Posts Tagged ‘IEP’

... because it NEVER is, huh Spaz?

.. so Spaz’s behavior problems have been VERY well documented on this blog but let’s see if I can keep it on the short side:

  • Constant habitual lying
  • Tantrums
  • Being disrespectful and rude
  • Sassy mouth
  • Bad attitude
  • Abandonment Issues
  • Low self esteem

I think that about covers it. His baggage is so heavy that he’s on a behavioral IEP (Independent Education Program) at school meaning that he’s in a “special” class and receives both individual and group counseling three or four times a week.

He’s been in this type of class since before I came into their lives.

He also has issues with authority .. being told what to do .. taking responsibility for his actions .. coping.. filtering what comes out of his mouth and knowing his place as a 12 year old.

A whole witch’s cauldron of things that brewed from the adult equivalent of a Perfect Storm.

So right on the heels of the whole weight issue and good eating habits issue and trying to find pants that fit him issue, I get a phone call from his counselor. While I’m trying to walk into the house carrying about 10 bags of groceries on my arm.

I like both his counselor and his teacher. They both sincerely have his best interests at heart.. try to work with him and his behavior.. and appreciate the fact that we are active parents who want to work WITH them instead of making him their problem. Believe me, I know of other kids where their parents could care less and sorry.. but I just don’t understand that.

So anyway, she calls. And when she calls I know that Spaz has gone above and beyond his own level of what I call a “brat” .. believe me, I could call him worse but I usually reserve those words for people over the age of consent.

I can tell from her voice that she’s upset. Not angry.. not pissed.. but hurt. Her voice was actually quivering and I was like O! M! G! what did this kid do now?

She tells me that for the week prior to break and since classes restarted, he’s been so over the top with his antics. Rude.. disrespectful.. disruptive.. inappropriate.. ornery.. were some of the words she used. She said he’s been telling his teacher that he hated her often.. that he refuses to do the work assigned.. that he’s being disruptive to the point where other students aren’t capable of focusing on their work.. that he said he doesn’t care about doing the work assigned.. ripping up work sheets.. throwing stuff on impulse.. refusing to participate in group counseling.

She also said that today in individual counseling he told her that he wasn’t going to talk to her.. he didn’t care what she had to say and then he walked out. She had to call security because she couldn’t see where he had went and didn’t know whether he had left the building or not.

He also said something to her that was so over the bar, it prompted the phone call. She said she didn’t want to repeat what he had said.. the words themselves didn’t matter to her (I can ONLY imagine) but that it seems as though he was progressing backwards instead of forwards.

I asked her why she hadn’t called sooner and she explained that the week before school let out for the holiday, all the kids get antsy and crazed so she chalked it up to that and let it slide. She hadn’t called Monday or Tuesday because her and his teacher wanted the chance to work through Spaz’s issues with him instead of immediately calling home.

I explained to her what was going on here.. that all this probably is centered around the move. He says he wants to go.. but is he saying that because it’s what we want to hear? Is he saying it because that’s what he really feels? Does he want to move but when he thinks about it, doesn’t want to? Does he feel guilty for leaving the Crack Whore? Is the Crack Whore MAKING him feel guilt for wanting to move?

The thing is, I don’t know what the Crack Whore says to him but I know that she says things she shouldn’t. I know that her child mind cannot discuss things with the adults in the kids lives.. and she says the most to Spaz because both Bubba and Weed are of an age where they can see through her bull. Well, most of the time for Bubba anyway. I also know that she uses Spaz’s craving for her affection to her advantage and his expense. I also told the counselor about her saying that Spaz is not Chief’s biological son to Bubba but didn’t know whether that had crossed Spaz’s ears.

The only one who could answer those questions was Spaz and even though we understand his issues, he doesn’t get a reprieve from his bad behavior. I told her we would address it and she would be receiving a note of apology from him.

So I explain all this to Chief and he’s just as pissed as I was. I asked him what his punishment was going to be and he said that he was not allowed on the computer or the laptop for a week. Not to play games or watch movies or listen to music. Fair enough, I guess. This is the third time that something like this has happened and honestly, I would have stuck him in his room for a week.

Anyway.. I was in the shower when Chief went to pick him up. He has after school tutoring until 5:30 and it’s too dark to let him walk home alone. When they returned, I was in the bedroom getting dressed and didn’t actually see Spaz until Chief came in and asked me to finish dinner because he wasn’t feeling good and felt like he had to lay down.

