I want to start out by saying that i’m doing a whole lot of venting here so if I come off a bit abrasive, that’s why.
Today started off in a fairly typical manner. That was about to change. Gavin is struggling right now. While he is VERY capable of making good choices, he is simply making bad ones. I honestly don’t know what his motives are but something more is going on here. This morning, we had Emmett’s IEP meeting at Eastgate. The meeting was scheduled for 12:00pm and there was 8 or 9 people involved. Gavin was having a rough morning and his actions resulted in Elliott getting hurt, nothing serious but that isn’t the point. Around 11:00 am this morning, Lizze was napping with Emmett. Gavin came downstairs and told me something about his tooth being really loose. I told him to leave it alone and not mess with it. As it stands he may need to have spacers put in to keep his teeth from shifting around while we wait for the adult teeth to show up.
About 11:30am, Gavin comes down and tells me that his tooth “fell” out. That was the beginning of the end for me today. I had to go wake Lizze up because I wasn’t sure what to do, not that she did, but we could figure it out together. Actually, now that I think about it, we never did resolve that issue of the tooth. Anyway, I got so wrapped up in this thing that I lost track of time. When I realized what time it was I was already late for the meeting. I called to explain and tell them I was on my way. I had to go alone as there was NO way to to do it any other way at that point. Emmett wasn’t ready and so he missed his last day of school, which really sucks.
I have NO gas and I hadn’t had time to see if my direct deposit had shown up so I was running low enough that the light came on. Also the POS van is acting up and wasn’t cooperating on the way so it took longer to get there. I got to the meeting around 12:30pm and we got started. I have to say that everything was going smoothly until we came to the part about Emmett’s diagnosis. This is where I became frustrated with all the confusion surrounding Autism. The way the Developmental Neurologist worded her report was that Emmett was that basically, he has some words so he isn’t non-verbal and because he has no language he doesn’t have Aspergers. She labeled him PDD-NOS or Autism Spectrum Disorder. She explained to us that the two are used interchangeably and any respectable doctor or medical professional will know that. So according to what she told us, Emmett is on the Autism spectrum, so he is Autistic. He falls somewhere between really low functioning and Aspergers. Well the school psychologist, who I will add is VERY nice, doesn’t see it that way. It felt like we were splitting hairs over the wording of this report.
Anyway, they said he doesn’t qualify for services under the Autism diagnosis but qualifies for speech and language. They will NOT qualify him for OT and PT as they say he doesn’t need it for academic reasons. They actually were going to put him in a typical classroom in August. Emmett’s speech and language score was a 67 out of 115. That falls into the severe delayed category on the chart but they list him as moderate. How in the world would Emmett survive in a typical classroom with such significantly delayed language skills? I was honestly feeling very overwhelmed. They also don’t see ANY social or sensory problems with him. Are you kidding me? Emmett has more sensory then we know what to do with. How can they not see this as a problem?
At this point I objected and said that while I believe in my son (because they asked me to give Emmett the benefit of the doubt) I also know him MUCH better then they do. I want him challenged but I also want the a level playing field. Emmett has MANY sensory issues, he won’t wear clothes 90% of the time. His socks hurt him, his shoes hurt him and we have to cut the tags out of everyone’s clothes. Not only does he freak out over tags in his clothes but he doesn’t tolerate tags in someone else’s clothes either. His food can’t touch other food and he freaks out over colors and placement as well. How are these things not going to effect his education?
I got them to more him to an integrated classroom of 6 IEP kids to 8 typical kids for a total of 14 kids in the classroom. I have to write a letter about my concerns and request an independent educational evaluation, which may or may not be granted. Lucky for us the IEE person they use is our very own Dr. Patti. So we lucked out there. I approved the speech and language parts of the IEP and will address the other concerns about social and behavioral issues in that letter.
Everyone was really nice and very helpful. I just don’t agree with everything and want to address my concerns, which they supported. The other BIG issue is that the school he will be attending is on Academic watch. My understanding is that the school is failing. Now on one volunteered that information at the meeting or I would have had issues with that as well. My ever resourceful wife looked that up when I got home. So I’m not sure how this is going to work. Emmett needs more help then a failing school can give him. I’m on overload right now so this is a bastardized version of the events that took place this afternoon.
I’m gonna cut this off here because it’s already long enough and the rest of the day revolves around Gavin and is a post in and of itself.