. I have tried to tell him that he is smart in so many areas but needs extra help in the classroom not because he is “stupid (his words, not mine)” but because he just needs a little bit of extra help. I think he understands this; however, the IEP clearly indicates that they are teaching him at below grade level and as a matter of fact, if they are teaching him at below grade level then why progress him through to the next grade? So they can continue to teach him at below grade level? This is not to say that he cannot perform the work, he can perform the work but it is NOT AT GRADE LEVEL! I have already voiced in my blogs that he has not acquired the skills to successfully complete the third grade. He does not have a firm grasp on the basic concepts he should have in order to move on to the fourth grade. Why the hell are they going to just push him through. The principal insists that keeping a child back in elementary school is rare. Well, he will be a rare case because I am not going to take NO for an answer. So, my Autism Warrior Mom gear is in my brain not in what I am wearing as I’m sure you’ve already figured out. It is the persistence and insistence that my child will not get lost in the shuffle. I look to his future and think he is going to go really far; however, that is the future and to set him up to be successful, he needs to stay back a grade. I have already discussed this with him and he is fine with repeating the third grade. I do not keep secrets from my children. I keep them updated on everything. I explain to them what having autism is and that they need extra assistance in and always ask them what that means to them. Sometimes they know the answers and sometimes they cannot give me an answer. What I do know is that I am adamant about keeping him back in the third grade!!! I am going to go in there and ask them if their child was struggling what would they do? Would they just sit idly by and watch as their child continues to struggle? NO, an Autism Warrior Mom would not let that happen. There will be change and there has to be a change! We (meaning the PPT team and me) have set him up for failure in the past. We did not provide him with the right services for him to enter Kindergarten and that was a whole huge HOT MESS. Poor kid went postal and had to be placed at the school he is attending now which, is a regular education school that has an Autism program built in. He was placed in a restricted classroom where he had outbursts and had to be restrained at times. Yes, I agree with the Professional Placement Team that he has come a long way since Kindergarten and YES HE IS SMART; however, why are we teaching at below grade level and why is it acceptable to continue to teach him at below grade level instead of keeping him at the grade level they are teaching him at so he can catch up? Let’s set him up for success! Fourth grade is a hard grade. This is where they have to start reading more to learn, hell they start sending textbooks home for him to read and then answer the questions. He is at below grade level in reading comprehension and you want him to read from a textbook? The poor child is going to be more lost and confused which, in turn will make his self-esteem plummet even more. I am not one of those parents that just does not care what happens to their child at school. I do not think that the school is school and home is home. I believe it takes a team of people to help a child achieve success in school. I want my team to be on my son’s side and say, yes, he is struggling and maybe he needs to be kept back so he can catch up rather than continue to allow him to struggle. I would rather keep him back now then have to keep him back later in higher grades. My son is smart, yes, let’s keep it that way! Holy crikes! I am rambling on and on! I am all geared up for this meeting on Friday. I can’t wait to see what the teacher and the principal have to say about how he should progress. I will come back with “show me the work” and not just the good work he has done. Do not try to tell me that he is trying to pull the wool over my eyes at home. I know my son and I know what he is and is not capable of. I am the expert on my child and I will not allow him to continue to feel he is stupid. I will not continue to hear him say that he wishes he were dead. What parent out there wants to see their child struggle? Sometimes I feel that maybe I am failing at home and not helping him with his work but as I told the teacher, I already went to third grade but I do have cards up my sleeve for my son. I have equipped him with flashcards to learn multiplication and division – he cannot grasp these concepts. He still counts on his fingers to add! He does not know multiplication. I saw on one of his math papers in which, he had to write 7,395 out in expanded form which should have looked like this: 7,000 300 90 5 Instead he put something like 73 x 95 = 1,0000 Seriously? Seriously! Seriously, that’s a concept he needs to and should be able to grasp by now. He will not allow me to see his homework when he is finished because he knows that I will try to make sure the homework is answered correctly and show him how to do these things. I know he is way behind the other children in ALL areas of academics. What is an Autie mom to do than to fight the battle and get him the most appropriate education. IDEA!!! Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act. The concept is that all children are entitled to a free and APPROPRIATE education; especially, the exceptional children like my son. He is entitled to an APPROPRIATE education to suit his needs. Well, is it APPROPRIATE to pass him through to the next grade level even though he is being taught at below grade level? I do not think so! So, I will go to this meeting with my eyes wide open! I will go to this meeting equipped with what I know and get him the APPROPRIATE education NOT a mediocre education. My son is not mediocre. He is a caring, kind, compassionate, loving, and smart boy who needs more assistance in the classroom. This year, he needs to be held back. I wanted it last year for him but I did not speak up. Well, this year is the pivotal year and it is my intention to get him what he needs NOT what they think he needs. Thank you for reading! Eunice Crankyponts There were no animals harmed in the making of this blog nor was there any intent in harming the reader; yet, if you were harmed then you should have stopped reading!
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