Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 21
  1. #1
    Gena's Avatar
    Gena is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    3,477

    Default Update in #17 - Mainstreaming Difficulties (long)

    Update: DS is going back to the Autism classroom. Full Update in Post #17.

    ****************

    DS is 7 and in 2nd grade. For Kindergarten he was in a self-contained Autism classroom. Last year he was partially mainstreamed: spending mornings in the regular 1st grade classroom and afternoons in the Autism classroom. DS loved going to school and thrived in these placements, making amazing progress.

    This year, the school attempted to fully mainstream DS, although with a one-on-one aide. This was not the plan in the IEP, which called for gradually increased partial mainstreaming. The school really mishandled the situation right from the start. It has not gone well. DS can do the academic work (with some modifications), but has had a lot of behavioral difficulties, sensory difficulties, and attention issues. DS has been stressed out since school started: acting out in other settings, sleeping problems, eating problems, always wanting to stay home, and being just a miserable little boy. We’ve had a series of meetings with the school and with district personnel (some meetings lasting as long as 2 hours). Little by little we have been able to get DS’s program adjusted: daily sessions in the sensory room, increased time in the resource room, functional behavior plan, daily reports home, etc. As a result, we’ve gone through several revisions of the IEP.

    The current plan calls for DS to get some of his instruction in the regular classroom and some in the resource room. Initially with this plan, DS seemed to be making some improvements. But lately the daily reports have shown that DS is increasingly resistant to being in the regular classroom. He no longer wants to join the regular class for even the activities he previously enjoyed there (computers, science, reading groups, etc). He will go to “specials” with the class, however.

    Over the weekend, DS told me, “I am not going to Ms. M’s room (the 2nd grade classroom) anymore. I only like the resource room.” He seemed very happy with himself, almost giddy about it. I told him that I wanted him spend some time in Ms. M’s room to be with his class. But he kept saying over and over that he would not go anymore.

    Yesterday, the daily report indicated that he did indeed refuse to even step into the regular classroom. He got all his academic instruction in the resource room. (He did join the class for library time, but refused to check out a book, which is unusual for him.) The resource room teacher noted that DS had a hard time getting settled down to work, but was in an usually good mood all day. He even told his aide that he would rather be sick than go to Ms. M’s class. When I asked DS why he did not want to go to Ms. M’s classroom, he was quiet for while and then said, “I just can’t do it there.” When I tried to get him to explain this, DS simply said, “Mommy, we are done talking about it. I’m not talking about this anymore.” This is exactly what we say to DS when we have made a decision and no more arguments or negotiations are allowed.

    This morning, after we went over his daily schedule and school checklist, DS reminded me, “I’m not going to Ms. M’s class anymore. I’m only going to the resource room.” I told him we would have to see that the teachers say about that. DS simply said “No.” He was very calm about it, which is really not like him. I can’t help but realize that he has come to a firm decision in his mind.

    I’m not sure what to do here. Obviously DS is unhappy with how mainstreaming has been going. And just as obviously he has come up with his own solution. But I don’t agree with him the giving up on mainstreaming is the right answer. The Autism classroom is no longer considered an “appropriate placement” for him. I don’t think spending all his time in the resource room is appropriate either. We can't force him to be the mainstream classroom without him acting out and disrupting the entire class.

    As anyone been through something like this? What do we do now?
    Last edited by Gena; 12-12-2011 at 01:35 PM.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

  2. #2
    egoldber's Avatar
    egoldber is offline Black Diamond level (25,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Northern VA, USA.
    Posts
    31,122

    Default

    Wow. That's really hard.

    What is the reason that they want to continue mainstreaming him this year? It seems pretty clear, for whatever reason, that it is not working for him now. Not to say it may not work out next year or another year. (Or maybe with a different teacher / classroom dynamic?)
    Beth, mom to older DD (8/01) and younger DD (10/06) and always missing Leah (4/22 - 5/1/05)

  3. #3
    karstmama's Avatar
    karstmama is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    bath, nc
    Posts
    2,328

    Default

    i'm earlier in the process than you, with ds in pre-k, but yowsers... any chance to give him what he's asking for? i have to think he might be right for now.

    thinking of y'all, whatever happens.
    mama to j karst, former 25 weeker, 12/06

  4. #4
    hillview's Avatar
    hillview is online now Blue Diamond level (20,000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,248

    Default

    HUGS. No advice but I am sending you P&PT sounds like a rough time.
    DS #1 Summer 05
    DS #2 Summer 07

  5. #5
    JTsMom is offline Diamond level (5000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
    Posts
    8,666

    Default

    I'm kind of thinking along the same lines. Would it be totally out of the question to just go with his plan, at least for a while? You know his personality best, of course, but I'm thinking if Jason were to be that set on something, forcing the issue would make him really dig in his heels, and do more damage than it would be worth. But, if I made it a non-issue, then slowly tried to build up to my goal, it would probably work.

    What a tough spot to be in, in any case!
    Lori
    Mom to Jason 05/05
    and Zachary 05/10

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    22,684

    Default

    No BTDT. I wonder if there are any incentives to encourage him to spend some time in the regular classroom? Maybe start with his favorite time in there, with a one on one aide and a reward for staying for that one activity? And then gradually build up to more time in the class?

