Monday, April 26, 2010

Meeting with Simon's School

Well, this morning, I met with several members of Simon's team to discuss his progress and try to figure out what's been happening with him over the last couple of months. It was myself, his teacher (the long-term substitute that he started the program with and then resumed when his new "permanent" teacher was let go), the education coordinator and then the administrator for the program joined in a bit later (she was out of the office until after the meeting was ongoing, but I knew that would be the case). The only thing I can say at this point is at least now his team is aware that I have concerns.

I'm not really sure what happened. I went into this meeting prepared to talk about it all. I wasn't going to bring up the questions of his placement, but just really try to understand what's going on since I'm not seeing too much positive changes at home or outside of school, despite seeing a HUGE change early on. But sitting there, I just couldn't say much of anything. I let them tell me all the positive changes that have happened since he began and what he's doing now that he wasn't before (and it's an impressive list), but much of this I just don't see myself.

When the administrator arrived, she read between the lines in the email I sent her recognizing that I AM starting to question Simon's placement (saving me the need to bring up CAPP). She informed me that they are doing some ABA with these kids and they are going to do a bit more with Simon to determine if he does respond better to those techniques than was originally anticipated to help determine if changing programs may be a wise course of action. But she really seemed to think that his placement is correct. I respect her opinion -- I respect it a LOT! Reputations are earned, and everything I've heard about this woman as well as seen with my own eyes tells me that she really does care about the kids under her care, and she is a VERY good judge of what programs are best for these kids. Even with her program in jeopardy, I really don't think she would sacrifice one of the kids there just to help keep it going. She is also going to ask the representative from the special ed program for the county schools, who comes to MPAC periodically, to observe him and to give HER recommendations.

But, to try and address the immediate problems, it seems like we just need to figure out how to get Simon to generalize what he's doing at school to another setting (home, gym, general community, etc.). In order to accomplish this, we're going to have a home visit next week (with both his teacher and the education coordinator, who I've been working with from the beginning) to teach me how to keep his "school routine" going at home.

I just wish I would have been able to tell them everything that has been running through my mind over the last couple of weeks. I'm not helping Simon by keeping silent. I was recently reminded that we went through something similar with MCITP after we had been with them for a few months However, changing programs isn't necessarily the solution. We have to figure out how to make things work while not forgetting about everything else.

I wish I could live in Simon's mind, for just a short time; that way I could see the world through his eyes. Maybe then, I could understand him a little more.

Right now, it feels like all of this is happening in my own mind -- just like the relationship between Rachel and Simon that doesn't come out often and I'm one of the only one who recognizes those moments, it feels like I'm the only one who's seeing this backslide. Kevin keeps pointing out that Rachel's progress is beyond remarkable and we can't hold Simon to those standard his twin has set. And I'm NOT (I think). But he's getting more and more violent with us and now he's not participating with the group in other settings, other than school, something that he HAD been doing in the past. I KNOW WE HAVE A PROBLEM. I just wish I knew how to fix it.

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