If there is one bit of advice I would give my 2007-self, back at that first IFSP meeting for Isaac, it would be to be as loud to about my concerns as possible.
Back then, I was overwhelmed by the experience and diagnosis, and really relied heavily on the wisdom and experience of the MESD staff (as well as our medical and therapy staff), to guide us through the minefield. David and I took the stance of "Isaac's Team", and included everyone on our squad.
2010-mom would yell at 2007-mom. That little voice in the back of your mind saying something is not quite right, listen to it! Don't just rely on the advice of the specialist and teachers to hope that things go right. Trust yourself!
So here is the most recent update on the Isaac-front. I received a call from Isaac's new teacher, Mr. P. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had finally broke down and made various calls and emails to get a name, and Mr. P wanted to call to say that he had been informed of my quest. He was nice, very open, even enthusiastic. He told us that he was excited about the new year, that he had been at Columbia Regional before, as an Autism Specialist, who was recruited by MESD to teach at Alameda so that they could expand their Special Ed program. He was still getting used to the new school and system, and apologized for not getting in touch with us sooner.
I thanked him, told him that the Pioneer staff would be in touch with him on Tuesday (first day of school, but Isaac will not be at Alameda until some days later). And then sat there with the phone beside me, listening to the ringing of 100 warning bells going on in my head.
This was, almost to the last detail, an exact copy of the recipe at Roseway Heights. New teacher, from Columbia, ASD specialist, in at the last minute and a bit overwhelmed by the new position in the class. Enthusiastic, well-meaning, cares for the kids and wants their success. It took 6 weeks for that to go to Isaac being in an expulsion hearing and being removed from the school.
So began the argument in my head.
Difference this time? I actually hopped on the computer and emailed everyone on the team to share the battle. And the phone calls will be added once school opens on Tuesday.
Why was Isaac assigned to this teacher, rather than the other class that actually has a teacher with a hell of a lot more classroom experience? If there is a good reason, I am all about that.
Why was the Alameda staff not fully informed that Isaac was coming from Pioneer? How does that information change how the transition is handled?
If we feel as if the classroom is not the right fit for Isaac, what can we do. Can we change classrooms? What are out options?
Not gonna do it this time. Not gonna rely on optimism or good intentions. Squeak squeak squeak.