    (Does he like having you come to school? Would you be available to come and read to his regular class or help with an activity? Maybe he would be persuaded to join while you were there?)

    Catherine

  7. #7
    Gena's Avatar
    Gena is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    3,477

    Default

    Thank you for all the support.

    Quote Originally Posted by egoldber View Post
    Wow. That's really hard.

    What is the reason that they want to continue mainstreaming him this year? It seems pretty clear, for whatever reason, that it is not working for him now. Not to say it may not work out next year or another year. (Or maybe with a different teacher / classroom dynamic?)
    It has a lot to do with the push for LRE (Least Restricitve Environment). The school is saying that the Autism classroom is too restrictive for DS's level of functioning. So that means he's supposed to be in the mainstream classroom. There really isn't an in-between placement other than what they are trying now - some time in the regular classroom and some in the resource room.

    Other schools in the district have a more in-between placement, such as a mixed disability classroom or a communications impaired classroom. Last spring, when we did the IEP for this year, the district tried to push to toward this, but we believed that it would be too traumatic for DS to change schools. DS's psychologist agreed with us, when she talked to DS and saw how strongly he identified with his school and the staff there. Now were are wondering if we made the wrong decision.

    I just can't believe that the school does not have a better procedure to transition kids from the Autism classroom into the mainstream. I have a hard time believing that our kid is the first one to go through this.

    Quote Originally Posted by JTsMom View Post
    Would it be totally out of the question to just go with his plan, at least for a while?
    The problem with DS's plan is that the resource room is not set up to be a full-time placement. It's a place for students to go for hour or so at a time to work on areas where they need extra support or reteaching of the material. So, the resource room teacher is not set up to teach the whole 2nd grade cirriculum. She has other students who are in and out of her room all day and it's disruptive to have DS in there all day. Lately DS has been doing all of his work in the reource room and much of his instruction is coming from his paraeducator (one-on-one aide). The aide is wonderful and we love her, but she is not a teacher and should not be doing so much instruction.

    Quote Originally Posted by crl View Post
    No BTDT. I wonder if there are any incentives to encourage him to spend some time in the regular classroom? Maybe start with his favorite time in there, with a one on one aide and a reward for staying for that one activity? And then gradually build up to more time in the class?

    (Does he like having you come to school? Would you be available to come and read to his regular class or help with an activity? Maybe he would be persuaded to join while you were there?)

    Catherine
    They have been trying different incentives to have him stay in class during his favored activities. He's still fighting against it. Apparently they can't offer him anything that he thinks is worth the effort.

    DS does NOT like if DH or I come to the classroom. He's really big on people being in the right setting and in his worldview school in NOT the right setting for Mom and Dad. We've learned this the hard way.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    New York, USA.
    Posts
    6,599

    Default

    I can't help but think it would be helpful if someone could tease out what it is he doesn't like about the mainstream class. The psychologist? Classroom teacher? Aide? Because if you can't get at what the issues are and address them then you are really in a tough spot. Maybe talk about what he likes about the resource room and that may give clues about what he doesn't like in the mainstream classroom. Maybe it's the noise, seat placement, the teacher herself...
    DD1 - 1996
    DD2 - 1999
    DD3 - 2005

    Surfaces are for working, not for storing. - Peter Walsh

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    California
    Posts
    22,684

    Default

    I understand. My ds did NOT want me in his classroom in K. I ended up volunteering in a 5th grade room.

    A couple other ideas (just brainstorming). Does he have a visual schedule? What if he builds his own schedule each morning, but there are not enough blocks for resource room so he has to choose some of them to be in the regular classroom? Then it's not the teachers telling him, it's just the way the schedule works. And he builds it himself so he controls which blocks are done where.

    Or can you all play into his view about rules and explain that the resource teacher is not allowed to have him in the room all day? And that his aid isn't allowed to teach him every day? It is agains the rules of their jobs.

    Or, can you explain that he either needs to spend part of the day in the regular classroom or he needs to go to a different school? Not as a threat or anything, just that's the way things are. You could even take him to see the other school. And then ask him to chose. I'd only do this if he really can close, of course. But maybe he would rather go to a different school than stay in the regular classroom. I don't know your son, so this may be way too complicated or anxiety producing. We could never have done this kind of thing with my ds in the past, but just this year I think he could understand and make a choice.

    Catherine

  10. #10
    Gena's Avatar
    Gena is offline Emerald level (3000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Ohio, USA.
    Posts
    3,477

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by pinkmomagain View Post
    I can't help but think it would be helpful if someone could tease out what it is he doesn't like about the mainstream class. The psychologist? Classroom teacher? Aide? Because if you can't get at what the issues are and address them then you are really in a tough spot. Maybe talk about what he likes about the resource room and that may give clues about what he doesn't like in the mainstream classroom. Maybe it's the noise, seat placement, the teacher herself...

    I completely agree. For months I have been pushing for a Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA). The staff has finally started the FBA process and are currently working on gathering data. Personally, I suspect that it is a combination of issues including sensory, language processing, and social diffiiculties.
    Gena

    DS, age 11 and always amazing

    “Autistics are the ultimate square pegs, and the problem with pounding a square peg into a round hole is not that the hammering is hard work. It's that you're destroying the peg." - Paul Collins, Not Even Wrong

Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •