Archive for the ‘school district’ Tag

The meeting

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

I am still working on the school transfer and turned the correct forum in this time. I also had a meeting at the school this morning about my son’s IEP for next year. They obviously think he has autism because they had the autism specialist there and she already knew my son and has seen him at his preschool and observed him there. I didn’t even argue about the label because then they would have thought I am in denial. I know my son has some challenges but I know he is not autistic. I have set up the upcoming testing appointment at Kaiser for him on the 6th of next month and then I will go from there after getting the results and if he gets any new diagnoses. Instead I told them how normal my son is at home and he gets along with his sister and fights with her but he does normal kid stuff. The sibling fighting, not always wanting to play with her and getting mad at her. I also told them how he doesn’t have problems at home that he does at school so reading the report was like I was reading about another child. The speech therapist there told me lot of parents don’t see disabilities in their children. I couldn’t argue or disagree about the stuff in school because I was never there to see it so I can only go by what they have said. Instead I only focused on his needs and what his issues are and what needs to be worked on. But I think it all went well.

But one thing I didn’t agree with was when the autism specialist thought we needed outside support for at home the district provides but I told her we didn’t need that right now because I have my husband and my parents and she said I could use it for back up like if we ever need a break from our kid. He isn’t challenged. She also said for when we go out in public too and I said he does fine in public. Yes my son may have problems with waiting in line and problems with tantrums and whining and getting his way and the hyperactivity and the boredom but he acts better when my husband is with because my son seems to be more behaved and in more control but with me alone, I can’t handle it so I just leave him at home with my husband or parents when I go out alone. So we don’t need outside help from the school district. If I were single then maybe but it would be for my own anxiety sake because I can’t handle him alone when he does the whining and not taking no for an answer and getting rambunctious and then I start to get real anxious and tense and it makes it harder for me to focus and it also affects how I function. And if I need a break from my son, he is big enough to be off by himself out in the backyard or in his room or be in a room by himself or I can just plop him in front of Youtube that will keep him entertained for hours. That is the only time he can actually sit still and be quiet and not be so loud and noisy and hyper and there isn’t any whining and tantrums.

Our meeting about my son

Friday, April 8th, 2016

My mom and I finally did our appointment with the school district about our child. The lady told us she was breaking the law here by showing us the test and how they scored and she said this was only from a limited time she gets to see him and she admitted she doesn’t know how he is in other areas except for when she sees him in school. My mom gave her some new information I had failed to share because I was not even aware of it. My mom said the pediatrician told us he thinks he may be experiencing anxiety. My mom thinks our son has social anxiety because he does fine at home but when he gets in a large group he shuts down and withdraws like his dad does. My mom also said my son is overly aware of peoples feelings and would get upset if someone wasn’t happy so he would try and give you a toy until you are happy and he just shuts down when he is around a bunch of kids because of so many feelings. I said his dad is the same way about feelings. I know this is also common in people on the autism spectrum, feel feelings and shut down because they feel them too much. The lady went over the results and said she thinks he may be borderline on the spectrum because he does things that makes her think he isn’t on it and then he does other things that makes her think he is. She told us about his behavior he does and my mom said he she has never seen him smell things at home and I said I had never seen it either but I have seen him bite the edge of his fingers while watching his 3DS and my mom said she has never seen him rock or bang his head or do things with his fingers or even pace and the lady said she never saw him do that either but he bites his nails and shirt and my mom called that a nervous habit. The lady also thinks he may have acute hearing because he gets distracted by sound and he heard a fire truck and got distracted by it and she also thinks he may have good sense of smell and my mom noted the same thing. My mom thinks the anxiety manifests the ASD symptoms so we are going to try and get him reevaluated.

So he could have symptoms and barely even have it. But we don’t know. Then the lady thought he might need a 504 Plan but my mom said absolutely not because he could change and his learning too and how he processes things and kids evolve as they grow. I never had a 504 Plan but I had an IEP Plan. I found out so did my Bipolar/ADD cousin.

