Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bastian's Got Lots of New Women In His Life!

I did blog recently. I just wanted to acknowledge that it really hasn't been THAT long. The last blog was a private blog that I shared with some family. It wasn't really public blog material.

Some things Willow said recently.. she is seriously so funny, and QUICK!

She was standing next to me, staring down at her feet. "My feet are getting bigger (sigh). I guess I'm just getting old."

I had to run to Target the other night to return a couple of things & didn't want to go alone. So Scott, Willow & Judah joined. (Sebastian has been staying with Gramma & Papa for a while - due to some behaviors that have been consistently happening with him here, but not happening there.) Target is doing their toy clearance right now, which usually involves some really awesome prices. Christmas shopping used to begin at this point for us, but we haven't done their toy clearance in years. We told the kids we were going to Target to look at toys. It was dark out, an hour or so before their bedtime. They were even in their pajamas. Willow asked me to repeat what I had said about what we were doing. I said, "We're going to Target to look at toys." and her response, 1/2 a second later, "That's more like it!!" haahha

I responded to an email I got from my younger brother today. I didn't realize how much I had written until I began scrolling to the top. I'll post some of that in here since it's got a lot of details about some things going on here.

Ha, I will tell Sebastian about Uncle Tim having bad handwriting. He really perks up when he knows other people have the same problem.. he's very much a kid that wants to be doing the "right" thing - having an Uncle with bad handwriting (you said it not me!) will very likely add some positivity to that issue. And you're very successful too! Can you imagine a class full of kids all giving you a thumbs down (this happened MANY times - it kills me that we didn't know until the year was half over!!!) and not even the teacher can manage a thumbs up. She rushed them thru work - rewarded them for finishing quickly.. he wants so badly to do well (obviously desperately doesn't want more thumbs down bullshit) and so he takes his time writing and doesn't get done in time (gets no points and points may be taken away), or he rushes and his handwriting suffers.
So many things have already happened in my life as a parent that I didn't see coming.. big things! I often think, "Did Mom & Dad go through anything like this??"  I feel like things have just gone to hell in a hand basket with our generation in the family, for many of us anyway (you are shiny gold). I feel like Dad is just going to say at some point, "What the hell is going on with everyone??!" ha. But I really do think that.
I've reassured Sebastian before that his handwriting will not affect anything about his future. He'll always work on it, but he won't be treated like he is not good enough for the way his writing looks, which I'm sure we will be reassuring him about for quite a while. Tonight he told me that he and ONE other kid got a thumbs down from the class EVERY TIME. I think he said the first time they ever did this he may have gotten a thumbs up.. but then he got a thumbs down the next time & every time since. Same thing with the other boy. I explained that the class was probably thinking that they were supposed to do that for him & the other boy since they were the only ones it had happened to. Now it is much more clear why other kids haven't been pulled from that class by their parents. They are all getting thumbs up!!
The attendance office didn't call us today, so I'm pretty sure they realize we've pulled him out. The counselor at his new school told me that she had spoken with his old counselor & that his old counselor (who had gotten comfortable with and was seeing on a pretty regular basis) could come to his new school & talk to him if necessary.
I think every staff at his new school is female (staff list on website). He came home and told me, "My new P.E. teacher.. it's a girl!! And the other P.E. teacher is a girl too!!!" ha.
I did send the teacher an email before he started there, letting her know that he had very legitimate fears of being in school now. The principal asked me to share the email with her. She then sent it to the counselor, who also needed to be clued in on this obviously. So today the principal walked with us (my mom was there - Scott was home sick) to his class.. the teacher had a buddy for Sebastian as soon as he walked to the door.. the teacher quickly introduced him to the class and helped him zip up his backpack when he was struggling, as if it was just second nature to her (it felt like she would take care of him). The principal checked on him twice throughout the day. The counselor showed him her office during the day. A kid "picked him" (I'm guessing this is P.E.) and he was so happy & surprised.. "I didn't think anyone was going to pick me!" When I picked him up the counselor found me & we chatted, the principal talked w/me twice after school & his teacher also took the time to tell me about his day. It just felt like them having some knowledge of how the first half of his year was really gave him a shield of adults who were going to make damn sure he felt safe & was happy.
I talked with some friends about our biggest issue with his last teacher after the other Spanish teacher at his old school informed us that thumbs up/thumbs down was a teaching method practiced district-wide. Not a single one of my friends was anything but shocked & appalled. They all found it to be so awful. 
I didn't speak at the Parent Club about these things. I wanted to, but Scott & Mom both talked me out of it. Our autism support group meets once a month and lands on the same/time as Parent Club. We went there instead & I'm really glad we did. I heard some struggles that those parents were going through that just killed me. And Scott & I were able to share some contact info with the group (medical, therapy, etc.) and laugh about hard shit that isn't the norm, but for us never ends!
We'll either email or meet with the principal at the old school. I can't walk away from there knowing that the parents of 29 other children are going to have to meet with the teacher in order for these things to stop. Sebastian's teacher had agreed to stop doing it to him after we talked, but she saw nothing wrong with it and was surprised when I told her that Sebastian didn't like it.. ?!??! He had his last day of school there the following day. After talking with him about school issues for just a brief time the evening of his last day of school, he asked me if he had to go back. I told him, with no hesitation, "No, you won't be going back."
His old school had the kids sit boy/girl/boy/girl at lunch telling them that this would make lunch quieter. Their social time was being stolen away. After all, they couldn't talk in class! Sebastian said he felt that he had to hold his voice in until he got home, where he could finally let his voice out. He did this for half a year. I don't know how. The class was split into a girls line & a boys line when they entered music & P.E. class. His old school was obviously VERY "old school". Sebastian's new teacher told the kids they could talk quietly at their tables at some point in the day (he came home & told me this, very excited about it).
Sebastian said that he wants to go with me to pick up his notebooks from his old school. He said he wants to tell his old teacher hi and bye and tell her that he isn't going there anymore because it's a bad environment. :) Apparently she's not so scary anymore!!

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment. Ralph Waldo Emerson

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