Wednesday, November 16, 2011

504 Meeting

So we had Riley's 504 meeting today. 3 of 6 teachers were present, plus the psychologist and the VP. A little funny about while we were waiting. The secretary was calling the VP on the walkie, to let him know we were there, and because they had a new student and wanted to know when she could start. They couldn't get him and couldn't get him, and then someone said he was at McDonald's across the street. With that, the secretary looks at us (because we can hear what's going on) and say's, "He's not eating, he's there for supervision." We knew that. There's a McDonald's right across the street from the junior high, and it's packed with kids after school. He was over there, probably chasing kids away, making sure all was ok. It was funny though.

Anyway, Riley still has the 504. The psychologist doesn't think he needs an IEP, especially because they can give him some of the things we want, with a 504. We got everything we asked for: an Alphasmart for Riley to use to take notes (writing is just tedious for him, and his printing is super messy), prompting from teachers for homework/assignments (he doesn't just do what the other kids do-he does his thing), extra time if he should forget to turn in work, prompting to use eye contact, and most importantly, he gets to join a social group. Now that will only be a go if the psychologist can get permission from the parents of some other kids who need that service. If they say no, then we will continue to push for a social group for him. I know there's someone available to run a social group, and has offered to even just take him and coach him.

We were happy when we left the meeting, although I do not know why the Math teacher did not attend the meeting, as she was in the office when we were waiting. Riley's English teacher thought it was tomorrow (we saw him after the meeting), and was very apologetic that he missed it. We were not concerned with him as he had Riley last year and is aware of the situation. He's such a nice man. The music teacher plays with the Oakland Symphony, and was out today. That's another one that is fine. Riley is doing well in that class. There are no issues. We could have used the Math teacher being present though, but we'll go tomorrow night, to conferences, and talk to her. We'll also meet separately with the PE teacher tomorrow night. She really wants to help him, and will make accommodations-she already has by having him run one lap instead of two for his mile run. She doubles the time for the one lap. She's going to help us brainstorm ways Riley can earn at least a B. She did inform us that he's been telling her he can't breathe even before he runs. We nipped that in the bud tonight. He breathes just fine. It's the running that brings on the asthma. I think he has anxiety about running and is using that to get out of it.

They are really being very accommodating at the school. We even talked a little about high school, and I know who to contact there, at the end of this year, to ensure that Riley has a smooth transition into high school.

Oh, and we picked Riley's report card up yesterday: 4 As, a C in PE and a D+ in Math-he has not been completing assignments in there. We will meet with her tomorrow to discuss that.

Double OH, I have this awesome paper about PDD NOS, so I copied the important pages about the disorder, and another one I have about Aspergers, and gave a copy to each teacher. The PDD NOS one was very good! LOTS of good information.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Preparation Time

This picture has nothing to do with today's post. I just can't post a post without a picture.

We are gearing up for Riley's 504 meeting on Wednesday. My friend, who is a therapist/behavioralist and two of her colleagues came over on Friday, to spend some time observing and working with Riley. The three of them are forming their own business, helping parents of kids on the spectrum. All three of them were shocked that Riley does not have an IEP, and they laughed at his 504 (it IS pathetic). I let them look over the testing results from Regional Center, and there was agreement that the diagnosis could still be Aspergers, but really it doesn't matter, because PDD-NOS is an Autism Spectrum Disorder. I think it only matters to me, because the school does not know what to do with the PDD-NOS diagnosis, and Aspergers is easier to understand. Anyway, they really helped me figure out my focus for Wednesday's meeting. I just sure wish I knew if he was going to get an IEP or not-the psychologist never got back to me about the testing results. It should be interesting to see if she shared the results with the VP or counselor. So I have a clear idea of what I want. All of my goals for Riley are social goals. He has to be able to introduce himself to others, and learn to carry on a conversation, a two sided conversation, not just answering questions. He's not good at chit-chat. He can and will answer questions, but he won't reciprocate conversation. If I ask him how his day is at school, he would never then ask about my day, etc. Another goal is to get him to use names. He does not address anyone by name, except for Quinn, and he says that name more than he really should. He does not call Kevin and I "mom" or "dad," and he is certainly NOT using the names of his teachers. He's going to HAVE to use names when he has a job some day. He won't use his teacher's name if he has a question, he'll just start talking. The ladies that were here Friday prompted him to come into the living room and say, "Mom, I decided I want burritos for lunch" (they made him choose what he wanted for lunch, threatening sushi if he didn't choose). He came into the room, walked over to me and said, "I decided I want burritos for lunch." He was then redirected and he said he couldn't do it, that he wasn't good at that. She then prompted him to say her name and that he was not comfortable saying that, which he DID do. There's been a handful of times that Riley has said, "mom," and each time I haven't answered at first because I am not used to him saying it.

I will keep you posted about Wednesday's big event-oh I am also asking for an OT evaluation and a social skills group, and for him to be able to use an Alpha Smart for note taking. Ducks in a row, ready to throw down if it comes to it. I am over my district and their lack of helping kids-and not just my kid either. ALL kids.