But it was very interesting how they rate ASD. Mild ASD is some symptoms and moderate ASD is amount of symptoms they show and severe ASD is a lot of amount of symptoms they show and she said that people with severe ASD are non verbal and totally not there and don’t seem to be aware of what is going on around them. Online I had seen the opposite. I read someone’s post on Wrongplanet  to have an ASD you needed to have a lot of symptoms but it doesn’t seem to be that way here. It seems to be you need to have enough significant impairment and score on the scale to have it. 30 is a cut off for CARS-2 and my son got a 32 which was barely on the scale. My mom thinks his anxiety may have made that high score so he we are going to get him reevaluated. The lady also made notes on what my mom said including “social anxiety” and wrote down his high awareness of feelings and she said she will share it with the school district and my mom also suggested my son could use the FM unit so he could focus and tune out the background noise. My mom also suggested my son may need breaks to go outside and run around so he could focus in class and I said that could go in his IEP.

Saturday, March 12th, 2016

My mom told me today she had an appointment booked for Thursday at 8:30 am in the morning and I want to come with because this is my child. My mom wants to see how they did the scoring and what their testing system they used. I am thinking there was a misunderstanding when I did the test like I took the questions too literal but my husband added “or they read the answers wrong” and my mom thinks they are looking too into it and not looking at other possibilities like him not playing with other kids in his class. “Did they ask him to play with them? Maybe they don’t want to play with him? Where is the teacher, where is play buddies?” This is what my mom said to me about it. Him taking off his clothes, he isn’t taking them off because he doesn’t like the textures of his clothes, he is taking them off because he is hot and likes to be in his underwear and he isn’t naked, he is in his underwear. I told my mom my son has never told me he couldn’t hear the TV when I was vacuuming, he would say “It’s too loud, turn it off” and I would tell him “Then leave and you can come back when I am done” and my mom asked me “And what is he doing when he tells you that?” and I said “Watching TV” and she said “see, that’s why” and I said he never told me he couldn’t hear it or said why and she said I didn’t put it into context, I only heard the words. She also told me my son does not make weird noises, he is playing and I said he goes “wuhhhh” and he shrieks and my mom said “that is what kids do” and I said he told me he likes to be loud so I tell him “Then go outside and do it or go do it in your room” and she told me I needed to be positive about it like say “Okay Michael you are too loud and hurting my ears, I need you to go do it on your room and you can come out when you are done.” My mom isn’t upset with me, she knows I did my best with answering the questions honestly and I told her I could have unintentionally exaggerated but I didn’t mean to and she understood I was going by how I felt and my perspective and they didn’t take her word on what she wrote, they only took my words more and I said probably because I am the mother and she is the grandmother and she said “right.”

I sometimes feel like I am a bad parent and I can’t handle my own child and here is what I did to him but my mom knows I do my best and she isn’t being critical of me. She told me earlier how it’s my husband’s and my fault for our son acting up and then we are yelling at him when he is being wild and crazy and making funny sounds and she was telling me that is a parenting issue there, not his problem and then we make it his problem by kicking him out of the room. She says we get so into our computers, we tune our kids out so they have to act up to get our attention and then we are yelling at them.

When my son gets all hyper and starts talking in a high pitched voice, it raises my anxiety level and then I am irritable and overwhelmed and cranky and my ears then hurt and feel sore. At one of my son’s appointments with the school district I told them how my son will make weird noises and shriek and run around and he doesn’t stop when I tell him to. My mom told me they didn’t look at why he was doing it and kids always have a reason for bad behaviors and they just don’t do them for no reason because they want to. I also told them he will have tantrums when he doesn’t get his way so I ignore them and he will sometimes throw himself on the floor and some stuff they had about him on the paper was out of date. My mom said it was implied in the paper he had problems with understanding emotions. Another example of me being literal because I didn’t see it written in there but she said it was implied. I don’t know how they got that idea but perhaps in school so obviously he acts differently there. I told my mom I have seen him chew on his coat string at school or on his sleeve and she said that is just a nervous habit and there are too many kids so he probably can’t handle that big of class. I saw hi m bite his nails at home today and my mom asked him why he was doing that and he said he had skin he wanted to get rid of. my mom said she used to bite her nails so what. I said to my mother I don’t see how biting nails can hold someone back and she said she knows and she thinks they were just looking for proof so they were picking out behaviors he does  and calling it ASD.

