Friday, May 30, 2008

To my friends...

When you are sad- I will jump on the person who made you sad, like a spider monkey jacked up on coffee.

When you are blue- I will try my damndest to dislodge whatever is choking you.

When you smile- I will know you are plotting something that I have to be involved in.

When you are scared- I will pee in the cup for you.

When you are worried- I will tell you horrible stories about how much worse it could be, until you quit whining.

When you are confused- I will use small words.

When you are sick- Stay away from me until you are well again. I don't want whatever it is that you have.

When you fall- I may laugh, but I would never point.

And with that, I leave you with this thought:
Friendship is like peeing your pants.
Everyone can see it, but only you can feel its true warmth.

Aren't you lucky to be my friend?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Majority ruled.

Many of you are already aware of the story about Alex Barton. He's the 5 year old who was voted out of his Kindergarten class "Survivor style", meaning his teacher gathered the class together, had them say what they didn't like about Alex, and proceeded to have them vote on whether or not they wanted Alex to remain a part of the classroom. The result? 14-2, young Alex was ousted from the class. Full story can be found here, and here.

I don't know about you, but I am totally outraged. I can't believe that not only can a teacher be allowed to do this (the principal supported her decision), but I am most disgusted that the teacher presented it the way she did and held "council" with her students.

I cannot imagine what is going through Alex's mom's head. My heart goes out to them. Knowing the difficulty involved in making friendships, and the importance of social relationships- and Alex was made to sit there and listen to his peers- his friends- say all the things they didn't like about him? Ohmigod, it would have taken everything I had to keep from busting into that school with an arsenal of whoop-ass.

If you've been following this blog, you'll know that Jaysen has had some pretty rough times in school too. He has been discriminated against by his teacher, wrongly punished for being Autistic by his principal, verbally attacked and goaded by classroom volunteers just to see him "go off", and other lovely things that make me want to pick up an interest in Voodoo.

The parental community at Jaysen's school formed a united front, and approached the principal about having Jaysen removed from the school. At this point, the principal knew that the school had screwed up, and they were afraid of a lawsuit, so she told the parents that Jaysen's placement in school is not their decision. They threatened to pull their kids out of the school unless Jaysen was removed- the principal told them there was nothing she could do about it.

The parents didn't like that, so what was the next step? They made phone calls, they wrote letters, they filed complaints. Twenty-two of them stormed the Board of Education to have my son kicked out of school. Twenty-two! And they were loud, and mean, and relentless.
All fueled by just one individual...who can't be bothered by a special needs child.

His teacher.

From the beginning, she singled him out and made a spectacle of him. She criticized him daily. She talked all kinds of crap to the classroom parents on what a "bad kid that kid is", and there's something wrong with him. Why these people are allowed to teach kids is a mystery to me. Teachers have a strange authority. They're supposed to help shape a child's life, not wreck it.

For four months, my son was not allowed to interact with his peers. Despite my advocating, and the support of the special education department, Jaysen was kept in a "Quiet Room" which was a dim room with only a desk and chair in it. The special education department agreed that the school was punishing the victim, and that they were segregating him, but somehow it kept "slipping through" and never was remedied. That was his "learning environment" for four months. It was also about the time I obtained legal counsel.

Jaysen is just now starting to realize that things are different for him. He is supposed to be reintegrated into the classroom, he wants to be a part of the classroom, but they're finding excuses to keep him out of it. The latest one is the class is working on testing that Jaysen did last week. Well, why did he do it last week instead of this week with everyone else? Because he blew through the testing and completed it before the rest of the class? Oh, but I thought he was "below grade level" in everything? Hmmm. See what I mean?

Stay strong, Melissa Barton. Alex is worth every ounce of energy you're putting into this, and you're blowing it wide open for everyone to see that all schools are not created equal. Get yourself a good attorney and fight like hell.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The princess is safe.

Princesses around the may now go about your princessey business, without fear of being eaten by bizarre spikey-turtle-pig-wrestler bullies.

Today is an exciting day- just this morning, Jaysen conquered the Mario game he's been playing on his "Endo DS" (Nintendo DS).

