Not Letting Go Yet

A couple weeks back I was worrying if I was properly advocating for G or needlessly clinging to his accommodations because I wasn’t ready for things to change.  I was afraid I was overreacting to the news that he hadn’t completed some book reports because other ‘typical’ kids were having similar issues.  In the two weeks that followed, G ever-so-helpfully weighed in on this issue by escalating the amount of work he refused.  We found out the day before the conference.

That pretty much decided the issue for me. We didn’t let G completely off the hook – we had a lengthy and very firm talk with G about his responsibility to be a good student.  Each student was to come to the conference with three possible academic goals and three possible behavior goals.  We worked with G that afternoon to develop his, which all related to cooperating and getting his work done.  We tried to talk about the reasons for the refusals to make sure there wasn’t some aspect of his disability we were overlooking, but didn’t get very far.  It’s possible we’ll come up with these answers during the next trimester.  Meanwhile, in the conference itself, we worked as a team to develop a motivational system that will earn him points and reward him for getting work done, with the big reward being dinner at his favorite steakhouse.  We also developed a punitive system that involves having unfinished work sent home so I can make sure it gets done.  (he knows I won’t let him get away with much)

Having dealt with the issue from G’s side, I turned to my concerns on the schools side.  We discussed G’s inability to bring home information to his parents and I asked for more communication from his classroom teacher.  We discussed what he is doing during his resource time and how that could be better structured to support his classroom work.  During the course of this conversation, they volunteered an extra 30 minutes of resource time each week, which was really wonderful will be very helpful.  We discussed moving book reports to resource time since it involves multiple aspects of G’s disability.  We also discussed doing book reports at home and I explained how we had no idea he was supposed to be doing book reports as an example of what we don’t learn from G in the course of a day.  When his teacher said all book report info was outlined in the homework section of the parent information packet, I pulled mine out to show her that, in fact, it wasn’t mentioned in the packet at all.  (I’d heard this line from another parent and was concerned that I’d missed something – very unlike my anal-self – so I came prepared)

I still have confidence in his school and think overall his general ed teacher is doing a very good job.  There were some kinks to be worked out and I feel they were adequately addressed.  I’m not second guessing myself anymore – as much as G has improved in the past year, he still needs support and it’s my job to ensure he gets that support.  There’s a parent support meeting next week where I plan to bring up the issue of classwork refusal to see what else we can be doing at home.

As accomplished as I felt after the conference, the best part of the entire experience was when DH and I returned home and were discussing the outcome.  We were going over the changes and how to track progress when DH commented, “You know, G couldn’t have a better advocate than you.”  Nothing in the world feels better than being appreciated by your spouse!

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Published in: on December 3, 2010 at 9:49 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. You got that right!


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