So much went on over the past week, I'm going to have to break it down in a couple of posts.
I took a brief hiatus to help Jaysen transition into first grade, and I am happy to report that he is (knock on wood) adjusting beautifully! When I picked him up the second day of school, a girl in his class said goodbye to him, then turned to her mother and said, "he's a lot nicer in first grade!". I had to think about that comment at first, but it didn't take me long to realize that it was a compliment. It told me that in first grade...Jaysen was holding it together.
He is in a mainstream class, with less direct support than last year, but more resource support. He is getting pulled for Speech, and Social Work, and his Sp. Ed teacher pulls him to do "above grade level" work. Jaysen doesn't like to be pulled from class (which tells me that he wants to be with his peers), but he also needs the challenge of more advanced work in certain areas like reading and writing.
Once again, I am in love with this school.
I had a meeting with the directer of Special Services for our district, to try to get bus services for Jaysen. Yeah- let's just say it didn't go well. To make a long story shorter, I asked for bus service because although we are in a "walking zone", Jaysen can't be expected to walk to school. Other than being 5 years old (and I don't think any 5 year old should walk, if you can't see the school), he doesn't have a grasp on safety issues, and has a tendency to run.
I was told that bus services were denied. On what grounds? This is where it gets good....
On the grounds that since Jaysen is able to walk, he can walk to school. Because there is no physical limitation, he can walk. I mentioned fatigue. They said he doesn't get fatigued in gym class, he just sits down and refuses to play after about 15 minutes. Oh? That's not fatigue?
They said he can walk with a group of kids if he has to. I brought up that there isn't a guarantee that Jaysen would accept another child as being a "leader", and if he were to run, I wouldn't want to have another child in danger of running after him into a busy street. I don't feel comfortable putting that responsibility on another child.
I explained that because of the language disorder, Jaysen could very well spin into a meltdown when communication breaks down, especially with a group of kids. I was told that his expressive language disorder actually makes him safer than typical kids because he won't talk to strangers. Whaaaat???? My son's expressive language disorder makes him safer from strangers?!?!? I could not believe the crap they were trying to feed me. I would have totally accepted them saying "no services" flat out, but don't give me this bullshit that you actually feel that this 5 year old Autistic boy can safely walk to school.
Needless to say, I ended up losing it in the meeting. They said that we could hold another meeting in 4 weeks. I told them that wouldn't be necessary, but I would let them know if Jaysen developed a physical diasbility and would qualify for bus services.