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Ike and School

So overall Ike has been doing well in school. Its taken him some time to adjust, he has his good days and his bad. I've been pleased with the progress I've been seeing.

Its been frustrating on some fronts because Ike and his teacher have been hamstrung from the beginning. The Special Ed Preschool Program never forwarded his file. They knew he attended the program for his speech delay. What they didn't know until recently was that he has the Sensory Perception problems, the social problems (though they figured that one out), and some emotional (quick to anger, aggressive, and about 20% behind his peers on an emotional scale) But the teacher has been REALLY proactive, recently consulting with the kindergarden special-ed teacher and got him some things to help him self-soothe and control him self. (air cushion, silent figets, etc.) I thought everything was going well.

Then I got a phone call from the school counselor on Friday.

It seems that Ike's teacher hit the random numbers jackpot. She got three high-maintenance kids like Ike. Ike they should have known about (his needs were documented...but documents were never shared correctly)...the other two...just landed in her room by random chance. The school counselor called to talk about Ike, and to specifically ask our permission to move Ike out of his teacher's room to another (standard) kindergarden classroom. The new teacher is in the next room and is a former special-ed kindergarden teacher. So she is very equipped to help Ike grow. Ike's current teacher declined to choose who should move. The school counselor chose to move Ike after observation because unlike the other two, Ike doesn't seem have independent temper tantrums. He's set off by the other two (did I mention that these three boys are best friends?).  The counselor feels that by moving Ike to a room without any other high maintenance students, Ike will do MUCH better. And, I agree.

I do have however, several reservations.

Ike does transitions, well, poorly. Its taken him the first two months of school to finally settle into the routine. I am reluctant to change that routine. For example, if I got a call from the charter school that space opened up, I'd refuse the space just because I don't want to upset his routine...mid-year changes are rough for any kid, and I think it would affect Ike even worse than what would be considered usual.

Ike's been having self-image problems. He is semi-convinced he's not lovable because he's a "bad boy". That comment back in September about how he needs to go to the Doctor 'cause his bones are naughty was funny then...its not so funny now after getting him to admit what was bugging him. Last month he admitted that he didn't think that Joe nor I loved him because he is so naughty. I've been working hard on changing that opinion, but I admit, I could do MUCH better. I lose my temper with him way to easily and I get very frustrated with him. I think I'm doing better, but as with most things, there's room (a LOT!) for improvement.

He LOVES his teacher. And she is just fabulous with him. I'm afraid the move will make him think his teacher doesn't love him anymore and wants to get rid of him. I sent her an email this afternoon letting her know about my reservations and this whole negative self image as an unlovable bad boy. I'm  hoping we can come up with a solution that makes this transition as painless as possible for Ike.

So the question remains...why don't they move one of the other boys. Well, they really can't move two kids. One of them switched schools about 3 weeks into the school year already, they don't want to move him again. And if they move the other and leave Ike and the first kid, Ike will still get set off by kid #1. Thus not really improving Ike's situation. The teacher is still left with 2 high maintanence kids, no matter which kid is moved.

So I'm kinda torn on the whole thing. I'm mad at the Pre-school because the paper work didn't get transfered properly so that when the current school was making classroom assignments before school started, they didn't have Ike's whole picture of needs. I'm mad at our current school because they have a rigid parental hands-off policy concerning classroom assignments. I tried getting in there to talk to someone about Ike's needs and they brushed me off. If they had taken the time to  listen to me, Ike might have been put in the correct classroom, with a teacher who understands special needs, the first time. I'm upset for Ike, because I'm afraid this will be excessively traumatic for him.

The next few weeks will be very interesting. In the Chinese sense of the word.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
sapphyres
Nov. 10th, 2008 10:56 am (UTC)
"Ike's been having self-image problems. He is semi-convinced he's not lovable because he's a "bad boy.'"

Oh poor sweet child. :( Tell him I love him, strange people on the internet love him. I'll send a picture with a sign if it'll help!
aelfie
Nov. 11th, 2008 06:28 am (UTC)
Awww! *sniff*sniff*

He's getting it, its just taking time.

mollygm
Nov. 10th, 2008 05:50 pm (UTC)
"a rigid parental hands-off policy concerning classroom assignments."

What does that mean? Don't schools usually want the parents to be involved in the schoolwork?
aelfie
Nov. 10th, 2008 06:39 pm (UTC)
That means that the parents have NO input as to which classroom/teacher their kid is assigned to. Which is the reason why they blew me off when I went in to talk to them. In fact, they don't even post classroom assignments until after 5PM the friday before school starts. Its asine, but I can kinda understand why they do it.
(Anonymous)
Nov. 10th, 2008 06:30 pm (UTC)
My $0.02 (and worth every penny)
Hey Jen,

Here's what I would try to do. Move Ike, but get the school to agree to do it in a gradual way. If they are at all reasonable (not a sure thing...) then they'll realize they owe you that much.

They should be smart enough to help you with the transition, but if not, I'd try some progression like this:

Introduce Ike to the teacher and her room after school everyday for a week.
Introduce Ike to the new kids at recess (ideally, they are at recess together already?)
Introduce Ike into the new classroom for a little time, eventually progressing up to the entire day.

I think you get the idea. The key is to keep is small and digestible for him. Follow his lead. It will take a lot of effort and patience on your part (and for the teachers involved). I understand about difficult transitions, as our kids don't do them well either.

If you can't get an agreement to help with a gentle transition, then I'm not sure what I'd do in your place. It sounds like the move would be best for Ike in the long run, and I suspect that the trauma of the transition wouldn't be as big as you fear, but he's your kid, and you need to do what you think is right for him. I know it would be a difficult choice for us.

Anyway, good luck with all of this. Sorry you're having to deal, but for those of us watching from the outside, it looks like you're doing a pretty good job.

-C
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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