Wednesday, April 16, 2014

School Domain Meeting

Yesterday morning I met with Carson's school for a "domain meeting".  This meeting was to determine the need for special education evaluation and services. The meeting consisted of the school's principal, counselor, psychologist, special education teacher, myself, and Carson's classroom teacher. Honestly, I'm still not sure how I feel about the way it all went.

The verdict? There will be no formal evaluation for Special Education and accommodation services at this time. I felt like they had already decided to not evaluate for services before we even had the meeting, but alas we had the meeting.

They asked me what my concerns were at the start of the meeting. I expressed that Carson's anxiety and behavior began to manifest itself more once he started school. We gave him time to "adjust" to being in school, but after 3 months of school, I had decided it was more than just adjusting to being in school.  I had requested an evaluation or a plan to be made, and for him to see the counselor then. Nothing was done. We started taking him to a counselor in January, and saw his pediatrician in late January. We requested an evaluation at that time too. I even followed up with the teacher a week later, but nothing was ever done. I told them how it is impacting him emotionally and socially as he isn't asked to play with the other kids. We don't get invited to parties or play dates. We've had to take him out of certain activities/sports because of it.

They questioned how his baby brother impacted things (not at all!), how he acted socially, how he played with others, how his school (academic) work was, was he just being a copy cat, what are his triggers, what behaviors are indicators he's getting anxious, etc. I answered, the teacher answered, then I was told my son is "a very smart boy". Yeah. I know that!  They told me to create a behavior chart...yep already did that. They said to take away privileges...yep done that too.  I told them that he responds best to positive reinforcement...they acted like I was a genius! They are going to go off that they say.

They decided to put a plan in place to address his anxiety, and to have him see the school counselor once a week...Isn't that what I asked for last fall?!?

They will be developing a plan (or so they say) to provide him a quiet "calm down" period of 5 or so minutes when they notice his anxiety increasing. The counselor is supposed to work with him to identify his anxiety triggers and for him to recognize the cues that his anxiety is increasing so he can get to his "quiet place".  As part of the plan, he will choose what behavior to work on and the time frame to do it. When he achieves it, he gets to choose a buddy to go with him for his reward (taking a letter to the office, going to the gym for 5 minutes, coloring, etc.)  The whole time they kept saying "communication is the key"....I agree but the lack of communication wasn't on my end! The principal even admitted that they dropped the ball and will be having an inservice this week to address what to do when a parent requests evaluation...a little late to help us, but at least it will help someone hopefully!

Anyways, I'm not terribly optimistic about this all, but we will see where it goes. Hopefully they hold up their end of the plan.

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