Friday, May 30, 2008
We went to Fulton Farms yesterday to get some fresh strawberries and some fresh tomatoes.......WOW......are they ever yummy!
You had fun playing outside in their train.....
AND you were THRILLED because the family bathroom had one of THESE in addition to a regular toilet.....side by side practically......giving going to the bathroom family style and at the same time an entirely new meaning...
AND you were also thrilled to see a toilet with the handle on the right side of the tank instead of the left..
We got extra strawberries and tomatoes to give some to Grandma C. so we stopped by her house on the way home.
We had a good day. You have a walking field trip today at the park....to fly kites.....have a scavenger hunt and do some nature etchings for a nature book....then pizza and soda at the park for lunch.....(though you are taking your own). I hope and pray you have a great day and lots of fun.....I will sneak over and take some pictures of you from a distance to post later.
On the way to Fulton Farms yesterday......you were talking about RR crossings....and then out of the blue said "oh by the way mom......" and I said "yes?" to which you used sign language to tell me you loved me.
That made my day.
I love you too little man!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Port St. Lucie teacher sidelined after letting kindergarten class kick kid out
PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — A kindergarten teacher has been reassigned after she allowed her students to oust a fellow 5-year-old from the classroom because of his disciplinary problems.
Morningside Elementary School teacher Wendy Portillo was removed from classroom duties until further action may be determined, according to St. Lucie County School district spokesman Janice Karst said this week.
Last week, Portillo held a vote in her classroom in which the students "voted out" 5-year-old Alex Barton, who is in the process of being tested for Asperger's Disorder, a type of high-functioning autism, said his mother, Melissa Barton.
After each classmate was allowed to say what they didn't like about Alex the teacher said they were going to take a vote, Barton said. They said he was "disgusting" and "annoying," Barton said.
"He was incredibly upset," she said. "The only friend he has ever made in his life was forced to do this."
By a 14 to 2 margin, the students voted him out of the class.
Barton, who said she is considering legal action, said Alex began the testing process in February for an official diagnosis under the suggestion of Morningside Principal Marsha Cully.
Alex has had disciplinary issues because of his disabilities, Barton said. The school and district has met with Barton and her son to create an individual education plan, she said. A veteran of 12 years of teaching, including nine at Morningside, Portillo has attended these meetings, she said.
Barton said after the vote, Alex's teacher asked him how he felt.
"He said, 'I feel sad,'" she said.
Alex left the classroom and spent the rest of the day in the nurse's office, she said.
Barton said when she came to pick up her son at the school last Wednesday, he was leaving the nurse's office.
"He was shaken up," she said. Barton said the nurse told her to talk with the child's teacher, who told her what happened.
Alex hasn't been back to school since then, and Barton said he won't be returning. He starts screaming when she brings him with her to drop off his sibling at school.
Thursday night, his mother heard him saying "I'm not special."
Barton filed a complaint with the school resource officer, who investigated the matter, said Port St. Lucie spokeswoman Michelle Steele said. But the state attorney's office concluded the matter did not meet the criteria for emotional child abuse, so no criminal charges will be filed, Steele said.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
You came home from school beaming...so happy. Because you are apparently now a MEMBER of THEIR CLUB and you are to meet them UNDER the fort next time you have recess. You are soooo excited and sooooo happy! Friday it rained at recess so you missed out on playing again with her but I know you will be right back there on Tuesday! It is all so very sweet. Your parapro got the biggest kick out of it.
Today your cousin Audrey is to come over and then spend the night and stay into tomorrow. We will have some sort of cook out or something tomorrow after her mom comes ....so you are looking forward to that.
I am so happy all is right in your little world.
I love you very much Noah Wesley...
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
BUT you had a good time...and a short day from school. Back home grandma C. stopped by to say hi as she came to town to do some shopping.
Not many days left in school!
Monday, May 19, 2008
If that happens.....I don't know what we will do.......
needless to say......you are stressed.....since that is the main staple of your diet.
We will work out something.......
I love you
UPDATE.....THEY DID CLOSE UP AND ALREADY! Today on the way to school we noticed the SIGN was off the Domino's pizza place already and they were already closed. NO COUNT down warning or anything! I think that is all very weird and very fast even if they were going to retire. I mean they said nothing to us last week about closing up when I picked up a pizza there.
NOW I have to drive at least 20 miles or more to get Noah his pizza....crap
Saturday, May 17, 2008
When I picked you up I knew you did not feel well and had a rough day. You complained of a really really bad headache first of all. AND I was informed you had a bad day....hitting another student during a competition game your class played with Legos.