When I went out to the kitchen, Spaz comes in making small talk and I forget exactly what he said that opened the window to what happened in school but it did and I jumped through it. I figured that Chief had already laid in to him so I was going to take a different approach.

I asked him what he was thinking.. what was going through is head when all this happened. He said that he already talked to his father about it. I said, “.. well, now your going to talk to me because I’m trying to understand.”.

I really think there is a time and a place to raise your voice and this wasn’t either.

I won’t go into the whole conversation verbatim but basically I explained to him that when hurting someone’s feeling because your upset about something is not good. And when he said that his teacher said it doesn’t bother her, I explained that she is a person. And no one like to hear those things said to them.. like he doesn’t like when Bubba says to Spaz that nobody loves him.

It bothered me when he said, “.. she’s JUST a teacher.” so I told him that teachers are the second most important people in his life because he spends more time with them then he does with his parents and regardless, he is NOT to say ANYTHING disrespectful to ANY ADULT. Let alone those who have to put up with his stuff.

I remained calm.. I tried to use examples instead of reasons.. tried to put him in their shoes at his level, so to speak..

Everything was cool until I told him that he had to write her an apology. He said he wasn’t going to do it. I said he was. He said he wasn’t sorry. I said I didn’t care.. writing her the note would make her feel better and it didn’t matter to me if he was sorry or not. But deep down, I believe he was he just didn’t want to admit it.

He asked how long the note had to be.. I told him the longer he asked, the longer the note. He stopped asking.

After dinner, while Weed and Bubba did something on the computer, I grabbed a tablet and a pen and put it in front of him. He resisted but in a way that told me he just wanted the attention. He did write it.

With that done, he didn’t know what to do with himself. He said he wished I didn’t get rid of the On Demand feature on cable (which I didn’t so I don’t understand why the living room tv doesn’t get it) because he had nothing to watch. I called him a little prince and told him his crown was crooked.

Then he started whining that he was bored. There was nothing to do. I told him he was on punishment.. him not being entertained isn’t my issue and maybe he’ll think about being bored the next time he wanted to act out.

He was getting on the verge of being flippy with me so I told him that he better get on his knees and thank God that his father was the one who issued the punishment because if it was me it would have been a lot worse.

He asked me his punishment would have been and I told him. One week bedroom arrest, no parole. He did NOT like that at all and called me mean. Well, I am mean Spaz because that’s my job. He said I used to be friendly and I told him I’m friendly when he does what he’s suppose to do.. and when he doesn’t, I can’t excuse it.. that’s just the way it is.

Not having anywhere to go with it after that, he watched tv and went to bed early.

So we’ll see what happens tomorrow and if Chief get’s the whole creme puff guilty trippy thing and let’s him off the hook.

I’ve always been under the thought that not all people learn the same way. That point was proven when I worked and one of my responsibilities was training employees on new computer systems or contracts or whatever it is I had to train.

Not to pat myself on the back, but I AM a good teacher.

Sorry.. just had to throw that in there.

But you know, some people are visual learners.. some are lazy learners.. some are better at comprehending direction literally, etc.

Same with kids.

Bubba’s issues with school have been VERY well documented on here. In a nutshell, he trashed 7th grade .. we sent him to Sylvan Learning Center.. he trashed 8th grade.. he was socially passed to high school .. he trashed 9th grade and then his school advisers bumped him down to Special Ed classes for 10th grade.

He doesn’t need Special Education.. unless laziness and lack of motivation require Special Education. Because what his problem is and truthfully, up until I came into their lives, their father had the same lack of motivation in motivating them. Maybe he didn’t know how.. maybe he wasn’t around enough.. but whatever the excuse :: because he’s not getting a free pass from me on this :: Bubba figured out a long time ago how to do what little work as possible and then smooze whatever teacher he had at the end of the year.

Not to mention that we live in probably one of the worst school districts in the state.

Not to mention that Bubba was placed on an IEP (Individual Education Program) that to me, gave student and teachers a like the ability to write everything off as a learning disability. I am STRONGLY against IEP’s and if you research the No Child Left Behind nonsense, what really was done was lower the bar so it APPEARED that students were doing better then actually working hard to ensure that kids are educated.

Just my opinion.. save your time on the hate mail.

At any rate, Bubba  is a smart kid. You can’t be that good at beating the system without being smart. He just didn’t like school and one of the things that we learned from his time at Sylvan is that he is a visual learner. Even though he has a ridiculously high reading ability, he learns better when shown how to do it versus reading how to do it. He aslo performed better when in a smaller class environment.

