Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Meeting a wolf...

Well, as predicted, B was not happy about going back to school today, but he kept his remarks to a minimum. At breakfast he asked me how long it was till Christmas holiday, so I pointed out to him that he has loads of days off school in November. We counted them & it turns out there's 8 days off, including teacher conferences, Veteran's Day, & Thanksgiving holiday (& not including weekends!). That seemed to satify him quite a lot, & breakfast was pretty peaceful :) B's has been very compulsive lately about when he does certain things, for example, he likes to lay on the couch before brushing his teeth after breakfast... but on Saturday he forgot to actually brush after I agreed to let him lay on the sofa first, so today I asked him to brush first... I was upstairs doing the same & heard the water being turned on, then off, then on, then off, then some stamping, & realised that B was ticcing more than he was brushing... It was hard to know if asking him to do things in a different order made him tic or if he'd have been triggered anyway. Certainly this whole getting out of the house on time thing does not leave much time for accomdation... & it's hard to know if accomodating these anxiety-driven needs of B's helps much anyway. Sigh.

When we got to school I put my head together with Cherie for some more schoolday fine-tuning. I reaffirmed that, as far as I was concerned, B would not need to do homework until he's actually having fun at school, & Cherie agreed that was a good idea. I offered to start picking B up at 2:00 instead of 2:30, & that also seemed to be a good thing. She mentioned that B's been having difficulty in Spanish class on Tuesdays. He says that he's content to just be learning Japanese & doesn't want to do the Spanish too, & Cherie mentioned that many of the kids are bored this year because they have a new teacher who has essentially started over, & so they're learning stuff that they already had in 3rd grade... She said that she & Jen had some ideas for things for B to do during Spanish class, so I agreed that he could be exempted. We discussed these changes with B & he was quite happy with them, so his schoolday began pretty well. When I left B & caught up with our friend Paula, who's also the director of B's school, she mentioned that there would be a special programme this afternoon, so I might want to come back to school at 1:00 so I could be there for the programme. They had arranged for a travelling wolf lecture & demo to come to school & everybody was really looking forward to it, so I decided to go as well. To be honest, I was a bit concerned about how B would do, since he doesn't like the all-school meetings (too many people), & thought it would be smart to be there just in case.

B was surprised to see me so early when I came to school this afternoon :) He was peacefully reading a book & didn't even notice me at first, but came racing over to me when he did notice. I told him that Paula had invited me to go to the wolf programme, & he grimaced because he'd forgotten about it. I gathered the stuff out of his locker to put in the car on the way out, so that we'd be able to leave as soon as the programme was over (or sooner...). B did pretty well until everybody lined-up to go to the auditorium (across the street from school) & he caught sight of some of the folks who trigger tics for him. He began ticcing loudly & having trouble going down the stairs because of them, so Cherie & I stayed close by. He complained bitterly all the way across the street & into the building & auditorium. He dove into a chair right at the back & we sat on either side of him. I was convinced that it was the transition that was giving him so much trouble, & really thought he'd enjoy the programme once it started, since he's been into wildlife shows lately. He buried his face against me & moaned, but as soon as the speaker began he sat up & watched. He found that he couldn't see from where he was, so I offered to change chairs... but B decided to sit on my lap instead (I keep wondering how my lap takes it, as he's about 110 lbs. these days, but so far no harm done... :) He was really interested in the pre-wolf prep talk, which taught the kids about the present situation of wolves in the wild, told them about the rescue centre that these people run for wolves that have been raised by humans & that can't be released in the wild, & about how to behave when the wolf came in to visit. The kids (about 100 from ages 4-14) were great. They listened quietly & enthusiastically answered questions from the speaker. When the wolf finally made her appearance we were all primed & ready- & she was awesomely beautiful! She walked right past us to the middle of the circle of kids & we could see her yellow eyes & beautiful fur. B was transfixed. I was so glad that we'd gotten him to stay... He made it another 15 minutes & then asked if we could go home, which we did. He was in a great mood on the way home & I told him that I was so glad that he'd been able to overcome his distress on the way to the auditorium because it was so cool to meet that wolf... he said he was glad too :)

I am still under the weather today, so my plans for doing useful things when we get home from school early went unfulfilled today. I made popcorn for snack & we watched a couple episodes of InuYasha together, then B played on the computer, after an attempt to lego that was cut short by tics. A school friend called to see if he could come over to play this weekend & B was psyched about that. After dinner he & dad did the bath thing, then they played bionicles. I started reading Susan Cooper's "The Dark is Rising" to B at bedtime, & for the first time in a long time he fell to sleep as I was reading.

Tomorrow morning we have to go to the school district offices for a CSE meeting that was called by the city for no clear reason. B's school team will be there, & I know the special ed. director is not happy with the district because she's been calling them to find out the reason behind the meeting for more than a week & no-one has returned her calls... This will be the 4th CSE for B that we've attended this year & it feels as though they are trying to pull a fast one... we shall see. And, of course, we won't agree to any IEP changes unless the school folks think it's a good idea.


At 12:50 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love to read your posts. I am a special education teacher and check your blog regularly for newly posted entries. I wanted to ask what CSE stands for, as we don't have that acronym in my state. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences. B sounds a truly teriffic kid and I think it's wonderful that you are able to talk with his teachers almost daily about his progress and concerns. He's especially lucky to have you as his mom!!

At 5:28 AM, Anonymous sharon said...

Hi Lisa
Meeting a wolf sounds amazing!
You invest so much into ensuring B's school experience is as good as possible.

At 8:19 AM, Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

Thanks so much for the support friends :)

CSE stands for Committee on Special Education which is how New York handles the discussion & allotment of special ed. services for kids in this state. Thanks for asking me to clarify... :)

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Kristina Chew said...

Hopw you are feeling better! And that the CSE went went. And that B's 2nd day back was more looked forward to.


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