Friday, February 19

Tristan's School Update

So, in January we had 2 different meetings with the school regarding Tristan. Tristan was being evaluated by the school's autism/add/adhd team since December. In mid-January we got to have a meeting with the team to go over their findings. (they have documented that Tristan's teacher was very negative in the way she scored some of the questionaires she was required to fill out...they also documented her interaction with Tristan in the classroom) I was supposed to be at the meeting but worked the night before and had a VERY bad delivery at 6:30 that morning and didn't get home until almost 10 am. So Jason went to the meeting by himself. Happily, the team found that Tristan is NOT autistic and DOES NOT have ADD/ADHD. They did feel that Tristan would benefit from some more "socialization" with kids his age. They were happy with how he related with the adults (he remembered all of the team members by name and everytime he saw them he would come up to them, call them by name, and shake their hand) but felt he didn't relate as well with children his own age. Blah, Blah, Blah :-)

That same week we then had the ARD meeting that involved the psychologist (from the autism team), the principal, the diagnostician, Tristan's teacher, the physical therapist, the occupational therapist, the speech therapist, and the special ed teacher. The psychologist went over their findings again (she had already gone over them with us and the teacher previously) and then we updated all the plans for his PT, ST, and OT (we really liked the physical therapist...she agreed that Tristan was definitely improving in his physical skills but that we still have a way to go and that his hypotonia (poor tone) is definitely an issue) He's also completed several goals for both OT and PT so we've started some new ones. I got to say my two cents (or dollars) about how frustrated we are with his teacher and the fact that we have had minimal to no communication from her except when a meeting is coming up. The special ed teacher was there because (due to his needs for PT,OT,ST he qualifies) they wanted to have her help with creating a new behavior chart and help with "socializing" Tristan. Well, she showed us the behavior chart they came up with and when the principal asked about socialization she said "I have no clue what to do for that..." (NICE, HUH!!!) Anyway, Tristan is now in a "friendship group" for lunch once a week and up to 3 days a week spends 30 minutes in a "socialization group".

His teacher made sure to tell us about how he is "always" disruptive in class and then described what happened in class that morning...she said that the first thing in the morning they have morning reading time and everyone sits on the floor and listens to a book or something. She said that Tristan will "never" sit still and is always wandering. Well, the PT cuts in and told her that due to Tristan's poor tone he is unable to sit on the floor for extended lengths of time as it is very uncomfortable because he needs back support when he is sitting. Teacher said that that she doesn't mind him wandering because she knows that he is still listening because he can answer all the questions correctly...but that this morning he started crawling through the chairs and the desks and "got stuck". Instead of stopping him from doing this she waited until he "got stuck" and then threatened to send him to the principals office and then "he got himself out". Well that just topped it off for me!!! Anyway, we reviewed the new behavior chart (which IS more work for her...but oh well) and then were pretty much through.

The psychologist stayed and talked to me for a bit after the meeting (she is really nice!!!) and let me know that she is always available to talk. We discussed some more of our concerns (one of them that Tristan has started saying "I'm scared" when asked to read or write...this just started in the past couple weeks) and reviewed our "bribery" scheme (I wrote about it in the previous post). I also asked about "sensory integration disorder" this is something I found when researching Tristan's symptoms...still thinking it may be a factor...anyway she said it was possible but at present she feels some of Tristan's issues are just immaturity and she wants to try some "socialization" stuff first. Like I said, I really like her!!!!

So, in the 3 weeks since that meeting and starting the new behavior charts...Tristan has now had 12 days in a row of "good days/stamps" and is getting all of the special prizes that we promised! He's not scared to read to us anymore and is doing better with his writing too. Oh, I also had the OT give us one of his handwriting aides to use at home and he is doing better with his pencil grip!!! so finally things are getting a bit better...we are wondering though if his teacher just gave up and is trying to just finish the school year...who knows!

Also, the PT/OT/ST have made sure that Tristan gets some special accomodations due to his poor tone and muscle strength so while he of course has to write sentences he doesn't have to write as many as the other kids (since it takes him so much longer) and for his spelling test he has to write half the words and verbally spell the other half. So at least he is getting some help with some of these issues. As he gets better at typing on the computer some of his work will be done on the computer also.

So, there you have it...Sorry it is so long but at least I finally got it written :-)