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The meeting February 15, 2007

Filed under: Autism,Family,Mom knits — katy @ 9:45 am

Sigh.  Not as well as we hoped.  The district is refusing to pay for Fast Forword as it is "scientifically unproven".  The research, they claim, has all been done by the company themselves.  Needless to say I got on the phone yesterday with the company and am collecting information from outside sources supporting the software.  I also found (on their website) information on grant funding for Fast Forword.  Perhaps I can push a little harder.  The resource room teacher thinks Cameron belongs in a self-contained setting and feels we have failed him by not putting him in sooner.  I really don’t think I agree.  While I am torn that this may not be the appropriate setting, the classroom we saw in the Fall was definately not.  I truly believe children with learning disabilities should be educated alongside their typically developing peers.  I am afraid that putting Cameron in a class of all learning disabled kids will do so much emotional damage that we will lose him in another direction. 

Now, Owen is in a self-contained setting–so it seems contradictory on my part.  However, I truly believe Owen could benefit from more integration with his typical peers too.  While Owen is not very communicative verbally–he is very social and playful and has a pretty good sense of humor.  These are strengths that should be fostered. 

Argh, sometimes I wish I had unlimited money to do what I want with my kids education.

I was going to add a knitting picture but…it’s not mine although a project is brewing.  Gloria, Colinette throw, Dale sweater…Instead, since this is a knitting blog.  Mittens by mom.

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13 Responses to “The meeting”

  1. margene Says:

    You know your boy better than anyone and you’re such a good advocate for him. May you have success with the district and getting them to see the light.
    Your Mom’s mittens are fabulous. I aspire to be her.

  2. Chris H Says:

    Oh, I can so appreciate your frustration. Having one child with Asperger’s syndrome as well as a mood disorder and ADHD, and other that we are in the process of getting properly diagnosed, we are frustrated on a fairly regular basis from so many angles. Thankfully, my younger child (Asperger’s, etc.) is currently well placed in a substantially separate classroom, yet he is “attached” to a regular classroom and is integrated as much and as often as his individual situation allows. And that can change daily….or hourly, sometimes. I feel blessed that we have found such a great placement for him, and that all of the educators working with him are really tuned in to him and are so great at the “individual” part of his IEP. It’s been a struggle to get here, but it’s been worth the effort.

    Since you know someone using Fast Forword two towns over, is there any chance of the two districts coordinating and sharing costs? (I’m not familiar with that particular program, so I don’t know if that’s really practical, but…) Have you considered hiring a professional special eduation advocate who may have access to other resources?

  3. Carole Says:

    I don’t think it’s contradictory at all to have difference approaches for Cameron and Owen. They are two different people and obviously have different needs. I’m sorry you’re feeling frustrated and hope things will improve soon.

  4. Sara Says:

    Oh my- I am DROOLING over those mittens!

    How frustrating re the team meeting. Do you have a parent advocate on the team, or available to talk to? I am not surprised that the resource room teacher thinks Cameron should be in a self-contained setting. Last year, Toby was in a regular integrated kindy classroom in the morning, and a self-contained special ed kindy room in the afternoon – with a sped teacher and a speech teacher co-teaching (Toby’s main issues in that classroom were social interaction stuff – he can talk just fine, but he was delayed socially). He HATED that classroom – most of the other kids were quite delayed with productive language, or they had behavioral issues – loud unpredictable behavior (which scared the crap out of Tobes). The speech/language person thought he totally should be in a self-contained setting this year – as he was very withdrawn in her classroom. By contrast, he was quite social in the morning typical classroom – where he had motor delays, but there were a lot of other kids who talked and thought at the same level as he. It’s all about perspective – and you have a bigger wider perspective on him than any one (specialized) teacher.

    I’m happy to help brainstorm getting Fast Forward on his IEP – send me an email if you think it would help (saraterry atG mail dot Kom 😉

  5. Kris Says:

    The fact that you have one kid in a self contained classroom and the other mainstreamed tells me that you are a well informed, well educated parent. You’ve seen parents who only want things one way regardless of their child’s needs. You do a great job of looking at your kids as individuals and finding the placement that works great for them.

    Sounds like the resource room teacher might be a bit of a bully.

    Need help collecting info????? Let me know.

  6. Kris Says:

    Hey there… me again. I went to Google Scholar and typed in Fast ForWord. Here’s the search results. There’s a bunch of ’em!


  7. Vicki Says:

    I like it, too, that you see your kids for who they are as individuals and are aware of what works best for each of them — and are willing to fight. I know it can be such a drag, always fighting for stuff like this — stuff that should really be a no-brainer. Fortitude, darlin’. I wish you fortitude.

    Your mom’s mitts are getting soaked from all the drool ’round here today. ; )

  8. Nancy Says:

    I second the opinion that Owen and Cam are two different individuals and need different settings to be successful learners. I’m concerned about Ian being in a room with learning disabled kids too for the exact reasons you say but the integrated class has served him so poorly that I have to give it a go. I do think it’s more appropriate at his age and as kids get older it becomes less and less so. I think if they need the smaller self contained setting to get all the foundations they need in school then when they get older they can use all that they’ve learned to do well in a gen ed setting.

  9. Baubo Says:

    Katy, I’m behind you 100%. It’s bad enough that we beat ourselves up over our children and their challenges–we shouldn’t have to hear it from others as well.

    I know that William’s gains were largely due to his “neurotypical” peers’ modeling. The district tried to push us into a BD kindergarten–exactly the wrong sort of classroom for a child like Wm.

    Hang in there, friend.


  10. Mary Beth Says:

    It’s an ongoing struggle…take care of yourself, Katy, you’re doing a great job taking care of your kids!

  11. sandy Says:

    I’m envying all over your mom’s mittens. Can you tell me which mitten pattern the black and white ones with the people are?
    Now, I know nothing from nothing when it comes to the struggles you are having with your kid’s education, but. I have a friend that taught at the learning prep school for years and years. I have no idea even if it is appropriate for your situation. But I leave you the link anyway because my friend told me so much about the place and it’s wonders. She really wanted my nephew to go there but my his parents are in serious denial about his current schooling and how they are not helping him at all by giving him an “aide”. Which in his case translates to “someone who makes sure he does not run away”.
    All the energy you are putting into your kids is worth it tenfold, Kathleen. YOU are their best advocate!

  12. Orli Says:

    I couldn’t agree more with you if I tried on all you said. Gil isn’t of school age yet, but I have begun wondering if I have any other options aside from the treditional educational system which is going from bad to worse. Of course, money and location can be an issue.

  13. patty bolgiano Says:

    There is an article on children whose siblings has autism. I just read the first page and have no idea whether the article is a good one or not. It is in the NY Times Sunday magazine. I hope it is helpful. I think of you often when announcements are made on the news about autism.


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