Harder Than It Should Be

This morning, our official state complaint dropped into the mail.

I’ll admit that I’ve been dragging my feet about getting it done – despite how my getting angry gets results, filling out the form is not really a time for my being angry.  Instead, it was a time for me to write it the right way, and that meant doing my research and quantifying what the school is doing wrong, and therefore, why we’re complaining. Continue reading


“Together We Grow”, the program that the Monster is enrolled in at school, is a standard kindergarten for the purposes of the school system.  They follow the regular curriculum, such as it is, and that includes homework.

Of course, the Monster had homework all last year, but this is different – it’s more in-depth now, longer, and tends to be something that entails more of a fight with him at certain points. Continue reading

Home and Away

As we’re preparing for next week’s assessment meeting, I’m still struck sometimes by the differences between the child we see at home and the one that his professionals see at the school.

Now, I think all kids are different in front of their parents as opposed to the school environment.  I was probably more respectful of my teachers than I was of my parents growing up – there was, after all, a limit to what teachers were going to be willing to put up with as opposed to my parents who were kind of stuck with me.  Likewise, I was certainly not as diligent about showing off what I knew at home versus at school, since I wasn’t being graded at home… Continue reading

Where Are You Going?

On Thursday night, during the Autism Society of Baltimore/Chesapeake meeting, there was an interesting discussion about what a school is actually required to provide.

The conversation started with a parent discussing that her child – who is four – is showing an interest in writing, but the school system is asserting that they’re not required to provide OT to teach the child a proper tripod grip because that’s a “kindergarten” skill.  The basic thrust, as the members of the panel asserted, is that the school is not required to pursue ‘advanced skills’, but to provide a ‘free and appropriate public education’ as they define it. Continue reading

Slow and Steady

It’s a rare Saturday morning post from me, while I’m at home with both kids – the wife is at her book club while I’m watching the women’s National Championship final in curling by webstream.

Now, granted, I do wish I were in Philadelphia to watch it in person, the way I was able to two years ago, shortly after R was born.  Doing what we want is not always possible – something us parents with special needs kids understand very, very well – but it also lets me look back on how far we’ve come since the last time I was able to go in person. Continue reading

No, F— YOU

As you can tell from my title, it was not a good meeting this morning.

So Baltimore City Public Schools were delayed by two hours this morning on account of the snow and ice left over from yesterday’s not-quite-a-storm.  Expecting that this might wreak havoc with the meeting schedule – we had the IEP meeting at 9:30 today – I reached out to his teacher Ms. A, who in turn reached out to the interim IEP Chair to find out if we were actually going to meet today or if there’d be a rescheduling. Continue reading