New School for JB
Something major has been going on in our lives and I didn’t think of sharing, honestly I didn’t know where to begin in the sharing process and up until this morning just thinking about it gave me major anxiety and stress. When JB was diagnosed with Autism one constant tip I heard from parents who were walking in the new shoes I just put on, was to fight for my child. Up until a few weeks ago I believed my son’s school was the best, that we were lucky we didn’t have to fight for anything and it was the best place for JB. A few weeks ago I realized just how wrong I was about the whole situation.
JB started Pre-K this year, it seemed pretty uneventful at first. He even had an EIA coming to our house helping him with different skills, that’s how we learned he knew his alphabet, in order and reverse. That’s how we found out he could use number puzzles to count to 30, that he would put numbers in groups and so many different things because she was in the house. Slowly our magical year started to become a total nightmare. I felt like the worst mother in the world, like my son was the worst kid in the class and it was the beginning of a long process.
Shortly after JB started in Pre-K he started to hard problems with behaviors in the class. Long story short we needed to have an emergency IEP meeting to get a behavioral analysis done with the school therapist. The vice principal at felt that we should do it for about 60 days and then come back in January to determine our next steps. During this process it seemed like I only heard from JB’s teachers when he had aggressive behaviors, which seemed to be happening often. It was so bad I didn’t even want to send him to school most days because I was worried it would end badly. His EIA ended up just going to the school to provide additional support and suddenly I felt like I was out of the loop.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago and JB teacher called with one of her ‘he had a bad day calls’ again and while we were talking she informed me about the team’s decision to move JB to another school. She said I had the option do it immediately or wait until the fall. I asked about a school visit and a few questions and hung up. After some discussion with my husband we ended up agreeing, well me saying I think it’s best to get JB moved now. We had out IEP meeting to discuss the findings of the evaluation and I told them about my decision. That’s when all hell broke lose and I started to feel I was in a fight bigger than I ever imagined.
First the teacher the team recommended suggested JB wouldn’t be a fit with her class, then I was having trouble getting a time set up to visit the new school and on top of that the same school who said JB could stay for the rest of the semester suddenly wanted his transfer done ASAP! It was overwhelming and horrid. I pulled him from the school to take a stand, I got a meeting date set at the other school and let the VP know just how angry I was about what was happening. I know she probably thought I was a b!tch but that’s fine with me.
When we visited the new school, we visited both classes and ended up choosing one we felt worked for JB, even that process was a huge hassle with arranging transportation and his old school removing him before we had fully completed the enrollment at his new school. This week he started his transition at the new school and he’s been doing well. His teachers leave notes with both good and bad news about his day. He’s learning more and more, and today we got news from his teacher he’s starting to integrate into their class like he really belongs.
I’m not sure how things will be in a year but I’m hoping he’s in a much better place than he is now. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him these next couple months at the new school, but I already feel better about this placement than I did since he’s been diagnosed.
If you’re reading and your child has been in this position what did you learn or what tips do you have to share?