I wrote about the positive behavioral assessment in my previous blog post. This is a continuation of that post, it was becoming quite lengthy. First of all, the assessment is supposed to be done by a “team of people” according to the rules and regulations. Ours was done by the school psychologist. I am not going to be angry about this because we most likely “tied the school’s hands” by going to half days and also by requesting the assessment so close to the end of the school year. Since the beginning of the year, we have had “a team” of people helping us with our ADHD diagnosis. We had a psychologist that did not work for the school, but was called in on occasion to help with special behaviors. He came to the school and observed the boy and wrote up a report suggesting to us and his pediatrician that he would very likely benefit from ADHD medication. Several teachers that were familiar with the boy filled out Connor’s test sheets. And during the times we were trying different medications, the teacher kept a close eye on him and was in constant contact with me. No, I don’t feel jilted by the school system at all.
On the last day of the school year, I brought in our final snack for the classroom and attended a meeting with 4 of the original group that met with me when I requested the assessment. Plus I was introduced to the new special education teacher. The good news is that the boy qualifies to keep his IEP (Individual Education Plan) under the category “otherwise health impaired.” The bad news was that the boy was tested for academics, and he is a bit behind where he should be. No surprise there, first of all, he’s nearly impossible to test. And secondly, he spent more time outside the classroom this year, than inside. The special education teacher told me that she wasn’t 100% sure what was going to happen next year, because her program was changing at the end of this school year. She said that she would either be in the classroom with the boy, or have him come outside to a room with her for anywhere from 30 minutes to 3 hours, 4-5 times a week. She would help redirect him to his schoolwork if she was in the classroom, or help him with extra studies that he may fall behind in throughout the year. She would also teach him strategies to cope with the stimulation and teach him appropriate responses to authority and how to keep from making the noises and outbursts that got him in so much trouble this year in the Young 5’s class. The special education teacher was very kind and offered her number in case I had any questions over the summer, she offered to attend our counseling sessions with us even. I really like the thought of him being taught to cope and function with ADHD, but I’m wondering if the vague “30 minutes to 3 hours” a day was going to be enough. I actually asked, “What about the other 6 hours he’s expected to sit and pay attention in the classroom?” The formerly argumentative special education director just looked at me and said, “We will have to figure that out next year.” I left the room with my original feelings reconfirmed, I’m going to have to homeschool.
I followed out the boy’s Young 5’s teacher and as we walked back to her classroom. I asked her, “what do you think about all this?” She was hesitant, but answered, “I think, unless something changes over the summer; either they find a medicine that works for him, or he grows out of it [hyperactivity], I’m afraid he’s going to have a really rough time next year.” She continued, “they will probably suggest half days again.” I agree. If he was having difficulty with the stimulation while only going half days this year, how is he going to be able to attend a full day of kindergarten, where he will be expected to sit still for a large portion of the day? Yep, we’re homeschooling.