I've talked about how we had a pretty good IEP meeting with the school this year. But there are a few things that still bug me. As these things aren't what I consider the "most important" things, we haven't pushed real hard on them up to this point. But they're still important, so we are still formulating how to go about effecting change over the next year.
The first thing is how Buddy Boy is treated at lunch. Sometimes he doesn't want to eat lunch. He takes an ADHD med to help him concentrate at school (it works reasonably well), but one of its side effects is that it decreases his appetite during the day. Sometimes he's hungry and wants to eat, sometimes he doesn't. We don't care, as Liz always gets a good breakfast in him, and he eats when he gets home (after his med has worn off).
The school, however, has taken to punishing him when he doesn't eat his lunch. If he doesn't eat his lunch, they won't let him go to recess, which is his next thing after lunch. Liz has tried explaining this to them, but they still don't get it. Basically this bothers me on a couple of different fronts. First, he's our kid, not theirs. He's of normal height and weight. There is no medical reason that he needs to eat lunch. And we've told them its OK if he doesn't. But they think that their judgement should supercede ours in this matter. What's up with that? Secondly, we place a high value on recess. We think it helps to have physical exercise, opportunities for social stimulation, and just plain time to wind down in the middle of the day. So withholding recess is (in our minds) withholding a vital part of what we consider therapy and teaching for Buddy Boy.
The next thing is that they don't have anyone walk him from class to class, then "write him up" when he doesn't get to where he's going. I think this is one of those things that comes from assumptions being made because he is very verbal. This last week he got distracted/interested in something outside while transferring from one room to the next. So he left the building. This is the first time he's left the building this year. This, of course, caused a mini-panic at the school, resulting in 6 people going after him, and Buddy Boy initially running from them before returning to the building. For this he got written up and spent the rest of the day doing "independent work", rather than being taught by teachers.
I'm sorry, but easy distractability is part of who Buddy Boy is. And we think it's necessary for the school to make sure that he gets from one room to another. I don't think he's being "bad" when he takes off, and therefore don't think he should be punished when he does. Just becuase he's verbal, doesn't mean his internal regulation is up to snuff when compared to his same aged peers in 1st grade. I think it's something they need to deal with, and not make a discipline issue.
Finally (for now) one thing really bugs me personally. It's something that his school did last year, and continues at his school this year. At every IEP meeting, they ask us what meds Buddy Boy is on. Like it's any of their business. Haven't they heard about patient confidentiality? And what are they doing with that information? The school nurse needs to know what to give him when. Beyond that, they have no need to know anything.
At this year's meeting they asked us what he was on, and I bit my tongue and let Liz respond. One of the meds he's on is Guanfacine. So Liz mentions this, and one of the teachers asks "Isn't that cough medicine?" No, I think. that would be Guaifenesin. Liz justs says no, Guanfacine is a blood pressure medicine that is sometimes used with autisitics.
I'm a doctor. I practice in a field where knowing drugs is central to what I do. These people are teachers. Every time they ask about Buddy Boy's meds I want to say "Why do want this information? And what will you do with it? Can you even interpret it? Because unless you can tell me the mechanism of action of each drug, how it interacts with other drugs, what its alpha and beta half lives are, and volume of distribution, you have absolutely no right to ask that. Because any decision you may make because of your limited knowledge may be totally wrong, and deleterious to my son."
What makes me most upset about the asking about the meds thing is, if they're making like they are knowledgeable about a field that I obviously know they are not, what other things are they equally unknowledgeable about that they think they know?
And now, I draw the line on this blog
5 years ago