Friday morning on the way driving you to school I talked to you about this LEGOS competition you told me would take place in your class....because I KNEW it was an event that could potentially set you off to REACT before thinking or remaining calm.....because I KNEW if someone TOOK your LEGO s or WON over you.......came in FIRST......you would lose it. So we talked ahead of time about how you SHOULD react.....what you SHOULD DO and not do....etc.
I guess the other team won....and you told me you get tired of ROBBIE always being first.....and so you apparently pushed him or hit him because his team won. Now ROBBIE is also a boy who causes his own problems and I don't know what happened in the class or if he instigated anything or not. I got a note from the teacher in your ledger that said your reactions were UNPROVOKED....but I guess she still does not understand that your reaction WAS provoked......by exactly the scenario I was afraid would play out.
I am not sure how I can make them understand that ANY social situation has a potential for explosive outbursts from you....A) if someone beats you or wins or comes in first over you....B) if someone looks at you the wrong way.....C) if someone says something to you that you don't like....D) If someone laughs at you....I could go on and on. The point is......anyone coming in first over you bothers you. TREMENDOUSLY! HAD I been there.....I would have been in the sidelines and when the other team won BEFORE you reacted like you did (as I am sure if they had really been watching they could have seen you starting to boil and react). ...I would have held you and said to you "that is okay......we need to clap Noah because the other team won...YEAH ....and that is okay! EVERYONE can take turns at winning.....you don't always have to win.....it is OKAY for someone else to win too sometimes." Just saying the phrase to you "IT's OKAY!" works so well with so many things!
The teacher PUNISHED YOU however....by removing your noon recess. I am not sure what you did instead.....but they still don't realize the importance of you receiving SENSORY STIMULATION throughout the day to help you remain calm. DOCKING you your recess time and not allowing your BODY time to MOVE does nothing but add fuel to the fire. YOU NEED that time to move. In the past all the behavioral experts have told previous teachers this. That you cannot punish a child for doing something they cannot control.....it is not like you are doing something or choosing to do something WRONG over something right. These are impulsive behaviors you cannot control. YOU CAN LEARN to control them better with time and you have made progress....but they are still things you must learn. They will never come instinctively to you. Try as I might I don't think I am getting this across to the teachers.
SO she had punished you in school....and then told YOU that she was going to tell me about this and tell me to also punish you here at home which only upset you even more....so you cried and had a hard time and ended up with a really bad headache.
I know you must learn there are consequences for actions. However......punishing any special needs child for behavior they cannot control is not really correct either is it? I mean you don't really even get all this. You know you should not push or hit.....but you don't really understand the reasons WHY and you cannot always stop yourself from reacting that way. It is a process....and ongoing one...one you will continue your entire life.
SO these teachers are trying things the old teachers did. Punishing you for behavior you cannot easily control. This always happens. It always ends up like this. Somewhere along the way they start assuming they can and should punish you like they would another student who understands these sorts of things....I have already been informed by the staff that next year in 4th grade the teachers may not be as "understanding" or "knowledgeable" about your autism and special needs as your current teachers. That they may not be as easy on you...etc? BUT isn't that the entire reason for your IEP? AND if the staff does not understand you and your needs.....how can they best provide you with the best of anything you need in their school? AND would it not be appropriate that the staff then be required to receive proper training and education regarding autism? I mean you are not the only child in that school with that diagnosis. IGNORANCE on a teacher' s behalf is totally unacceptable to me.
I have thought and thought about this. I am going to write a letter to the staff this weekend and send it with you on Monday to school for the principal and all your teachers. I know it is the end of the year almost but it is never too late to hopefully teach them a little more.
I got you your KFC on the way home from school anyway for your supper and you were so afraid your punishment from me would not be to eat out because your teacher told you she would tell me to NOT take you out to dinner....and once home and after you ate and had some Motrin for your headache...you crawled into bed and slept for a couple of hours. I am sure your blood pressure elevated at school today. ANY time lately when you get mad or upset you end up with a really bad headache. AND then are wiped out. NONE of this surprises me. However, if tomorrow was a school day and not Saturday I already know you would not be going as it will likely take you the better part of the day to recover from this latest episode at school.
Here at home you are so sweet and good and kind. EVEN if you get upset you do not act out like you do at school. I have so many questions and want to do the very best for you. I am not so sure still about the public classroom setting.
BUT I AM SURE I LOVE YOU.......and understand you.....
