Monday, February 4, 2013


Head spinning....make it stop....

I have to make a decision.
I have to make a decision, and come to some terms I don't know that I'm ready to come to terms with just yet.

It's looking like next year, Jaysen will be moving into the self-contained, EI (emotionally impaired) classroom.

Okay, that wasn't too bad...

Here's what's going on.
The Autism Consultant explained it that Jaysen's educational predicament is unique because he has one foot in each program. He doesn't fit in total SpEd, but doesn't fit in GenEd either. Currently, Jaysen is struggling with mainstreaming. His behavior is impeding his classroom time, and that in turn is impeding his learning time.

Bottom line is despite everyone saying he is academically capable, Jaysen is having difficulty in the large, fast-paced, GenEd setting.  We can say he's not getting the right supports, but honestly, he's in 6th grade. How long am I going to fight for different supports, only to have yet another year wasted away? He works really well in small group or 1:1. He does awesome, in fact. He learns best when the instructions or assignment can be "chunked" and presented in a different way. GenEd isn't structured to do that.

The self-contained class I visited at the middle school was pretty promising. I really liked the teacher, and he seemed to be focused on the student's education. The teacher, being EI certified, is used to dealing with explosive behaviors, and won't necessarily take them personally, but might be able to help Jaysen work through and process them.

What sealed the deal for me though, was the promise that even in the self-contained classroom, Jaysen will still progress forward in the GenEd curriculum, and maintain on a diploma-bound track.
This is HUGELY important to me/us right now.
Jaysen wants to go to college. He wants to be a kindergarten teacher.
In reality- do I know that he will or won't go to college? No, nobody knows that at this point. He's in 6th grade. But my point to the Team was, in 6th grade, it's far too early to close that door for good. They agreed, and assured me he would, at this point, remain diploma-bound.

In a nutshell:
Jaysen will not be mainstreamed. He will be removed from GenEd and placed in SpEd full time.
He would have little to no contact with the GenEd population.
He would be in in a classroom with kids that generally have moderate-severe behavior problems (red flag to possible increase Jaysen's aggression)
If he and the teacher don't "click", too bad, it's the only teacher he'll have for the next 2 years.

Super small class size. This year, there are 2 students.
He will remain on diploma-bound grade level curriculum.
The teacher would be able to present information in different ways, so Jaysen better understands what's expected.
He could work at his own pace, and teaching would be more individualized (Y'know, like the I in IEP?).

When I discussed this with Jaysen, he seemed apprehensive about going to a new school at first. I asked him his thoughts about the bigger GenEd classroom this year, vs the smaller Resource Room, where he had basically been all year last year as his main room. He did say he liked the smaller RR better.

I'm a stressed out fracking mess, because once the motion is accepted, I am basically signing off on him saying "General Education does not work for my son".
And I am coming to terms that, y'know, it just doesn't. And that's okay.
It is okay, right?
Yes, it is okay.

Send booze.


Marshella said...

It does sound like it would be good for him. And it is okay for you to make that choice.

The first two paragraphs there you could have been talking about Deklan - especially the part where he doesn't fit in to either category of SpEd or GenEd. :)

Don't stress - you're doing what's best for Jaysen and that's what is important. Hang in there!

mommy~dearest said...

Thank you, Marshella. I think I just need to hear that. <3

Dani G said...

I hate school. Can you remind me which district you're in again? I'm in one that rhymes with Smalled Cake :)

mommy~dearest said...

We're in Barmington. Related? We should go to the bar.

I hear Smalled Cake is good. And Wormingham is the best when it comes to SpEd. Stay out of Barmington, it sucks.

TC said...

I basically wrote this post and didn't publish it over on my blog. Only difference is it's not an EI classroom, but what they just call RSP. Same difference. And N's not explosive, he's implosive (mute, hiding under tables, etc., when stressed). Otherwise? Sixth grade. Full time RSP for academics in middle school. I was freaking out until they promised me that he'd do GenEd curriculum and stay diploma-bound. At which point I finally agreed.

I don't think I've commented here much, but I do read and listen. Thanks for saying what I didn't have the guts to say.

Dani G said...

Barmington is bad? I've heard Barmington Mills is good. I'm fighting my balls off in Smalled Cake. Not many options for kids like mine who don't fit perfectly into a neat little category. Yeah, Wormingham is meant to be good, but there's no diversity there and the people are, well, you know.

You and me and a bar. TheRealDaniG at

mommy~dearest said...

Dani...Barmington Mills is crazy. I love the diversity part of it, yes. But services and people that "get it" are few and far between. I will tell you horror stories if we get together.

Jaysen's psych (Dr. Lyra Blovinsky) said that all of MI is pretty screwed educationally, and our districts in particular, just aren't what they used to be. I left downriver to move to Barmington Mills just FOR the school district. I feel duped.

I'll be emailing you shortly. :)

Karen said...

Wow--I would visit the classroom, before making any long lasting decisions. Most of those classrooms have all 3 grade levels in them. Check out who some of the other kids are, who the teacher is etc. I have seen some really good rooms and some that I wouldn't allow my child in. Give me a call if you want.