Fall Mini Update, A Birthday Block and A Rant

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

My Fall Mini Quilt Swap quilt is finished! It's very autumnly (is that a word. . .). I hope the recipient will enjoy it. The fabrics are from an older Moda line~boasting pumpkins, clever little ears of corn and a snappish plaid which ties it all together. I love plaids. . . almost as much as polka dots~my friend Terri can attest to that. The project was a bit more challenging for me this time around. . .my swap partner hasn't a blog, nor a flickr and stated no preference. I wasn't even able to lurk (LOL)! Given these circumstances, I went with the traditional block in a seasonal colorway. It's off to Ohio today. . .good-bye little pointy stars!
In December I joined a birthday block swap. This is Amanda's block. She requested a wonky log cabin to finish at 13" all done up in blue and green. This one's heading to New York.
I usually don't go on and on about my son's autism. When I began my blog, I designed it to be about the creative endeavors in my life. Usually, I post something regarding autism during April which is Autism Awareness Month. Today is an exception, so if you'll indulge my rant, I'll be most gracious.
Today, is Colby's annual IEP. For those of you without children or those with mainstream kids, IEP is an acronym for Individual Education Plan. In attendance there will be Colby's principal, his mainstream teacher, his Special Day teacher, a school psychologist, his speech therapist and adaptive PE specialist, my oldest daughter, Hayley (thank, God) and myself. How's that for parent/teacher conference. I hate these. I don't sleep for a week prior. Until last year, it seems this annual meeting was more like an annual bashing. I've since learned to navigate through them with a positive demeanor. To better understand, please note, we moved Colby from his neighborhood school (best academic program in the District, I might add) to attend his current school which offers a Special Day class. This, separating him from his twin sister.
We had such a positive year last year. I wish the same could be said of the current one. His mainstream teacher has indicated he's "burnt out" with special day kids. . .oh, I'm sorry. I hadn't so much as received a returned homework assignment until Monday of this week, after I "went off".

His special day teacher has changed his routine (routine is ESSENTIAL to children with autism) 5x since the school year has begun. And now is wondering "what's wrong with Colby?" Hmmmm. . .let's think on that shall we. She finds the need to have him stand in the hallway as punishment, whereas it's clearly stated in his IEP he is to "take a lap" when he's feeling he can't cope. Colby has a 1:1 aide who is wonderful, and is now being shuffled off to make copies and run errands. What! AND, the 2 teachers don't collaborate on homework, daily activities or modifications and choose not to include his aide in decisions which she should have input. Hello! Might I add, Colby is high functioning, verbal and relatively mild mannered; he does have his moments, however. He's completing math and science at the 7th grade level and is grade level in all other subjects. He does 2x as much homework as the other kids, because I push him to be his very best.

In addition, Bethany has pulled out most of her eyelashes and has lost hair on the crown of her head the diameter of a soup can. Why, stress~caused from separation anxiety. I'm done. . .done with special day, done with teacher's who are mean, and done subjecting the twins to unnecessary turmoil. Today, we will respectfully request a return transfer to Colby's neighborhood school. Breathe.

What should you as a parent or prospective parent take from this. Research, research, research before you vaccinate your children. Mercury is still used in vaccines and the pharmaceutical companies admit to it. Across the board, statistics are now 1 in 150 and as high as 1 in 50 for boys. EDUCATE yourself. Children are not born with autism, they acquire it.

Parents, attend your child's parent/teacher conferences~take sick leave, vacation time~ whatever it takes. . .DO IT! Be involved, drive field trips, volunteer in the classroom, be an advocate. . .and be thankful you have a mainstream child. With those of you who join me as parents/family of children with special needs. . .here's a hug. . .you deserve it.

4 comments:

  1. Sweet pea, breathe! lol As the aunt of an autistic nephew and mom of a child who had an IEP plan in school...I feel your pain!
    We chose to pull C from his private school because they couldn't/wouldn't accomodate his IEP...for one reason. I'm homeschooling him at 8th grade and loving it. I'm not sure if you work outside the home, but this is a blessing to our family.
    You...are a blessing in and of yourself. I applaud you and take my very sassy pink hat off to you!

    I'm also sending you a virtrual dozen roses (your choice color), a baker's dozen cookies (also of your choice) and a virtual week of quilting eye candy to be found on flickr!

    Hang in there sister!

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  2. That sounds so frustrating! especially when the teachers lose interest in their job and stop doing what they're supposed to. I don't blame you all for being stressed. But on the bright side, at least Colby is doing so well! He will definitely persevere with you pushing him and the teachers, and with the love and faith of his sister. Hugs to you guys!

    Cute blocks, by the way! Sounds like a challenge to put together that Fall mini for your swap, but you did great!

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  3. Your children are precious, and I'm so thankful they have a wonderful mother like you~~~

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  4. I have 14 and 13 year old boys who have recently been discovered to be "twice exceptional" - gifted and learning disabled. They've been on IEP's forever it seems. Parenting children like mine takes an enormous amount of energy and grace. I recently heard it's like having a part time job - so true. Keep doing your good work. Advocating in a system that we aren't always fully informed in is difficult but so important. Hugs back to you.

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