Finished it. Done. The game is over.
The past several weeks of screaming in frustration, tears, self-abuse, and irritability have possibly come to an end?

"Mommy! I save the Princess! I save Peach!"
"That's great, sweetie..."
(notice music that's not quite Mario-esque)
"Oh! You saved the Princess!"
"So you got to the end of the game?"
"Yes, and now the Princess is safe, and Bowser not eat her!"
"Wow. That's pretty impressive. It would take me years to do that, but it only took you a couple months."
"Yes. Because I'm good at it."
"See? All that practice pays off!"
"What are you doing now?"
"Gonna do it again!"

Ahh...the knight in shining overalls.

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Thanks to lastcrazyhorn, I feel obligated to participate in the meme she tagged me with. Hey- I have an incredible amount of guilt since I skipped out on her last, she threatened to chew my toes if I didn't comply. So here it is-

5 Things

5 things in my bag:
Stray pieces of gum with fuzzy lint adhered to them (magically this appears even when the gum is still wrapped)
Loose change
Jaysen's "Wilbarger brush"
Bouncy ball for emergencies
My sanity? Because I sure can't find it anywhere else

5 favorite things in my room: I'm going to assume this is referring to a bedroom
My bed
Sandalwood solid lotion from Lush
Painting on canvas of a devil-girl with a martini
Canvas of Jack Skellington
Gripfast to-the-knee combat boots

5 things I don't do anymore:
Bite my nails
Torture my sister
Go "clubbing"

5 favorite flowers:
Morning Glory
Lilly of the Valley

Voila! And it truly was almost painless!
I am opening the tag to anyone who hasn't been tagged yet, as I am still searching for my sanity.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Got somethin' in your teeth.

Today, we sat for 8 hours, trying to get somewhere on the never-ending IEP. We had to reschedule as we ran out of time before we even came to the goals. But progress was made- we have a beautiful PLAAFP statement, and the supports/services section is so strong it could bend steel.

The most difficult part of those 8 hours, was attempting to keep my cool while the principal straight lied through her teeth.

We were discussing consequences. My issue was that any kid who gets in trouble is given the opportunity to defend himself and explain his actions by giving his side of the story. My son doesn't necessarily have that option nor ability. I asked that I be consulted in the investigation process, so I may offer my advice and reasoning as to why he did what he did, if it was a stim, perseveration, script...whatever the case may be. The all powerful principal didn't like that. How dare I question her authority.

The incident came up with his "suspension". So I used that example as a defense on why understanding the intent is so important, and how misinterpretations can lead to unwarranted and unproductive consequences.

Remember when she made the statement, "It's a general ed classroom, people are going to do things like take pictures."? (Read the whole asser-iffic conversation here, although I do have to warn you that you may actually lose IQ points by the sheer stupidity of it)
I referenced that meeting, and she looked straight ahead and said "I never had that conversation with you."

Whaaaat? (Down, Momzilla! Down!)

I took a breath and told her we can debate that later, but we have an IEP to attend to at the moment. What I really wanted to do is call her lying ass out, right there in front of the whole Team, but I restrained myself and played the mature role.

Later, when I met privately with the Sp.ed Coordinator and the lawyer privately, I said to her, "Ms.Sp.ed were there at that meeting. You were there when she said that about the 'being able to take picture' thing." She laughed, nodded her head, and said "yes". She knows how fed up I am with all of these erratic idiots, and at least had the decency to acknowledge that I am not part of this problem at least.
Treat my kid like crap, and now lie about it to save face. How about... don't treat him like crap in the first place, then you wouldn't have to worry about things like saving face, Ms. Principal, now would you? Flippin' liar.

Shit- maybe sher really doesn't remember having that conversation with me. Maybe she's got some kind of personality disorder, and I was dealing with Lolita, her alter-ego, that day? Maybe she was coming off a bender and totally blacked that conversation out? Maybe she has a lie-quota to fill for the school year? Maybe she's delusional, and thought she was at someone else's IEP? I don't know, I'm just trying to give her the benefit of the doubt.

Anyway, this just reaffirms that I need to get Jaysen out of that school. She has it in for him, things are not going to get any better, and I am making the right choice in sending him elsewhere.

More later, as I am beat.