(we are planning a sleep over for you.....you have requested a sleep over in MY bedroom Saturday night to Sunday morning. I have a couple of treats in store as I ordered a PLANETARIUM and MOON to put in my room so we will be sleeping under the stars and moon that night. How cool is that? I cannot wait!)
Noah......don't worry about anything. It will all be "OKAY".......I promise you that...because that is my job for you as your mom. To make sure everything will be okay.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
(Part of the front of the booklet and the first page only of the inside......)
Tuesday you brought something home from school to give to me as a Mother's Day present. It was a booklet you made with all your personal thoughts or wishes for me. Your opinions on things about me. This booklet means so much to me. It has taken such a very long time for you to finally get to the point where you are able to express yourself with words....and now to state your opinions and write them down!? WOW! I know in the past I wondered if this day would ever come to pass.
I find it fascinating to see the little man you are becoming and how you express yourself. You are showing us all that you are not just a walking shell or zombie....but have true feelings and opinions that have just taken a very long time in finding a way to be unleashed. Now that they have been...I am in awe of how personable you have become. You can make your OWN opinions now on things and have definite likes and dislikes....all based on what YOU feel...not on what we prompt you to feel. This is HUGE. To be able to then take your thoughts and formulate them and express them to someone else (like me in this booklet) is earth shattering for me. It is such a huge accomplishment.
You have gone from not talking at all....to only really being prompted what to say and how to react....to now being able to talk pretty well all on your own.....and most times not needing a prompt or reminder (though you still do sometimes).
I know I am doing a lousy job expressing this to you or anyone else. I know other moms out there with autistic children will understand what I am trying to say.
I will treasure this booklet forever Noah. I love it. I love you. I love reading your thoughts you wrote yourself in this booklet. I love the fact that you are sharing more of YOU with me and the world.
I will love you forever and ever!
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
(Noah sleeping in strange positions...that white thing on his right arm is his left foot) When he was little many times he would sit but fall forward sitting cross legged and sleep like that.
It went pretty well. I feel much more comfortable about things we amended and updated. The principal at the school is also the school psychologist so I asked her what her opinion was about the proposed changes for you next year. Your teachers think you should try full days in the regular classroom with an inclusion teacher being in the room. So there would be 2 teachers in the room and she would be able to help you in areas you needed help if you needed help.....but she would also be there to help anyone...mostly special needs kids but also any other student who might need a helping hand. I think we all are aware academically you do not belong in the Resource Room. However.....we all also know being in the regular classroom full time might be too much for you to handle all the time. The principal is more like me......wanting to try to set you up for success and not have things change so much and become so frustrating before you can handle it that you get burned out on the entire school experience. There will be many changes for you next year. SO we have decided to let you try it for the first 4 weeks of school and then reconvene to discuss how things are going after that first full month back to school. It may work well for you and you will be able to handle it.......or it may not. We can then make any changes that might be necessary and update your IEP again.
I was also told as you go to new grade levels....some teachers may not be all that familiar with autism. However, I personally think since there seems to be quite a few in the school systems now with autism....that the teachers should be required to take some basic class or course to learn the most basics of autism at the very least. I cannot imagine a school system not seeing that as something definitely warranted. I hope and pray more schools will send their teachers through some type of training......or maybe bring someone to the school to help EDUCATE them on autism.
Otherwise you have been doing pretty well. You made me a very nice Mother's Day card.....and then bought me one too. We saw some old cars at a car show Saturday night and had family over for a cookout on Sunday. Of course I had to fix you something else entirely to eat....so you had garlic toast and spaghetti sauce.....
It won't be long now and school will be out. I love you very much and am thankful you have done so well this year in school!
Thursday, May 08, 2008
I was sending e-mails back and forth to the principal requesting another IEP meeting when she then sent me one that told me you had been having a very bad day. Apparently one boy in your class told you to hit another boy...which you did.......several times....on his back. So they sent you to the principal's office for that.
You then later got into trouble for pushing a girl in her chair up closer to her desk. I guess maybe she did not want to be pushed up closer.....so I am not sure of those circumstance.....but you were not supposed to do that so again to the principal's office.
FINALLY you ended up trying to bite and scratch the first boy you hit earlier in the day, later on in the day...because he was butting in trying to do something that had been assigned to you.
You told the principal you woke up grumpy. When I asked you how you FELT when these episodes happen you said "very very weak.....my bones feel weak and tired." When I asked you WHY you do what you do you said "my body tells me to....it feels like it HAS to push or hit or move."
