Sometimes I feel like the White Rabbit, running from place to place, checking my watch, frowning and rubbing my forehead over how behind I am and worried over all that needs doing. Someone will kindly mention a chore or task they notice needs to be taken care of and all I can say is "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'll get to it. When I have time." or "When I have money." And as neither of those commodities appear anywhere immediately on the horizon, I putter and mumble. And cope.
Nonetheless, I am able to focus on the immediate needs and so long as I can hold this car together with string and paperclips, she'll drive.
I've got a phone meeting with Social Security next week. I'm trying to get SSI for C, which would give me the capital to get him in with a local therapist who is probably the best we could find here for what my son needs. Since he's not in my insurance plan's network, the out of pocket is prohibitive for us. The extra assistance would make a big difference for him.
His IEP team gathered yesterday and I signed off on a draft plan for him.
Our goals for the next months are simple. There are three:
C will follow directions two out of three times, which I guess would be an immense improvement over "Zero out of infinity-thousand times."
C will learn to limit his disruptive behavior, for which his fellow students will be grateful.
C will join group activity without continuous teacher prompting. He currently has difficulty participating in circle time and group crafts. Part of the problem is that he is visually overstimulated, so if someone is next to him or behind him, his attention is drawn to the distraction and not to the work at hand. He is so easily overwhelmed by too much noise and activity that many of the things that most kids consider to be fun are just painful for him. Unfortunately he often reacts to the stimulation by provoking the students who's inadvertently snagged his attention. We're working on that.
He'll have resource room time daily, and be in his regular classroom the rest of the time. His teacher will receive support from the occupational therapist in strategies and tools to help him with his sensory issues.
Throughout the day he'll get breaks for "heavy work" and movement activities and have access to support staff, a "buddy classroom," self-controlled activities and sensory materials on an as-needed basis. Periodically the school psychologist will observe him in the classroom setting to assess his progress.
He'll also have accommodations for state-mandated testing and he'll get transportation. His grades will be based on effort and work completed and determined by his teacher and his special education teacher.
At the meeting, his teacher showed some materials she's made to help him assess his own success throughout the day. She's made a visual representation of regular activities, and for each, C chooses a happy face, a neutral face or a sad face to affix below the activity to indicate if his participation or following of instruction/expectation was good, OK or not successful. She keeps the completed sheets as a record of his progress. Its heartwarming to me to see how engaged and enthusiastic a participant she has become in this Grand Plan to help my son.
As plans go, I suppose this is a good enough one to start with. I had hoped it would contain the secret formula to releasing his innate abilities and identify him as a college-ready genius. I think, though, that I can be content with "following directions two out of three time." Start small, right?
I wish I had an IEP team to help me make a plan for all the stuff I need to do.