My mother apparently has a different perspective on my son and I totally see him in a  different light than she does. She was saying he doesn’t do this or that and I was saying he does too and saying he does them often and my mom says he doesn’t. Lately I noticed he has kept his clothes on and she said he had been doing that for a while. She says he doesn’t make weird noises and I used some examples of what he does and she said that was called playing and she said he doesn’t run around the house and I said he does it all the time.

Now I feel I am crazy because did I imagine all of this in my son? Did I unintentionally pathologized my child by talking about him and the things he does I don’t like? They got a different a different picture in their heads than I had in mine when I told them and plus they observed him in school. They did notice the inconsistencies in the questionnaire thing because he acts different at home than he does in school and my guess was because school is more stressful and home is more relaxing because there isn’t so many demands and directions to follow and not so many transactions between activities. I also acted better at home when I was a child too because it was more relaxed at home, I was treated as normal than different, I was accepted, I even had less anxiety at home, I only had seizures in school in 6th grade. I notice from my childhood how most of my problems were in school than at home. That is because of academic stuff. The environment was just different.

I can’t even stop thinking about this and I have until Thursday when we go in. Perhaps I should have left Asperger’s off the questionnaire thing when my son was three when Kaiser sent us a forum to fill out about child development and they asked us about family medical history. Maybe none of this wouldn’t have happened but I am always honest and I even answered the questions honestly with the school district I thought. But at least this isn’t Kaiser that’s doing it, it’s the school district. But yes they even got a report from them saying there was no autism in him, just developmental delay and some motor delay. Even the pediatrician said the same. I think they just went with the ASD category for the IEP because they thought it’s the only way to help him so my mom wants to show them there are other ways to help him and better labels to use because teachers will look at it and see the category he is in and see him as autistic and lower their standards for him and not expect much from him. Sadly this happens with other kids too with other labels. My mom had a student who had the MR label and no one would teach him to read because they thought he was incapable. My mom could tell he was bright and thought no way in hell was this student retarded. But then of course his mother cried when she saw he wrote a story looking at the pictures and telling a story about it because she didn’t know he was illiterate, she always went with what she had been told. He had learned the sounds of the alphabet so he did his best spelling out the words and it was at the first grade level when he wrote it. My mom taught him the sounds and she wanted to prove to everyone that these kids can learn so she got pictures and took copies of them and have her students tell a story from them using a few words and this one kid with Down’s syndrome did it and his dad cried when he saw it. People at school were shocked at what these students did and took credit for it unfortunately and my mom didn’t say anything because she was only the teacher aide. But then the school wanted her back the next year because they liked what she could do with these students because she knew how to make them learn and she said she couldn’t come back because she was moving to Montana. They were all disappointed but I hope my mom told them what she did so they could try her ways.

But I am surprised she didn’t correct my own answers on the autism questionnaire test when she filled it out too. We both did it together. She also write he strips down to his underwear and they probably took that as a tactile issue. But I still wonder if all this happened because of my own diagnoses so they thought my son has it too so they saw things in him that weren’t even there. I was told he seems to get overstimulated from lot of kids in the class and the noise and that sounds exactly like me when I was a kid but I wonder if that is also a misconception they have about him. I did believe everything they told me about him and my mom told me why each one of them was bullshit. Apparently the behavior is my husband’s and I fault and mom told me she knows we both do our best.