I know this has everything to do with your sensory integration issues.....because from little up you seek EXTRA physical stimulus to remain calm. You used to body slam people and walls from preschool up. You only stopped that about right before we moved back here to Ohio. BUT you have no outlet for those needs to be filled with.....so there is a deficit. You NEED this need for stimulus filled up in a positive way so you can better cope in other areas of you life.
I don't know what else to say tonight about all this other than we have a long way to go!
It has been raining for nearly 2 days straight. If it stops by tomorrow morning...the Special Olympics will take place and you get to go watch for a couple of hours. If not...I think the rain date is Monday but that is also the IEP meeting....though we could go before that.
I love you Noah...
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
You were standing in the kitchen talking to me about it...and I suggested we make a food pyramid-type chart and you could keep track of your servings of the different foods each day. I think it will be a great project for like at least a couple of months. We can start this now and continue into the summer incorporating it into an entire study on Nutrition and the Human Body.
I watched you busily calculate things on your fingers...to see if you had your servings of fruit yesterday. This is HUGE for you.....so I am again...thankful.
IEP meeting went well yesterday. The teachers love you and will miss you at the end of the year. You have done so well they really believe you are ready for total inclusion in the regular classroom setting with some brief snippets of time with an inclusive teacher along with anyone else who might also need some additional assistance...for a couple of areas. You scored off the charts with reading....and are at grade level appropriateness....actually ADVANCED for reading capabilities......off the charts they said.....however.....as far as figurative language and inferencing and comprehension.....you scored very low. COMBINING all areas allowed you to average out to exactly where you need to be.....along with the rest of the class for the appropriate grade level. BUT the differences are extreme in your capability of reading and always understanding what you are reading. SO we have our work cut out for us!
We have already talked about homeschooling during the summer months. You and I are both excited about that. I do love to teach you and I still wish I had an entire room to use as a classroom here or in our future house to be able to organize our school days easier. The way we do it works fine but I would love to have a separate area to use. I am planning on covering a lot and doing a lot of field trips and hands-on activities with you.
Anyway.....a few issues on the IEP....but basically it went well. VERY well. I am proud of you and all the progress you have made and continue to make. I remain thankful.
AND I love you. This morning I heard you playing songs on your keyboard you were making up as you went along. I will post some. The one I would like to post I probably can't because I had no idea when I scanned around the corner with the camera that you were NAKED from the waist down. SO I don't want to get accused of child porn or something by showing your naked butt online. I did take some other clips though and will upload one.
I love you Noah. VERY much!
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
(a peacock we saw at the park)
Today I have ANOTHER IEP meeting to plan for next year for you in school. Not sure exactly how we can do that right now....but that is how they do things. It is always in May...for the next year.
SINCE the field trip day......you have been VERY HYPER and wound up....not really listening too well at all! I think today..........3 days later you seem like hopefully you will finally be more calm. You stayed home yesterday because you were having such a hard time and a few allergy-type symptoms.
Have to keep this entry short......I have a lot of work to do! Friday is the Special Olympics so I will have to try to make up some time for work because you are being given adminstrative absence from school to attend a couple of hours to watch the olympics...since you wanted to be a part of it......but only by watching. You said maybe next year you would participate. You apparently qualified to participate because you have an IEP in the school. ANYONE who has an IEP apparently is qualified for the Special Olympics.
Anyway.....I LOVE YOU!
Sunday, May 04, 2008
Last night you brought out a Rachel Ray cooking magazine to me and told me to pick out something I wanted to cook......and to buy the ingredients.......
Then while checking your calendar you told me that in 2 weeks you needed to BUY/GET me something.......so I assume you mean for Mother's Day.
You are so thoughtful and sweet....and it will be interesting to see what you end up making me or wanting to buy me. I think you also want me to fix myself a special recipe from your cookbook......one where you can help.
You are sweet.......and I love you......not sure what we will do today but it is going to be something!
Saturday, May 03, 2008
All I know is you all headed to the city building and met the mayor.....and then went to the Fire Department and then the Police Department. While at the Police Department the city people came over and said they got a warning of a bad storm coming through and the skies were black so you all better head back to school.
I guess you all had to RUN almost the entire way back to the school. You arrived SECONDS before a REALLY BAD storm hit.
I am thankful it went well.
I am thankful you made it back before the storm.
I am thankful you listened well and the male teacher escorted you to the restroom.
I am thankful.
And I love you very much.
