Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Meet and Greet at The New School

I already had another post started but this, amongst other things, has me upset tonight.

As you know, Micah is currently on home instruction due to her PTSD.  She is supposed to start grade 9 in the fall in a school not of our choosing, but it has an ASD class.  Last month, we went on a tour with our Autism Consultant and the vice principal, who seemed nice and wanted to understand Micah.

Today, we went to a meet and greet with the families in the new grade 9 ASD class which Micah will be attending in the fall

This time we had two other staff who didn't give us (me and Micah anyway) their names and jobs. We got the names when they were talking and I think one is the principal and no clue what the other does and can't spell her name. Supposedly they have a teacher picked for the class now but she couldn't come.

Micah already dislikes the one lady (Principal?). She talked to her too much and pressured her to talk etc. This is how her bad grade 6 year started so things are not looking good. I tried to tell the lady that Micah isn't even in school right now and wasn't able to comment but she kept trying. She would put kids on the spot by going one by one and asking questions. Micah even said no comment a couple of times which is really good for her. In general, you can't just ask an autistic person a question that they aren't expecting and get an answer. It puts us on the spot and our minds can blank.

I did what I could, but the staff member just didn't seem to get it and she was very forceful about having to do as much as possible in mainstream classes which is not going to work for Micah. They said that there is a kitchen in the new class but if the kids want to microwave, they have to go down to the cafeteria and use that one and then bring their food back upstairs to the class (if they can't handle the cafeteria).  Carrying hot food around crowded hallways when you have motor problems sounds kind of dangerous to me.  She mentioned a student forgetting to add water to his macaroni and cheese and it cause a fire alarm etc.  She said not to do that or risk getting suspended.  Is it not the staff's job to help our kids?  If a neurotypical (or maybe he wasn't) kid can forget, what might happen with our kids who might be behind in some of these skills?

Micah and I can write our thoughts much better than trying to talk so we don't get listened to and people just do whatever they want with us. 

The problem is that this could have ruined high school for her. Hopefully it hasn't. She seems to be looking forward to going. Obviously they will need a lot more teaching before she starts. I do my best to advocate for her and go way beyond what I can really do which is part of the reason why my own anxiety gets so bad but it isn't enough. I'm autistic and struggle to communicate. It's too bad there isn't more support out there for us. If we were rich we could hire people to help us and teach us in so many areas. Most of us can't do that though!

I have a whole list of things that need to be talked about before school starts and there were other disappointments tonight but I will end here.  Too many upsetting things in such a short space of time and valium only helps so much!