The Crew - Miss Fabulous, Lil Bro, Big Sis and Mr. Man

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Reveal and Making A Connection


Continued from previous post...

Grandma was planning to stay for a few days with us, she went home Wednesday. Miraculously little Miss had no outburst while our visitor was here. Monday morning Miss was not looking to go to school after the week long break and so she had started her “I don’t want to go to school” mini-fit, and then Grandma became visible and – bing out came our fake-o smiley face. This is when we wonder how we can arrange for Grandma to just move in, Paw Paw says no. Poo!

The kids all finish getting ready for school, the usual routine, and all goes well. On the ride home from school Miss reveals herself what we already knew but to hear her say it was jaw dropping. Miss says, “I was going to have a fit this morning and then I saw Grandma and I said to myself ‘M don’t have a fit, don’t have a fit’ and I didn’t have a fit.” :-0

That evening M said that H at school had pushed her out of the way and then gave her a mean look. So I said, “Did you hit her?” Remember we have a kid that lives a double life, one way at home and another way at school. M looked at me like that was an outrageous question and said, “No.” I explained that I was just wondering because she said the reason that she went into a rage Saturday was because Big Sis had allegedly given her a mean look. It was a Superman moment and the two worlds had collided briefly in her head, she recognized that she had behaved differently in the two different situations. It was a teachable moment and so I used it. I felt good about the fact that she actually did make a connection and had an ah-ha moment. Good stuff!

The reality of what happened Saturday was that she was angry that Mom left to go to the store. Because of those negative feelings she started kicking Big Sis’ chair and Big Sis asked her calmly and nicely to please stop that. Miss persisted and Big Sis became a 10-year-old and apparently gave her a buggy eyed, “Stop it M!” At the same moment the adult in charge made the WRONG choice and took a phone call instead of staying on top of the situation and de-escalating Miss M, voila – RAGE!

The whole thing is a learning curve. In hindsight I probably should have taken M with me instead of thinking that I could have 5 minutes BY MY SELF. Sigh, the way I figure it I have about 14 more years before I can have a legitimate BY MY SELF moment.

On a positive note Grandma fell in love with Daisy the Dog. At first Daisy did her job and questioned why this new comer was in her home and considered what she should do about it. However, when I explained that Grandma was alright and supposed to be there Daisy looked at me with a question mark over her head, sniffed Grandma, took a treat from her and accepted my explanation. 30 minutes later Daisy wanted to climb into her lap for a cuddle (she believes she is a Chihuahua) so we had to work out the details there but they were fast friends for sure.

My dryer broke, caput! I do 21 loads of laundry a week on a light week. I have clothes hung from one end of the house to the other and it is looking very Clampett-ish. I have given The Hubs the look and he is on the job. He gets paid Friday and I believe that we will have working appliances by this weekend.

Speaking of what is coming up, The Hubs and I have our meeting with Mrs. Teacher Friday. Here’s the deal there.

· EVERYTHING points to the fact that Miss is struggling with first grade work, everything ACCEPT the benchmark test which the TEACHER gives ONE ON ONE. I am no Columbo but the surcomstantial evidence says that the child is being coached on the benchmark test. The child herself confirms this (Teacher helps me), but she is not a reliable source so we can’t use her for the case.

· Since she is only in first grade and we have like 11 more years of this stuff, if the teacher wants to pass her on to second grade we are going to go with that, all the while maintaining our records of her tests and class work, which clearly show she is NOT mastering the first grade work.

· We are going to discuss with Mrs. Teacher what resources are going to be available to Miss as she goes into the second grade and we are going to meet with the second grade teacher (whoever that lucky winner is) before the start of the school year and then 1 month into the school year and if things are not going well we are going to go to the Principal and the head of the special ed department at that time with our concerns/evidence from last year.

This is our loose laid plan going in, subject to change. The Hubs and I do not mind fighting the good fight in regards to our child’s education and needs but timing is everything sometimes.

***  Thanks GB's Mom for the question, I forgot to say that Miss does have an IEP, which identifies her as speech/language impaired.  At 2 and half she had only 11 words in her native language and she clearly struggled to understand what was said to her even then.  When she was assessed at almost 3 she was tested in both English and Spanish and she was found to be equally impaired either way.

6 months into speech therapy she was clearly struggling with comprehension and cause and effect, the dots were not connecting.  I have been fighting since she was 3 for MORE resources for this child, but she will test well enough when it counts not to qualify for more help even though her classroom performance and work shows that she clearly needs more help.  Anyone that sees her doing school work sees that she is a child that struggles.

She is getting on going help with her reading and comprehension issues, what was referred to in the IEP meeting as "a lot of help under the table".  The IEP coordinator is bound and determined not to put specifics on the IEP and at this point M has 1 very general goal on her IEP so that they can "give her what help she needs as she needs it".  I know that it also means they don't want to be held to specifics because it makes their life easier, not because of what is best for M.



GB's Mom said...

Has M been officially classified as a student with special needs yet?

Essie the Accidental Mommy said...

Love when they make those connections re: behavior!

Anonymous said...

Good question from GB's mom. Does Miss M have an IEP? And even with an IEP, it is impossible to dictate learning. I wish I could wave a magic wand and have all kids master the outcomes. What if she doesn't meet the outcomes/benchmarks? At some point you have to decide to either promote (and recognize that Miss M is not mastering but is getting exposure) or retain in hopes of mastery. Never an easy decision. -t

Taz's Mama said...

if you don't like the testing that the school is doing and don't feel they are doing up to the standards that they should be, you can push for a private source to do the specific kind of testing she needs. If you are comfortable, you can hire your own outside source, have that person come to a PPT (which you are allowed to call at any time), and advocate for plans to be put in place based on the outside opinion. OR you can fight for the school to provide the outside tester to do an assessment. It takes time and some effort to get it, but it might be worth it to get the correct information about her learning difficulties and plans in place for next year. If she's going to be there a while, it's better to do it sooner than later. Look up your rights on

Tara - SanitySrchr said...

Go Miss M!! Can we put a little "grandma" figurine in the house since she can't move in?? Maybe that would work! :)

J. said...

yeah for behaviour connections made!
As for the school - benchmark tested are a standard, there is book that she read and a sheet that the teacher records errors and such on. Ask to see the recording sheet. I but that her reading ability and her comprehension ability do not match up, this is an issue for a lot of kids. You are right to ask for specfics ont he IEP, it gets her better services, general stuff means nothing and she could be getting more. I have to fight for Calvin all the time because he is highter than a lot kids with IEP's but not where he should be and it is so easy for him to fall through the cracks.

The LaBelle Family said...

OH, MY! 21 loads! I soo sympathize with you, but, on the other hand, I feel really good about my own laundry now. Thanx so much! LOL :))) Just kidding. Hope you got that new dryer!

The LaBelle Family said...

Oh, and one more thing...our counselor told me yesterday (he works with the school system here) that if you're not happy with the outcome of meetings to help you child you need to go to the Superintendent of the school and complain. He says that once they get complaints from the upper crust they start to DO something. Maybe you've been there, done that, but, since I don't know, I thought I'd share what he said to me. Hope it helps in some way. :)