Friday, May 02, 2008
ANYWAY......they were doing/studying/drawing HANDS and apparently had to do a MODERN version of the Mona Lisa. Noah is obsessed with SONIC anything......so he of course did this
and called her the SONIC HEDGEHOG GIRL.......putting in the appropriate colors for it to be similar to SONIC.......but.....look closely at her hand........yes.....he ADDED a SONIC tattoo of sorts on her hands......
check out CRAFTMANSHIP on the Art Rubic.....
Now I am not sure what the assignment was but it says MODERN Mona Lisa......and I know "average is okay" but I thought he did an excellent personalized version of a MODERN Mona Lisa......makes me wonder if the teacher only wanted things to be done a SPECIFIC way and not any INDIVIDUAL way? You know what I mean.
Of course he scored well on the other areas.
This is his own hand he did....and again he incorporated SONIC stuff into it.....
HE said this was a practice one and NOT where he actually traced around his hand and arm which is what they were to do. I asked if he had to do it again and he said he did another one but it still had SONIC included...just like this one.
He does this in about all his stuff now......not only doing the drawings of SONIC....but now also adding TEXT or short stories to go along with it! On most of the papers he brings home the backs almost always have SONIC in a scene...
anyway......his field trip will start today after they finish lunch....he goes to lunch at 11:30 and I don't know exactly when but the teacher made it sound like they would not be going till around 1:00 and not coming back till around 3:00. SO who knows. I want to be down there but also part of me does not want to be around to see it...I might feel an urge to run up and step in and I need to butt out if I can.
AND now it looks like it is going to storm. SURELY they won't be marching those kids downtown in a storm!??
Thursday, May 01, 2008
First off.....yesterday you had a substitute for your parapro. When I came to pick you up from school here you came down the sidewalk all by yourself......no aide with you making sure you ended up with ME or in the car with me....etc.
I asked you who you were with and you said a substitute and I asked you if she knew you were already outside the building and with me and you said you did not know....you thought so. I told you to march your little butt back up there with me and make sure the staff knew where you were and went so they would not worry (meanwhile me becoming increasingly anxious yet again over the same crap I have been telling them about forever.....HELLO.......he needs an AIDE to make sure he does what he is supposed to do and not wander off...etc.).
Right about the time we got back up to the doors two teachers came running out looking frantic! Here came the sub.....apologizing....yeah.....save it lady. I have heard it before....this is exactly how bad things happen to sweet little innocent kids. She said she got called into a classroom at the last second to help with a student who was causing a problem and Noah saw me pull up and he left without telling her or letting her walk him out....so she said she had no idea he had left because ......yes......she was NOT with him or making sure he did what he was supposed to do.
And now tomorrow is a walking field trip. The class is going downtown to the city buildings to meet the mayor and see the Fire Department...basically spend like 2 hours doing city things. Noah you want to go so badly....but part of me is super anxious about this. I want to let you go because you are wanting to do so many social things now.....and I don't want to hold you back. On the other hand I understand the importance still of you having someone being there to MONITOR the situation and making sure what is supposed to happen actually happens. Your social studies teacher came out today and talked about the field trip. He said they really wanted you to go along too.....and that he promised they would watch you very well and that your usual parapro was also going to monitor you. You keep telling me you will be good....but it is not just you I worry about.
I had decided before to not allow you to go on walking field trips after I heard where a little boy was pulled by the arm by some unknown man at another school event that was also to be heavily monitored. My faith in the system is nonexistent. BUT I have decided to allow you to go.....hoping and praying all goes well and I don't receive any phone calls you are missing in action or worse, hurt. I also hope and pray the weather holds out as of all days....tomorrow I think it is supposed to rain.
You wanted to go so badly you even passed up the chance to go to the Drive-In tonight to see Iron Man where you could have then stayed home from school tomorrow. You said you wanted to stay home to go to bed and get up on time to go to school to do the field trip. SO I KNOW you want to go. My stomach however would have preferred the Drive In and knowing tomorrow you are safe and sound. BUT....I also totally understand I have to start allowing you to do more and more on your own and with others....so I will pray for the very best and your protection and safety as well as the protection and safety for all the other kids and teachers.
We had a busy day after school yesterday. We ran out to Bushel and a Peck....and got some bulk items...then to the butcher shop across the street from that store....and then to the pet store......and then to Burger King for your supper and then to the new Kroger's store near grandma and grandpa Lincoln. We had a good time...lots of running around though!
I have been busy mowing and we both have sinus issues from all the stuff in the air from the pollen and things blooming I guess.
I love you Noah. So very much.