Friday, September 17, 2010

Transition Meeting Part II

It was good, I still have some worries, there were a lot of people, and I was surprised that the aides at Alameda didn't throw more questions out at the Pioneer aides, considering they are taking Isaac on.

Ok. Whew. Got it into one sentence.

It was good:

Because the teacher, the ASD specialist, and the transition team from Pioneer did an amazing job of sharing information and asking questions. We went over what went wrong at Roseway and what went right at Pioneer, and how those things could be avoided/applied at Alameda. We discussed how we would focus on his strengths and help him with his weaknesses. We talked about class structure and learning/teaching styles.

I still have worries:

The class is still finding its stride, and the teacher, his legs. The teacher also expressed one of my earlier concerns, that Isaac might be the most socially advanced kid in the class. We talked about how we can use that to our advantage (Isaac as role model, a role he relishes). Then they started discussing his eventual mainstreaming, and I told them to hold a moment on those thoughts. One transition at a time. Mr. P is still trying to work out his teaching method with kids that range from 1st to 3rd grades, and how Isaac fits in. I understand that all of this is new, and I need to be somewhat flexible.

There were a lot of people:

And I am not sure why. Some seem engaged in our introduction of Isaac into their midst, some seemed irritated that they had to sit there.

The Alameda Aides:

Oh, this is the one. The gut is churning, and I know now to listen to it. I was not impressed. The aides specific to his class did not ask ONE QUESTION. Not one. The aides shared by the two CB classes were great, asked questions, seemed to be part of the discussion. But Mr.P's aides - looked bored. Sounded bored. Were almost unfriendly (save for one). Then half way through the meeting, they got up to leave without saying goodbye. Come on people. You are role models here, molding young minds and behaviors. I understand they had to leave, but what happened to manners? You chose this job, after all. I was recruited, and I still manage.

So am sending an email and asking for another meet up, with the teacher and hopefully at least on of his aides.

Kinda pissed now. Will hold off on emailing until I let the wine breathe some more...


  1. Maybe you meant the most socially advanced who wasn't going to gen ed for the bulk or all of the day? Because my kid was in that class and is far from not being socially advanced.

  2. I had to re-read that post carefully, trying to recall where my head was at at the start of the year. "Freaked out" and "over-sensitive" pretty much define it. I came into that meeting with so much baggage I am suprised I met the weight limit. And I was afraid. Nice start to a transition meeting, right?

    So here I am, one year later. We have 4 actual school days left, and are facing the summer ahead with what I can only describe as pure joy. We had a good year, and those same staff members that I looked at with anxiety in September are now much loved and valued team members.

    And regarding the "socially advanced" observation - it was based on something that was said, not something that I observed. And yes, it was based on kids who, like Isaac was in the beginning, completely contained in that class. NOT being mainstreamed. Those kids have already shown that they can socially handle being in a class with their NT peers without issue, and only need to attend the CB program when they have a specific need to be met (social skills, speech, general downtime). Isaac was not one of those kids until the holidays, and with hindsight, I think what he meant was that Isaac was 'better trained', a horrid way to put it but a more accurate way of saying it. He had gone under extreme behavior training at Pioneer. And man, he needed it.

    So I will make an updated observation: Isaac is about average. He is very well behaved, but that does not equate social advancement. He has made friends in both the CB and the NT class. And I was without question, paranoid in September. Experience made me that way, and what scared me was my own deepest fears, not anything that actually came out. Being scared is good sometimes - it makes us ask questions.

    There are a number of kids in Issac's CB class I never see. They go to their NT class in the morning, and I never get to put a face to their name. Which one is yours?