That’s all fine well and good except that the only place meeting those requirements was Special Ed classes.

At first, the thought of being in a small classroom doing 4th or 5th grade work appealed to Bubba.. but after about 2 months the novelty wore off and one night, I happened to see a report that he had written on the computer regarding his education and how he realized that purposefully trashing his education up until that point had screwed him up and how he felt horrible that we had spent so much money on sending him to Sylvan and he hadn’t taken advantage of it.

It was a pretty mature assessment and I remember thinking to myself.. yea, this kid is FINALLY getting it!!

ALL the kids can tell you how much I harp on education.. how valuable it is.. how it sets the stage for the rest of your life.. how much I loved school and how wanting to learn is something that will serve you well in all areas of your life.

Yep.. call me the Education Czar.

When we started getting phone calls from his teachers recommending him for Cyber School, I thought that maybe he was at a maturity level to handle the responsibility. Because it IS a responsibility. I met with the teacher in charge of alternate education at his high school and we ran through a demo of the program.. I asked every question I could think of.. and was assured that not only does the system total the time actually spend WORKING (not just from logging in) but offers a variety of different reports that the parent can access so that you can actually SEE what your kid is doing.. or not doing for that matter.

My personal opinion was that Bubba, not having to go to a brick and mortar school and sitting all day in front of a computer in his pajamas, would be more interested in learning and that he could actually get enough credits to graduate a lot sooner then if he went to school.

The fact that both of us were going to be home to monitor him was actually the deciding factor BUT we told Bubba that he still needed structure. He was still going to have a bedtime.. was still going to get up early and still spend an X amount of hours on school work.

He readily agreed and for the first week, he did.

But like everything else, he started to slack and his father started to slack.

I was pulling the reports daily.. showing his father who would just make comments about telling Bubba this or making Bubba do that which never materialized.. showing Bubba who half paid attention and then still did what he wanted to do because when I forced his father to get involved.. he would yell at him and then go back to doing what he was doing leaving Bubba to just go back to doing what HE was doing.. which wasn’t school work.

It’s all very frustrating for me because I can only do so much…

So when the move to West Virginia was put on the table, I took the opportunity over family dinner to lay it out for Bubba.

West Virginia does have a cyber school program.. Bubba had to the choice to commit to his work now so that the WV Board of Education would allow him to continue.. OR he goes back to regular high school. A county high school that’s way bigger then the one that he was in here. Plus, there would be no limo service. Chief and I will both have to get jobs so we won’t be available to drive him and pick him up.. he’d have to catch the school bus.

If that were to happen, he could forget about getting a job when he turned 16 to afford his own car and insurance. Going to a brick and mortar school means that he would be vying for the same shifts that every other student wanting to work would be trying for.

He said he wanted to stay in cyber school so that he could work. I told him that no one can make that happen but him and I was going to stop taking his education personally.. it was his decision and he needed to make it happen but one way or the other, he WAS going to get an education.

This conversation started at the beginning of traditional Christmas break.

Did he do anything? Nope. I kept bringing it up.. bringing it up.. bringing it up.. telling his father to do something.. and all Bubba did was sleep at the Crack Whore’s or spend the night with friends.

All very frustrating for me.

Today, everything came to a head.

Last night I told Chief that he had to wake Bubba up at 9am.. show him the reports.. show him what he wasn’t doing.. and sit next to him if he had to to make sure he did it.

That didn’t happen.

When I came home at 10:30, Bubba was still asleep. I tried waking him up but he ignored me. Chief tried to wake him up and he ignored him. When he finally DID get up, he bitched that it was “early” .. um, sorry son, 11am is NOT early.. but I sat him down at the computer and showed him the reports that WE were looking at and explained to him where he was lacking and what he needed to do.

I told him that he had to hit every subject, not just the ones he liked or he found easy. Part of this district’s program is that he has the opportunity to get instruction from a real teacher if there is something that he gets hung up on or doesn’t quite understand.

There really are no excuses.

After 47 MINUTES, he told me he did work on every subject.

So I grabbed his father.. pulled up the reports and told him that what he DID was complete ONE LESSON from every unit. Not good enough. He started getting flippy .. which made his father angry and started yelling .. and then Chief retreated back to the bedroom to play video games leaving Bubba to go back to playing his computer game.

All very frustrating for me and so I told Chief that the experiment was over. Tomorrow we were going back to the high school to get Bubba back in there on Monday. If he chooses not to come to WV because he doesn’t want to go to a regular high school there then he can stay here. Right or wrong, there’s very little I can do without any support from his father.

