This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Actions speak louder than words

Finally the results of the ARD/IEP meeting!

Bear is going back to the special school!

When last we had an ARD we had requested this, but were told by Loud Lady that it couldn't happen until he had a new Functional Behavioral Analysis and he was given a new BIP (Behavior Intervention Plan). So not for 4-6 weeks at best.

The meeting started with discussion of a new BIP, but when it came time to discuss consequences for behaviors, things got bogged down and that's when it was casually mentioned that on the table for discussion was sending Bear back to the special school at least part time! (We were shocked to say the least!).

Loud Lady was back, and it turns out she's Assistant Director of the special education department for the entire school district. So we're apparently stuck with her. She still didn't appear to know Bear's records any better, and frequently commented with "typical teen" examples, but she obviously wasn't taken by surprise about the special school so they must have had a meeting that filled her in.

Bear's school case manager "resigned" from his case (although she participated in the ARD because she knows him). It turns out it was being acknowledged that she was ineffectual due to Bear's issues with her, and the school has decided to use Bear's last year math teacher as his case manager. This teacher was male which means Bear didn't give him any trouble, but Bear pretty much slept and struggled through the man's class so he has an understanding of Bear's issues. Wish he could have been at the meeting, but we're happy with the change in general.

BIP goals:

Identify target behaviors to be changed and replacement behaviors:
A. Excessive tardies and lying about his whereabouts/ Be on time and truthful with staff.
B. Non-compliant with teacher directives/ Comply with teacher directives.
C. Verbal aggression, intimidating & blullying others/ Be respectful and refrain from bullying &/or verbal aggression.

Basically the "solution" of what to do about D's behaviors was to call the behavior program anytime he misbehaved or was late to class and praise him when he was doing things correctly. The problem was that the behavior program was pretty ineffectual last year, and Bear didn't trust them. He accused them to being "out to get him" and even tried to prosecute one for sexual harassment.

We finally tabled the BIP and moved on to discussion of placement.

It went back and forth, but we decided Bear will go to the special school all morning including lunch (where he has the most issues) and then back to his home school (regular high school) in the afternoons. Ideally he'll check in with the behavior program when he gets to school and check out with them in the afternoon (as they coincidentally escort him to the bus).

Needless to say, Bear is NOT happy with going back to the special school, or the additional supervision at his home school. By the time the reality of this set in, Bear had shut down, and he informed me later that he signed the acceptance sheet at the end because he didn't want to drag the meeting out any longer (it was over 2 hours so I "get" this).

What this means of course is that he'll blame everyone else for "not listening to him." He did suggest an alternative that did not involve him going to the special school, but it was mostly "I'll be good, and I'll talk to the behavior program in the morning and at the end of the day."

Later when we talked about it, I pointed out that we were listening to him, but his actions last year spoke louder than his words now. He's going to have to prove that he's changed.

At the end of the meeting he discovered that it was a strong possiblity that even though he will be at his home school part of the day, the class that he wants most may not be available. (Since his new life goal is underwater welding, he wants to take a shop class that includes welding).

I got his new schedule. It is NOT on his schedule. We get to tell him at therapy today.

I know this will shock you but he's been surly, pouting and sleeping ever since.


Kelly said...

Glad things worked out best for Bear. I know he doesn't think so but I am glad the school made the right decision based on his needs.

Anonymous said...

Gotta wonder how somebody who doesn't understand how special need kids can "look" normal became an assistant director of sp ed.

Does the school offer welding at all? Can he take welding elsewhere (community college, specialized vocational school)?

Are you going to be able to re-do his transition plan?

marythemom said...

Kelly - I totally agree!

STS - the special school only offers the absolute basics. He's only a junior, he could take welding next year, except he "won't be here." I've mentioned this option to him, and I'm going to keep mentioning he could stay, and give him reasons he should stay. (Soon I'm going to point out that they don't offer vocational school for underwater welding in Oklahoma).

At this point I'm not going to make his plans to leave us any easier. If he wants a car, welding, or help getting into technical college he's going to have to ask for help and do what he's supposed to do. Pouting and attitude are not helping him.


Kristin said...

My dad is a welder who's done underwater jobs. It's hard, dangerous work, and only the most experienced guys get to do it.

Unfortunately, this is not a career path for Bear, at least not as immediately as he thinks it will be. :(

I hope the school keeps up their level of supervision, and that he learns as much as possible.

Integrity Singer said...

yippee! exciting news!