Saturday, August 9, 2008

First week of first grade

Tia's first day of first grade!!! How cute!! Can you guess what her favorite color is? =-)


So how was the first week of school, you ask? STRESSFUL!!! Tia's teacher and aide did not have any information on her. I had written a 3 page "All about Tia" for them and I was really glad I did. One thing they did not know is that Tia will not poop in the potty so she is still in Pull-Ups at school and needs to be changed and taken to the bathroom on a schedule to pee. The aide is less than thrilled about this and has asked for a different student assignment. So, we will see how long it takes to get a different aide. I can't blame her, I don't love it either but have no idea how to get her to "go".

There was NO aide for lunch like there was supposed to be so I played lunch aide all week and had to find a sitter for Ty and Max during lunch. Now she is going to eat with a Special Needs class so she can have some help opening things and making sure she gets to the right places and has time to eat. She eats 3 things. Pasta squares (by Gerber), mac-n-cheese, and Vienna Sausages. That is what she will eat every week, all year. YUCK!!! I really hope I can convince her to broaden her horizons a bit. Hot lunch has a lot of choices but I am worried she will ask for something she doesn't like and won't eat. She does that a lot. She will ask for pizza or PB&J and I know from years of wasting food, that she won't eat it. I'm not sure if she is just asking for what she knows other kids eat (like Tyler) or what?! Sigh.

I just wish I could enroll my kids in school and that was it. But, it is so much more work, effort and stress with a child with special needs. After 4 days, the Resource teacher offered us a Skills Class (self-contained classroom) as an option for Tia instead of the regular ed. class she is in. That was frustrating. Could they give her a chance to adjust??? I am not anti special education at all but, I know that research shows children with DS are better off in a typical class with modifications. Tia is bright, she does not have behavior issues, she tries hard and there is no reason they cannot help her succeed in a regular classroom. I don't know what the next few years will bring but for now we feel strongly that Tia is in the right place. I pray, cry, stress and read as much as I can before her IEP meetings to place her in the right setting. It is hard to have someone tell you they don't think you made the best decision. I don't tell other people that they made the wrong decisions for their children! I can't imagine telling someone, "So, I noticed your son is immature for his age" or "most kids his age can jump better than that" or whatever. If I said that to a typical parent they would hit me! I don't know why people think they can point out our children's short comings. They have Down syndrome. They are not going to be age appropriate in everything. This is why Special Education services are in place to help them. OK, so to sum up, this week was hard! =-) Sorry for ranting and raving. Hopefully, this week will go better and Tia will get a new aide.

14 comments:

Cammie Heflin said...

I hope things get better for you and Tia!

Mandy said...

Ugh - the IEP - the most dreaded thing for having a child with special needs......Hope things go better and that Tia's teachers/helpers will have a change of heart and give her a chance!
Mandy

Alice said...

I hope things get better soon! I have my own IEP coming up with my daughter-LD. They are going to tell me she no longer qualifies because she tested really well. She still needs help so I am gonna be fighting hard!

Team Thomson (Tiffany) said...

I don't know what you are going through as a parent but I worked with children with special needs for a long time and one thing I learned is that those moms are tough! You have to be to fight for a child that doesn't have their own voice yet. I also learned that the moms that do fight usually get thier way. Keep up the amazing work!

Christina said...

I am sorry this has been such a stressful week. Many of the issues you spoke about are reasons I pulled my children out of school, but in your situation, more focused to Kallie. They will find a million and one reason she couldn't stay in the regular ed class and find a millon and one reasons she should be in the SPED class. I've heard stories from many parents who have choosen to fight this discrimination and won and their children flourished, I wasn't willing nor did I have the energy to continue fighting the school board. I wish you luck on yoru journey!

Also I was wondering, can Tia go by herself to the potty, she just needs to be reminded? Cause maybe a buzzer could come in handy? I know I used those all the time in the beginning. And when the buzzer would go off, she would have to go and try.

Shawnie said...

Christina- Yes, Tia is on a timed schedule. We use the timer at home and she has very few accidents when it comes to peeing. But this girl will NOT poop on the potty! Suggestions are welcome! :-) My newest idea is to promise her a party with all the cousins. She's not much into working for material things but social events are a different thing. We'll see. It's hard to work on it when she goes at school in her pull-up. About pulling her out, I feel really unqualified to teach her and I have a self-contained classroom! LOL I need her to get typical peers at school.

Shannon said...

Wow, it sounds like your week was rough. I hope things get better with the school and teachers. I had to be at lunch with Emily every day last week also to train her aide and nurse about her Diabetes management. Things are going well though. I really hope and pray that things improve for you and Tia. She's such a cutie!

Zactly said...

Oh Shawnie, I'm sorry your week was so challenging. I hope the rest of the school year goes smoothly. We have our 6 mth. post adoption apptmt. next week. I can't believe our children have been home that long. Time flies. Danijela starts her neurodevelopmental program in Sept. I hope it helps her. Her developmentalist's son had DS. He lost most of his DS facial characteristics and was able to attend college. They've had some autistic children come out of it also. Wow!!! It's a bit non-mainstream but that works well for us.
blessings,
Vickie H.

Rich, Andrea, Reece & Owen said...

Shawnie,I am APPALLED to hear that the aid asked for another assignment just because she had to help with potty training!!! GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!! Reece started 1st grade too, and just like Tia,he has his pottying challenges. Lord, how I hope that doesn't happen to him, because I will go through the roof! Still waiting on your Homecomings write-up for Max!

Michelle said...

I hear ya, Shawnie! Same thing for Matthew - eats the same thing everyday at lunch and his aide quit after one week also (for different reasons)! Ugh! Hugs!

Michelle said...

I hear ya, Shawnie! Same thing for Matthew - eats the same thing everyday at lunch and his aide quit after one week also (for different reasons)! Ugh! Hugs!

AZmomto8 said...

You are Tia's mother, and you know what is best for her. Inclusion is a rough road, we tried and did not carry through, Meghan's goes to AZVA, but I do wish she went to full inclusion 2nd grade, the schools just do not make it wasy. I do not want her in Special education, and I do not have issues with it either, I just want her in with more typical kids.

WheresMyAngels said...

I'm shocked that she asked for a different assignment also. Oh well, better off without her.

She needs time to adjust to the classroom. Cheyenne did really well in regular classes in gradeschool. Mercede did not. Each child is different but you can't tell by only a few days.

Good luck and hope things get less frustrating.

Michelle said...

if you think she can do it, then keep fighting the good fight. We had to really push in 2nd grade to allow her to stay included for 3rd, and we won. What a WONDERFUL yr it was, too! You will know what is right, as you go along. I re-evaluate every single semester, every yr, and I always worry. The good news is, it is going well...so far. We start Wed...4th grade, no aide, fully included...eek. :) Good luck!