Now I wonder if other ASD parents unintentionally get their kids mislabeled or misplaced in the IEP category when they need help? I asked my mother if we should have left Asperger’s off the questionnaire when we filled it out for Kaiser and my mom just shrugged. I don’t think she knew either if that caused all of this. But I am glad she is around or otherwise I could be screwing my kid up through education. But I am sure there are NT parents out there who screw their kids up too this way because they also trust the school system and they don’t know they should get professional opinions or call their kid’s pediatrician. Look at what happened to Parker, my mom’s student who was illiterate or what happened to my husband who had learning disabilities and brain damage. And the school district lady thought this IEP category wouldn’t affect him and my mom said “oh yes it will” and she explained that teachers will look at it and get the wrong assumptions and lower their expectations of him and not expect much from him and they will turn it into a label because she has went through it with me. I didn’t ask her if it was about the autism label or not because of my early history. She told me I did have pervasive language delay as my label for the IEP and I still got the help I needed. It’s not a IEP category and then in 6th grade and up we used Asperger’s and it went fine. She said it can be narrowed so a better label fits for my son and he can still get the right help but she doesn’t think Asperger’s would fit him for it or autism for his learning and the way he processes information. The school district people felt they needed to use ASD for it and as my mom had taught me, it’s just a label and you use them to get your kid help. But she doesn’t agree this is the way to do it. I told her this is how they do it sadly because I have read about it online.

 

School District pathologizing my child

Thursday, March 10th, 2016

My son has some issues like with social and communication and he may have some quirks like going around in his underwear at home, being a picky eater (are most kids?) and he will do something for long periods of the time but in the school district, he got a 32 on the CARS-2. I was shocked, I thought it would be negative because he isn’t autistic and doesn’t even seem to be close to being on the spectrum. Sure we all do things that are on it but it’s all about degree. Biting nails isn’t always an autistic stim or running around (that is also an ADHD thing) or chewing on sleeves or on the top of your shirt or chewing on ties on your coats and a kid doing the same thing all the time isn’t always an indication of autism nor is having strong interests. But anyway I read the results and they said he was eligible for Autism Spectrum Disorder for the IEP and it wasn’t a diagnoses they said, it’s only to get help in school and in another three years they will reevaluate him again and he might not qualify and he will do fine on it own after the help he got. They only sent me a copy of the draft and said they will mail me a real copy. My husband read it and he said “According to this, I am autistic” because he felt he was reading about himself except for the over affection part and the hyperactivity. My mom read it this morning and thought it was a bunch of bull. These were not specialists, they were just speech language therapists and they were putting a label on him. I told her it wasn’t a diagnoses but she told me it will become a label and follow him through school and it was hurt him and affect his career choices and told me I needed to call my son’s pediatrician and make an appointment to discuss the school district results. My son’s doctor saw no evidence of autism.

I honestly thought they were going to find other things and see what other services he qualify for but instead they focused on ASD and looked for “proof” so I feel they might have pathologized his behavior. They saw *Michael things he did and said it was autism. But this does prove my opinion of how quick people are to diagnose autism and see it and no wonder autism has gone up, is it because quirky kids are being diagnosed with it and kids are being pathologized? He did fit every area for autism too and I wonder if they exaggerated it all so he could fit the legibility for ASD so he can get help in school? None of it were lies what they wrote about him in the report, it was all true but what I mean by exaggerating is saying it’s all autism there instead of just normal things that are not holding him back. Like I say, it’s degree. I had a therapist in training I saw who liked to tap her fingers together when nervous, she was not on the spectrum. I wonder if the school district would have counted that as an autistic stim if she needed services in school as a kid?

