I had a feeling back in December that my autistic son might have been pulling the wool over his teacher’s and staff’s eyes… And I discovered at a parent teacher conference right before summer break that I was completely right.
You see, my son was bringing home a few pages that he had “completed” in his regular 4th grade class… But it was all written in nice, adult hand writing. I also noticed that he wasn’t bringing home anything completed at his own academic level…
If you are new to my blog, I mostly home schooled my kids during the covid shut down. So I know where my kids should be in math, English, science, etc. I also know that the 4th grade pages he was bringing home had probably not had him as involved as they should have been.
I mean I was hoping that those pages being sent home in grown up handwriting had involved an aid asking him the questions, and then he was dictating the answers… But a lot of those answers written down didn’t sound like Mr. L’s ideas.
At this point you might be asking, then why didn’t you say something! The answers is, because this wasn’t the year to do that.
This school year started out…. Not great. The principal lost my child on his first day of school, I had to get the school district involved and the principal has hated and avoided me ever since. His teacher assumed he didn’t want to be in the school year book because he’s autistic and the school secretaries insisted that children don’t get to participate in picture re-take day if they don’t verbally request it on their own… Even though my son has a speech delay, I had called, messaged, and I had sent in the paper work for it. His teacher also tried to take a poor picture of him in the hallway and call it good.
Needless to say, I had already pulled all of my momma bear cards at the beginning of the year to get this school up to the standards my children deserved. The head of the special needs department was mortified by this school’s behaviors and came in like a bat out of Hell and had cleaned up shop. My child got his picture taken, he was given a proper aid, and his IEP has been followed ever since (besides the math, English, and social studies apparently).
So I’ve been spending the rest of the school year building a team for Mr. L. I’ve been donating water and used clothes to the front office and school nurse. I’ve been sending supportive messages to his teacher and staff. I’ve been thanking the car drop off and pick up team. You get the picture, I’ve been working on building positive relationships with the adults who interact with and influence my children for hours everyday. And I can tell you honestly, that everyone at that school greets me with a sincere smile… Except for the principal who still visibly jumps at the sight of me… Oh well, you can’t win them all I guess.
Back to the point. At the end of the year I met with Mr. L’s special education teacher for a meeting to get updated on his progress both academically, but also socially as well. I’m glad to report that all her charts showed extreme progress in making friends with peers, becoming more flexible, being able to work independently, etc.
But when she showed me his math and English…. I gently explained that I had already done all of those things with Mr. L the previous year at home and had actually done more then what his teacher was showing me… She wasn’t surprised. The teacher told me that, that was good to know for next year. Apparently whenever she tried to work on something new, he was acting triggered or would start to raise his voice.
So we talked about some social stories we could implement next year… I asked for summer work for him, all of which is stuff I had already done with him…
But I guess, we will complete all this work over the summer and bring it back to show- with notes on them how long they took to complete and what % of it did I actually have to help… and hopefully next year won’t be another year of academics wasted…
By the way, when I sat my kiddo down with his first worksheet he tried pulling the same stunts he had done with his teacher and I calmly called him on it. I let him know I knew he had tricked his teacher and that all the stuff he should have done during the school year, he was now going to catch up on this summer. He didn’t argue. Mr. L looked at me like, “Oh crap, I’ve been caught” 😳
That smart little kiddo! My husband and I have higher goals for him, then for him to sit around for the rest of his life pretending he can’t do hard things, when we know he is fully capable!
I’m frustrated, however I am impressed. But mostly the frustrated part. Wish us luck over the summer! Because this kid is going to be ready for next year whether he likes it or not
And next year… I will be pushing for the proof of New Math and New English skills being learned 😘