While I totally believe in the advantages of cyber school, I also believe that it takes a certain type of kid AND a certain type of parent. Obviously, not all parents are cut out for the additional responsibility of making sure their kid gets the education available to them and that’s a shame because the benefits far out way the down falls.

Given the state of the public school district that currently holds the responsibility of educating Bubba and Spaz, there’s no doubt that it pales in comparison to a Catholic / Private education.

NOTE: Bubba and Spaz being idiots aside. I did give the district a curve because I realize the challenge they have with these to.

I am a product of Catholic school. I went from K to 12.. not counting my Baptist nursery school and Jesuit collegiate experiences.

Mind you, I graduated high school 20-something years ago but I do know from my friend’s experiences with THEIR kids that it didn’t change too much. But with the public school here, I can’t believe the leniency that goes on. I understand that for some teachers who want to be more stringent, their hands are tied. But then, what exactly are you providing for the child?

Not sure if this is a public school thing as a whole or just where I live but they will “socially” pass a student into the next grade meaning that if the kid is deemed “too old” to repeat a particular grade then they will pass him so that his psyche doesn’t get damaged.

Are you KIDDING me?

You’re worried about their psyche but not that they can’t do simple mathematics in their head??

I don’t really understand this whole concept of I.E.P (Individualized Education Program ) .. According to the US Department of Education (Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services) .. a public school kid who receives special ed and related services under IDEA (Individual Disability Education Act) MUST have an I.E.P.

I know Spaz is in “special” classes.. it’s called “Social.. something or other” .. but Bubba isn’t. I never asked Chief WHY or HOW they got involved in this.. was it at a school administrator’s instance? But regardless that’s what they’re in.

The thing is.. as I’m reading this 40 page document the USDE put out in July 2000.. I just think it’s a bunch of crap.

To me, all it does is serve to highlight a students weakness and cater to it. It’s like with Spaz and his atrocious spelling. The kid can’t spell or read at his grade level :: or AGE level for that matter :: and it’s because the teachers in his SPECIAL classes allowed AND condoned :: mind you :: phonetic spelling.

For example, this kid doesn’t know how to spell OR recognize the word KNIFE because he spells is NYF.

I had discussion after discussion after discussion with his teachers about this… like, they’re always spitting out about how it is their goal to get the kids back into mainstream classes. My argument is “.. how are you going to do that if you keep condoning phoenetic spelling?”

No answer. Blank stare.

Sorry.. I went SO down a different path!! But it’s frustrating.

Anyway.. so Friday when I stopped at the store after work, Bubba was there. He was telling us what his recent test schools are and it looks like he very well MAY be graduating 8th grade.

I told him that he has ONE year in the public high school he will be going to.. if he starts messing up or not doing what he’s suppose to do then he’s going to start his sophomore year at the local CATHOLIC high school.

I told him that I was WAY more then prepared to send him for Freshman year but it was too late to register.. but that it was all set.. ready.. go for Sophomore year.

The look on his face was priceless. “.. I’m not going THERE!!”

Chief jumped in and said, “… you have no say in it. But if you don’t want to go there, then you know what you need to do to stay at [the public schooi]”

I was having a ball at his expense. I was saying stuff like, “.. yep, hair about your collar, shirt always tucked in, tie everyday…”

He thought he was finding an out by saying, “.. well, I’ll just throw myself in front of the trolley and be in a body cast so I can’t go.”

I started laughing and was like, “.. nope. You know what they do for cases like that? They have the nerdiest seniors who are trying to build their resume for their college applications come and sit in your room WITH you to tutor you. There’s no such thing as feeling in Catholic school!”

I swear the kid was starting to turn red and sweat. It just so happens that there was a customer in the school who was agreeing with me on every point.

Now, I just have to say this. There is really nothing “set up” for sophomore year. We did start considering taking him out of public school too late to enroll him in Catholic school and beside that.. the tuition would have REALLY been a stretch.

BUT .. he doesn’t know that. And considering he thinks we spent a HELLA lot more for Sylvan then we did .. AND considering how he knows my feelings on education… he wouldn’t put it past me… and that’s a good thing.

So we’ll see.

There’s only a week left of school and I BELIEVE that sometime this week is the 8th grade graduation ceremony. It’s not some big shindig like some school have.. his teacher’s have said it’s more like a transitioning thing.

Bubba hasn’t brought anything home about it.. but that doesn’t mean he didn’t receive anything.. unless he gave it to the crack whore… have no idea.

So I just emailed his teacher. We’ll see what she says!