It’s no secret that we miss Mrs. Linda. We want Mrs. Linda back. Having the same full-time aide for three years makes them like family! After about a month of school, I sent the Autism department an email stating that I wasn’t happy with the progress Bryce was making this year and I wanted a change. Apparently this really stirred the pot! I wasn’t trying to be a difficult person, nor was I expecting the moon. But when you had a certain quality of help and the next year you don’t, things start to suffer. Bryce’s grades were going down, and I was getting NO communication whatsoever from his new aide.
After sending the email, it took three attempts to find a date for a meeting. By that time, an entire month had gone by and it was almost time for his annual IEP. So we “combined” the two and met with everyone. I knew about one minute into the meeting that there was NO way they were going to let us have Mrs. Linda back. In their eyes, she was doing more than what’s expected of her by “reteaching” things to Bryce (which is what he needs because he misses most of what’s going on in class) and that makes all the other aides look bad. They aren’t supposed to teach-they aren’t accredited teachers-they are only supposed to facilitate learning in the class. Whatever. I don’t care what they call it, Linda was a lifesaver. She brought Bryce out of his silent world and into the mainstream classroom. We will always owe her a debt of gratitude. But it wasn’t “what the district expects” and so I think she’s been punished for it in a way by being reassigned.
So we aren’t getting Linda back, but how do we solve the problems we still have? Reading level is going down, comprehension is going down, grades are suffering, communication to me is awful…what do we do? Fortunately, they agreed that there were some problems that needed to be dealt with. The biggest one is the reteaching issue. Since Sally is incapable of doing it (and apparently not supposed to anyway) Bryce will be meeting with the Resource Specialist on campus three times a week. She’s his case manager, but has never worked with him before, except for testing. I do like that I’m already getting papers home from her and she’s making notes on them regarding what they worked on and how well he understood the concept. She’s really focusing on reading comprehension and math word problems (which are also reading comprehension.)
As for communication, they are supposed to be creating a template for a log that will go back and forth between the aide and me. I just need to know basics of the day: how did he do in general, what did she cover during pull-out time, did he have any behavior issue, did anything happen? (fire alarm, earthquake drill, etc) That has not started yet, and if I don’t hear anything by the end of the week, you can bet they will hear from me!
I told them I would give it a month and see where we are after that. I don’t want them to see me as difficult and needy, but I’m not going to let them throw the smallest bone my way and be satisfied with that. This is my child, not just another IEP in the pile. So far, Bryce seems to be doing well with the addition of the Resource Specialist. His last reading test was WAY better than the two previous ones. I still feel like I’ve lost a person to care for my son while he’s at school, but I do think his education will be better now. On a happy note, I really like his class teacher. She’s easy to reach and seems to do well with Bryce. Now we’ll see where the month takes us!