But why couldn’t they look for other things in him like ADHD, or any behavior disorder, communication disorder, sensory processing disorder, etc. Even the doctors at Kaiser who tested him when he was three didn’t think he was autistic but they said he had some delays. They didn’t label him. But because he is now going into kindergarten, the school district had decided to start looking for ways to make him be eligible to get help in school because developmental delay isn’t considered a disability and they are not eligible for special education services in the state of Oregon but for preschool, yes.  So my mom told me to call my doctor and have him get tested by them for other things because this ASD thing will hurt him and it will turn into a label. I do want my son to get help in school but my mom says this is not the right way to do it so we have to dig in our heals and now it’s time to get my son tested for other conditions I guess to fight against this label.Could my son have AS traits, possibly. But he could also have ADHD and I don’t know what at his age is normal but they are saying it’s something that is found in autism and that autistic kids do. But even when my youngest brother was little, he wanted things done a certain way and would always cry “start over” and my grandma would have out all different kinds of bowls and plates and forks and knives, cups, etc so she wouldn’t have to put it all away again and take it back out because of my brother’s quirk. Then he grew out of it. I wonder if the school district would have said it was autism. They even said his needing to run around and be hyper was a self stimulant thing? Is it? I even wonder about myself how much of things I do is autism or what is just me being me. After all it’s all about degree and I am sure people out there read about it and think they have it and score high on the tests because they are pathologizing their own behavior which is why I am not fond of self diagnoses and doctors who quickly diagnose this. But hey if they are indeed having problems that are giving them roadblocks and they hold them back, they should then go try and get help and it doesn’t always mean it’s autism they have but yet they seem to feel satisfied with that label. But not everyone can afford help so they don’t get tested for it.

I think this is all about getting him services in school and they are just playing by the system to get my son help because of the laws we have so they had to make him qualify and they even told me they would make sure he qualifies but I didn’t know they were going to be focusing on ASD, I thought there would be other services he would meet. When I was in school, my IEP category I had was “other health impaired.’ When I was younger it was “multiple handicapped.” I don’t know if I was ever under autism but I was once in 7th grade and I think my mom got that fixed because she didn’t want that label on me and have it hurt me. My school did try to limit me in high school because of my diagnoses and I had to fight it. I didn’t like being told I couldn’t do this or that because of X Y and Z. They tried to get me from taking Driver’s Ed, they tried to talk me out of taking Drama, they said working at a McDonalds would be too overstimulating for me because it’s will be noisy, crowded, you would have to work in fast pace. I don’t like limitations. Why must people use labels to hold a kid back instead of letting them try and see what they can do and handle? This is what my mother wants to avoid for my child. Maybe someone from the school district should have come to our house for a couple months and watch how my son interacts and plays and how he spends his days and what happens at night so they get the right picture in their heads but maybe they would have still found autism because they could think he was on his Nintendo 3DS for too long or he is too fixated on Legos and him having tantrums when he doesn’t get his way is him being inflexible and it would “prove” it’s a characteristic of autism. He is also impulsive and when he gets bored, he has behavior problems and gets into trouble because he gets real hyper and then crabby and whiny and has tantrums and does his fake cries. He also cannot wait in long lines. My mom thinks it’s ADHD but I haven’t labeled him with anything because he doesn’t have a diagnoses. So my mom thinks he should be tested through professionals for everything and get the right label and use that in school.

And also according to these people who work for the school district, if you show too much of the behaviors that are found in autism even if they are just normal stims or normal interests, etc, it’s autism. Most people would have one or two things from it they said. So apparently it doesn’t matter how strong or normal your traits are, they will just say it’s autism. My school counselor had that same mind concept too about it so everything I did was Asperger’s to him and I would point out my brothers do it too and he would say they may have some of it too but they don’t have enough to have Asperger’s. He even said the same about my parents. My mom fired him and told him to stay away from me. She acted like he was some predator. I don’t think she liked how he was pathologizing me so she called him an idiot because she was so mad at him. But my mom was upset with the report about my son. She wasn’t mad. She thought it was a bunch of bull.

But the results I got were he is very close to normal, he doesn’t need to be in a self contained room, he can be with normal kids in regular classes and in a few years he might not need help anymore. He has made a lot of progress in the last two years since he started preschool. They said his traits were inconsistent. He has social issues but yet in other social areas he is normal in them but in other areas he struggles. He can do eye contact and then he doesn’t. We know more about autism now so it’s not all black and white as it used to be 30 years ago. He is social and then he wants to play alone. He is flexible but isn’t in some areas. That is what they mean by inconsistent. I guess that is what it means by it coming and going. It depends on the situation. Even mine come and go but I go extreme when it happens. Like I say, it’s degree. If my moments didn’t cause me any issues or didn’t hold me back or cause me roadblocks, then they wouldn’t have been symptoms and it would have just been normal human traits, not autism.