A Perfect Storm

pexels-photo-26351

Yesterday, The Boy left his bag on the bus. Not his backpack, like he originally tried to tell Grammy when he arrived to their house. His “electronics bag” which he carries everyday and contains his iPad, his 3DS, his games, and all of his chargers. Cha-ching.

As soon as I arrived (after 5 o’clock), and determined what was really missing, I contacted The Boy’s teacher, who had contacted the vice principal who deals with transportation. He emailed back to say he would look into it in the morning. *sigh*

Remarkably, The Boy was not overly agitated or anxious, although when his laptop finally ran out of juice around bedtime (because his charger was in his bag left on the bus), he let loose a few loud and angry epithets, and I had to snuggle up next to him to calm him enough to sleep.

I also found out yesterday that his special ed teacher would be out today due to dentist appointments that she had forgotten about for herself and her two children. Ok. We’ll manage, I told her.

And then I received two texts from her classes (math and English) reminding us to sign and return a movie permission slip for today. Guess what? No permission slip was in his backpack. So who do I email? Weren’t we doing this dance a couple of weeks ago?

Finally, after emailing his elective teacher to explain that we would need one more night for a project, he emailed back to say it was no problem (yay!), and to explain that The Boy had a quiz today (wha?).

So today, The Boy has an absent teacher (check), a missing electronics bag (check), no permission slip (check), and a quiz (check). Everything will be fine, right?

Did I mention that we might get hit with Hurricane Matthew this weekend, and everyone is buying French Toast supplies (milk, bread), water, and generators at an alarming rate?

Everything will be just fine…

Executive Functioning Skills Don’t Grow on Trees

Yesterday, the band director’s text alert system let me know that the permission slip for the upcoming band competition was coming home today, as well as something about a spring trip to Washington DC (…yikes…). When The Boy came home, I searched his backpack. Nothing. I replied to the band director’s text – “Could you email it to me?” he said he could.

Last week, the science teacher, from the same text alert system, let me know that progress reports were coming home. Looked in the backpack. Nothing.

And you know that there is still math work floating around in that thing, but I have been told that it is not homework, and that it will be worked on in school, so I don’t touch it.

And there goes last week’s reading log floating by…

_Oh, look, Honey, there's an executive functioning skill tree! Let's pick up some organization, working memory, and focus on the way home!This type of lack of organization has to do with executive functioning skills, often a deficit for kiddos on the spectrum, and many with ADHD. Without assistance and support, and regular lessons and routines to help them get their stuff together, they continue to not bring things home-bring the wrong things home-not turn stuff in.

Considering that The Boy is not verbal about school either, this becomes a real issue. Like when I find out about a band concert two nights before (do his pants even fit??). So, I kinda need to know about any kind of trip that is leaving the state.

Before his program was annihilated, he had an opportunity at the beginning and end of the day to check in with his ASD teacher to make sure he had what he needed, and turn in anything. It is evident that that support has not been replaced.

And I kinda need the staff to do something about this. Yesterday.

I Can’t Fix This

“He must have neglected to turn it in.”

This is what The Boy’s language arts special education teacher told me when I let her know I had sent in the reading log for last week. She also said she doesn’t like to go into his backpack because it would be invading his privacy.

While I understand the sentiment, it smacks of ineptitude. That would be like a physical therapist ignoring your issue with your elbow because they didn’t want to ask you to expose it.

She went on to say that he is not completing work in class, which is an IEP goal, because he is spending too much time drawing. His TA (yes, his TA) came up with an incentive program for this, but the teacher claims that because the TA isn’t in her room for her classes, The Boy does not want to participate. And it’s hard because she’s got all the other kids in there.

Well, I’m sorry. Darn it, life is hard, and sometimes you just have to do your job. You can hope and wish and pray that your student with autism will suddenly find his missing executive functioning skills under a desk in the corner, but most people work on them instead. Because that’s what they get paid to do, and that’s what they’re in it for.

Could I call another IEP meeting? Sure. Would it do any good? I think you can cure this as much as you can cure autism itself. I think this is a response email, possibly cc’d to the TA who is the only freaking one at the school with a clue, and maybe we can muddle through the rest of 8th grade.

I hate that my son’s education has come to this. But there are only so many times you can bang your head against a wall. This particular issue is the teacher’s and not The Boy’s. And it’s not my job to fix it.

BANG HEAD HERE