Sharing recipes, crafts and frugal living, the challenges and triumphs of parenting a neurotypical child and a child on the Autism Spectrum. Yoga Instructor said goodbye to her nightly glass of Chardonnay to give up habits that were not serving her purpose in life! The CocktailMom name remains, however with a new focus on healthy and authentic living.


The journey continues...

It's been awhile since I've done a school update. If you don't recall what I've been talking about check here and here and here and here and here.

A while back I was at the dog park and bitching to a group of friends about Logan's school situation and how frustrated I was, a woman who overhead the conversation asked "have you had someone from the autism team come and observe him?"
"The Autism Team? What is this thing you speak of?", I asked perplexed.
I believe people come into your life for a purpose. And clearly God put her in front of me to offer some assistance on this journey. Apparently there is a team of people who come into the classrooms and observe the student and offer advice and tools to help aid their learning style. They also train the teachers and staff on how to accommodate the child's individual needs. And the best ready for this...they are county employees!!! So no more excuses!!!

Jon and I called an emergency IEP meeting and with the help of my dog park friend used the proper language that would put the special education team in motion. We asked to have someone from the Autism Team to observe Logan in his classroom. We had a short list of demands that we made apparent to them beforehand.
1. We want Logan to repeat Kindergarten. His birthday is one week before the cut-off. He's one of the youngest in his class and with his delays he would benefit being one of the older kids instead of one of the younger ones.
2. We want the teacher and staff trained on how to teach and communicate with someone on the spectrum.
3. Logan needs an aide. End of story.

A woman from the Autism Team observed him for a week and at the IEP meeting she basically agreed with everything we wanted! I felt like I could do cartwheels down the conference table. Jon and I both left feeling so hopeful.
A few weeks went by and then the Vice Principle stopped me in the hall and informed me that she hired an aide for Logan and she will be starting in a few weeks before the end of the school year. I left the school with a smile on my face for the first time. The very first time!

Ms. Drew, Logan's aide, has been with him for a two weeks she will continue to be his aide next year also. On the second day when I met her outside after school she gave me hug, she was so excited to be working with Logan and talked on and on about all of the amazing things he told her and how she felt like she has made a real connection with him just on day 2. She kept saying "he's such an amazing kid!". Yes I know! God I've been trying to get someone at this freakin' school to see that all year! Finally someone sees him for the amazing person he is! Finally!!! She is such a caring and loving person, I am so very thankful this is the woman who will help Logan navigate school on a daily basis.

The rhino I've been carrying on my shoulders has jumped off for a while, giving me just enough room to take a deep breath.
thank you. thank you dog park friend. thank you.


morninglight mama said...

Okay, first of all, let me say YAY YAY YAY YAY YAY!

Second of all, why the F*$% did no one at the school tell you about the Autism Team? Why wasn't this option presented to you at your first IEP meeting?? WTF? If that's a county service, and your child has an Autism diagnosis, why isn't that an automatic step to take after the first IEP? My good god, that's just ridiculous.

Will he get a different teacher next year?? Oh, I so want to chat with you!!

Gretchen said...

I know Dawn, Jon and I were saying the exact same thing! What if I didn't open my big fat mouth and bitch and complain at the dog park to anyone who would listen not caring if they know Logan's teacher or not...what if..what if what if. The thing that really gets many kids aren't getting the services because their parents clearly don't go to the greenbelt dog park! :)
seriously's f'ed up. completely. And yes he will be getting a totally different teacher, thank god!! The specialist said it would be too traumatic for Logan to be with the same teacher when all of his friends have moved on to someone else...yeah that is a nice way of skirting around the real issue.

Anonymous said...

OMG!! OMG!!!!!!!! I'm weeping tears of joy!!!!! Hooooooooooray!!!!!!!!!! I am so happy he has someone in his corner with him all day long and that she sees the truly amazing little guy he is! Kudos to you and Jon for never giving up. So proud of all of you!

Anonymous said...

oops, that last comment was from me.


morninglight mama said...

Glad he'll be getting a different teacher-- she was just a big old lump, in my opinion. We are also VERY happy to be moving on next year. I hear good things about 4th grade!

I'm so glad that he'll have some continuity with the aide next year too-- it will be so meaningful for both him and you guys to bond with the person working closely with him. I'm just so glad that you stood your ground-- you guys are such great parents!! (Do you give lessons???) :)

Nikki said...

Hooray - I am so happy for you guys!

Jessica said...

Great news. I welled up with tears and got goosebumps. I can't wait to hear about how Logan soars next year.

corie said...

Yay!!! Okay, first of all... who is that 10 year old kid in the photo???
Secondly, yes- why the F didn't this come up? Why must one overhear about it? So completely boggled by this.
But most importantly, hurrah!!! This boy has worked sooo hard and what a beautiful thing that you met her BEFORE the summer. They got to know his case, he got to know her, and you can feel some peace before heading into the summer, and look forward to next year!! Bless his heart! XOXO-C

Leah said...

This is stupendous news. So glad to hear it!

craftymama said...

yay! i hope it's just what he (and you!) need.


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