Thursday, August 30, 2007

New IEP for Chaz in School

(Picture shows Chaz being hugged by his classmates last year.)
Well, we had another review for Chaz that is required yearly for him and to update his IEP plan for school. I put him in a new charter school this year and I am very pleased with them. I about fell off my chair when I found out that his first grade teacher spent the last 3 years working with Asperger Syndrome students and studied it. How could I get so lucky? I knew it had to be God in control again.

 When we sat down with the workers the other day, it took a couple of hours to discuss everything they have learned of Chaz's evaluation. Yes, Chaz has Aspergers, no, he does not have Bi-Polar disorder. He told me that Chaz will copy the behaviors of other children and he never should have been put in a self-containment classroom. That was the worst thing for him. He was in a pretty wild classroom last year with kids who had all kinds of aggressive behaviors. He is now in a regular classroom but is privately worked with as needed. Instead of sitting within the students in the classroom, he has his own desk next to the teacher. He told me that Chaz is extremely intelligent and does very well with Math. He loves to work and is very well behaved. He is a very good kid but has to be taught how to socially interact with other children. He also said that their senses are 3 times more than ours so when we hear music or people talking, it is 3 times louder for him. Same as touch. Also his frustration and anxiety level is so much more and he can be worked up easier. The other kids need to be taught to be sensitive to this. Also, they generally need to eat and drink more and so he is now being brought breakfast to his desk every morning since his bus doesn't arrive on time to go to the cafeteria. He will be able to snack and drink as needed rather than have restrictions.

 Also, he was not happy about Chaz having to ride the bus for long periods of time so he is possible arranging for Chaz and Ryan to both be picked up before and after school in a private car and that will be placed in his IEP plan. They helped me to understand that Asperger kids see things in pictures first before words. So the teacher has pictures she shows Chaz to give him orders. For example, if she needs him to be quiet, then she will hold up a card of a character making the quiet symbol. When they are told to be quiet, they imagine the picture first and then the words follow. Otherwise, without the pictures, it may take telling him several times before it processes fully. They said it would be good for me to label things around the house such as "bed", "refrigerator", etc. They are very visually oriented and this helps them a lot. Anyhow we talked for about two hours and there was so much discussed it would take too long to write! LOL! It was very encouraging and good know to that there are very successful people who have Asperger Syndrome in the world and it can be a gift. People such as Steven Spielberg and Albert Einstein. It is harder when they are younger but if they are put on the right path, they will do extremely well in life. As hard as it's been in the last few years, I know God has placed a gift in my hands. My little boy Chaz.

1 comment:

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

Virginia, DON'T MOVE!! Stay very, very still right where you are. There are *so* many crummy school districts out there when it comes to autistic children. I have two autistic boys and one... well... guy who acts like a ping pong ball but I don't feel like getting the label for him LOL!

Even "good" school districts can be really crummy. And what's strange is that it can be good AND crummy depending on the child!

What we ran up against was that they wanted to give my younger son a really bad psycho-type label rather than "autism" so that they could rake in a bunch of money from the state and shunt him into one of those prisons -- I mean, contained classrooms. HELLO the kid is AUTISTIC not BAD and yes, I had the same concern that he would pick up those behaviours and no way he was going.

Thankfully my husband saw that the district was most unhelpful with this child and we are homeschooling him and the little ping-pong ball now.

BUT, our older 7th grader they can't seem to help enough. They have a clue at the middle school and have labeled him autistic in agreement with our doctors and specialists at the childrens' hospital. For the most part they're cooperative and helpful too!


Same doctors and specialists for both boys, and both boys have the same diagnosis.

I'm mightily impressed with the things you're saying about the school district there. You're blessed! I'd love to hear more about it some other post. :]

Mrs. C.