Monday, April 22, 2013


I had a fairly long conversation this evening with Oldest Son about school and homework.  He's struggling to implement the plan that we discussed before spring break.  It appears to me that the teachers aren't all doing what they are supposed to do.

I told him that I want to start visiting the school.  He REALLY didn't like that idea.  He said that he didn't think it would help.  I explained to him my reasons for believing that it would help.  When Oldest was having a lot of trouble at the end of sixth grade, we were able to get the district to pay for him to go to a private school for a year, and specifically for the school that we thought was the best choice.  At the IEP team meeting, the basically asked us what we wanted, and said "Ok."  I remember MomC being really surprised that we got what we wanted.  I wasn't surprised.  I'd been to the school to talk with the principal or the teachers at least a dozen times that year.  I had supported the things they were doing with Oldest and Middle Son.  I'd even brought some of my own dishware in for them to use with Middle.  That gives you tremendous credibility, and serves notice that you are paying close attention to what is going on.

A year later when the sign language teacher stopped coming to Middle's school, there was a similar chain of events.  The previous year I had been going to the school once a week to take part in the sign language lesson.  The sign language teacher was THRILLED to have a parent coming.  When the new year started I asked when the sign teacher would be there so I could arrange my schedule.  The said she wasn't coming to Middle's school any more.  I asked why.  They said she was only going to the new "center" schools.  I asked why Middle was no longer receiving the services he had been receiving the previous year (which is the thin wedge for a discussion of whether or not the district is obeying the law).  Lo and behold, the sign language teacher started coming to Middle's school again.  The principal later told me that Middle's school was the only one she returned to.  Left me wondering if any of the other parents understand how to play this game.

I was very pleased to see that after I laid out my evidence, Oldest did not continue to argue that it wouldn't help for me to come to the school.  That's one of the nice things about having a teenager with Aspergers.  They are more amenable to reason than typical teenagers.

Then we moved on to the next point--he doesn't want me to be seen in the classroom.  He said that while that might help him academically, it would be damaging to him socially.  I agreed with him that this is a legitimate concern.  We discussed some possibilities.  I agreed to try and find a time when I could visit that he wouldn't be in the room, and preferably when the teacher wouldn't have any students in the classroom.  I told him I wasn't sure what would be possible, but I would try and work something out.

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