I will start by saying that I am the non-confrontational personality, Neil on the other hand has a strong personality and will tell it like it is. We really do balance each other out. The longer our relationship grows, the more we can just read each other without speaking a word. It's amazing to have such a relationship. Going into this we had our little "pep talk" about how this is our job, we are Logan's voice, and that this is his future. A strong educational foundation is a must to advance. Establishing a working relationship with the school is also a must.
The meeting started out completely crappy. The first things spoken were that they feel Logan is trying to "gain attention and escape non-preferred tasks." It was like this: He "wants" one-on-one attention, he will hide in the bathroom if he doesn't want to do the task at hand, he has a hard time staying in his seat, and he has an "attention span of less than 3 mins." Neil and I both disagreed stating that the behaviors were caused by the Aspergers, not Logan intentionally trying to tick them off or trying to manipulate the situation. We expressed our concerns that Logan is being misunderstood.
It was awful - the psychometrist argued Logan's diagnosis with us for AT LEAST 5 mins. I finally told her that we provided the recent diagnosis IN WRITING on Dec 11, 2012. We did that specifically so that she could be prepared for this meeting and it wouldn't be a surprise. She kept holding his OLD papers and shaking them saying "RIGHT HERE IT SAYS IMPULSE CONTROL AND ADHD - ASPERGERS IS NOWHERE LISTED." "You're right lady, we just dreamed up a label to slap on our son" is what I felt like saying. We tried giving her our copy to look at to no avail. Just as I was zoning out and daydreaming of getting up and banging my head repeatedly against the concrete wall - she happened to find them. No apology, of course! She was on a serious power trip and even the other staff looked embarrassed by her mannerisms. It was quite the headache.
We did let the school know that we had contacted an attorney as instructed by Logan's psychiatrist. She feels that we have been fighting a losing battle and that it is time to stop the nonsense and get the show on the road. She said usually if you even mention getting an attorney they will quit messing around, however, we really did contact one because we are fed up.
We have another meeting this coming Wednesday to start the IEP evaluation process. I am not even sure what this is going to consist of...but I am sure it's more paperwork!
After the meeting the principal did personally call my husband and apologize for all of the miscommunication (think it was because of the attorney?). He could tell we were upset. He asked Neil what it would take to fix this. Neil told him all we are asking for is help for our son and that we (including Logan's pediatrician and psychiatrist) feel that an IEP is going to be necessary to help Logan become a successful student and be protected. Neil also expressed our frustration with the school psychometrist. It seems as though every time we tried to express our opinion she would try to quickly cut us off and change the subject. The principal did apologize for her behavior and said that we would soon be dealing with the main psychologist (not psychometrist) and she has a son with Asperger's/Autism Spectrum Disorder. It will be nice
I must say it feels good to stand up for what I believe in. Before this journey there is no way I could have voiced my opinion to 8 other people that might not have agreed with me. Gradually I am becoming stronger and it feels fabulous. We are Logan's voice, we are his advocates, and we only want the best for him. We know how smart he is and what he is capable of. It is time that we work to teach him the way he learns vs. teaching the traditional black and white method. Our job is to find what works for him and build upon that.
I think that is it for now - even just thinking about the meeting exhausts me! Ha!
Thank you all for being our support, we couldn't do it without all of the love and prayers. Xoxo.