So Tired of Bureaucratic BS and Lack of Response!!!!

Nolan is starting 9th grade next year. The placement test for his high school is June 2nd. I have tried to connect with the RSP teacher at the new school since March to arrange the placement test accommodations. It is now the end of April. I sent several emails and a few phone calls. The one time she did get back to me was to ask for the IEP, which I sent her the following Monday. I asked the RSP teacher to confirm she received it. Do you think she has confirmed ? It has been 3 weeks since that email. How hard is it to say,”Hey, I received your email. I am swamped. Let me get back to you by…”. What kind of customer service is this?
If I treated parents in my school district, like the some teachers I have come across in my son’s school experience, I would be written up in a heartbeat. I am shocked at the lack of respect some of these educators have when they speak with parents, whether special needs or not, is  unacceptable. Communicating in a positive and encouraging way with both parents as well as students should be part of their professional responsibility. The age and/or grade should not matter. If that child is under 18 and living under the parents roof then that educator should be communicating with that parent. Without the excuse they don’t have time. I know they don’t have time. I don’t have enough hours in the day either, but I make the time. Why? These kids and their feature success is important to me!!!!!  So, why isn’t it important to the other educators?  Did these educators forget why they signed up for this job?

I am not the perfect parent!

Well, Nico and I had one of those nights.  He became irate about two things:  I belittle him and I make decisions about his life without discussing them with him.  This is for the most part true when it come to school and enrolling him in support camps or classes.  However, it was one of those nights where Nico was agitated and I was grumpy from a long day and in pain from an injured foot.  Nicolas wants to discuss this field trip that he was to go on through the special ed dept.  to the LAPD.   The kids were going to spend a day out of school and have Dodger Dogs, what could be so bad.  Well, Nico said became furious that I signed the permission slip and didn’t consult him.  He said none of his friends were going (which I am happy he found friends).  He said he wanted to be in school.  It wasn’t his message that upset me, but the tone and the anger that came with the message that sparked me.  After a challenging day at work and re-injuring my foot, I was in no mood to go ten rounds with Nico, each round being louder than the next.  I raised my voice back at him in a loud roar that shook the walls, this is something people should try not to do with kids with Aspergers.  Once I raised my voice, he raised his even louder.  We went two rounds of this back and forth.  Finally, I shouted back, “You have two choices:  We can stop here and discuss this later once we are done with studying for your test  or I can totally unleash all my frustrations and anger on you and we will get nowhere.”  Nico definitely had to think about this one.  What was he going to choose?   He decided for the “Mom and Nico time out”.  He made a good choice.   We studied for his test and then about a half-hour later, we discussed “How could he have asked me differently?”  He realized his tone was harsh in the beginning.   I explained I understood his feelings of wanting to make his own decision.  He is growing up and I do have to let go a bit.   We then discussed the issue as a family and made the decision together.  

Thank goodness for “Time-Outs!”

My Book of the Month arrived!!!!!

Yeah!  My book arrived.  I am so excited.  The book “The Aspie Teen Survival Guide”  is written by Jeff Kraus.  He was diagnosed in elementary school.  So, far I have read two chapters.  The second chapter discusses school issues and some IEP accommodations.   I loved some of his ideas for test taking such as, white paper, no pop quizzes, three day notice for exams, alternative testing environment and the ability to retake a test if the student fails.  In addition, Kraus discusses how students who feel they are not ready for that test, should be able to request additional study time (like the next day). 

Report card time:)

Well, we received our son’s report card.  He did really well.  I knew he would.  The only low mark was in PE.  He earned a “U” for effort.  The comment from the teacher was that my son was uncooperative.   When I ask our son about this effort grade and comment, he had no idea why the teacher marked him that way.  So, I sent an email to the teacher of record and asked if she knew anything about this situation.  She told me that “Nico wanders off to areas he is not supposed to be in”  also she stated when redirected he is “often rude to adults”.   We told her we would talk to him.  When my husband picked him up from school he calmly spoke to Nico.  Nico began to get enraged screaming, “It’s not true.  You always take the schools side.”    My husband quickly replied, “Really?  Do you think the school has a conspiracy against you?”    Nico does have a problem being redirected by some of the teachers.  He tends to be flippant.   He can behave that way at home.  The difference is that my husband and I have been dealing with him for years.  We know how to deescalate the situation.  I have a feeling these teachers need more training on how to redirect students with Aspergers.   

How do you get your son or daughter to see his actions and reactions cause this behavior?   How do you teach them to respond to adults in a polite manner?

Well, you know what they say about best laid plans…

So, remember my post about weekend studies? Well, Nico got through only math. He forgot that I told him about vocabulary and science. In the car ride home from the market, he began to stress out. He started to raise his voice at us and shake his hands in the air. I knew that this situation could go two ways. If I start stressing and yelling back, well all hell will break loose. We might have full on blow-up or a rational discussion. I have realized over my many years of dealing with my son that calmer is definitely better. I have also learned that my son absorbs my stress like a sponge. In order for this not to happen, I needed to relax and realize he has today to finish the other two assignments. Furthermore, I looked at it as a goal, he met the goal at 66%. For my son, 66% without fighting and screaming is meeting the goal. He is working right now on science.
One thing I have to remember, as his parent, is to take one moment at a time and not project my stress and frustration on to him.

"Mom, how do you preheat the oven?"

My husband and I were out to dinner tonight.  Our son was very sleepy, most likely from the medication.  He decided to stay home and sleep instead of go out with us.  During dinner, my phone rang.  It was our son.  He wanted to know how to preheat the oven.  He said he was hungry and he wanted to make a frozen pizza.

Why is this a big deal?  This is a huge step for him.  First of all, he didn’t wait for me to cook for him or bring home take out.  Sometimes, he would just eat cereal ,fruit or not eat at all.   But this time, he actually looked in the freezer and chose a frozen pizza.  He took it out of the box and threw the plastic shrink wrap away.
He placed the pizza on a cookie sheet and baked it.  I have been cooking with him in the kitchen lately.  He must have been paying attention these past few weeks when I showed him how to work the oven.  I explained which buttons to press.  I even explained the “cook time” feature so the oven will shut off automatically after the cook time is finished. 
This is a shocking and amazing event!  There is hope that one day he will completely independent and live a happy fulfilling life.

Aspie teen’s weekend homework and studies

Well, it is one of those weekends where Nico has several assignments. So, how do we handle this without a huge meltdown from our beloved son?

Over the last month, we finally figured how to get our son to study on the weekend. First thing in the morning,
we give him down time. After an hour, we talk to him about the assignments he has due for Monday. We ask him,”What time do you want to start?”. Usually, it is a reasonable time.
This way he does what he needs to do for school, but he has some control. This helps him to feel empowered.
Now, don’t get me wrong, this is new and works for right now. Sometimes there are blow-ups, which can be deflated without over-reacting.
Currently, our son may try to negotiate more time, but he is receptive to starting his work. I do have to frequently monitor that he is not on YouTube or reading Japanese manga on the Internet. It is never perfect.

What works for you?