Friday, May 30, 2008

Maybe This Is Not the Right Place

With all the talk about Alex Barton, I'm thinking a lot lately about Gus's school experience. I try not to take things personally or to get too freaked out about the reports of what Gus is going 'wrong' during the day, but when it's every day, sometimes I have to wonder if he could possibly do anything right in the teachers' eyes.

Then there was the question of medication. They were pleased as punch when I finally agreed to try it. But I am getting a sense of annoyance because I took him off within the first week. The reports from the two days he was off the meds were good until I let the teacher know that he;d been off the meds. Then the story changed. All week, the reports have been negative, and I'm not saying his behavior hasn't been as reported, but I have to wonder if they are more negative because the teacher thinks he's off the medication. He's been back on the medication (unbeknownst to the school) and the reports have been the worst yet. I got a very terse note from the teacher today about how Gus was yelling at people today, throwing himself on the floor and being generally rude. Again, I don't dispute it - I saw how he got on the lower dosage of this medication. I just wonder if her annoyance would be as apparent if she knew that he was still on the same drug.

I'm also thinking that it may have been a mistake to take him out of his previous program for one more geared toward mainstreaming. Yes, he's getting more in the way of academics, but I think the staff in the other program was a bit more...understanding about certain behaviors. I could walk into his class last year at any given time and just feel the love toward my son. There is very little, if any toward him where he is now.

I understand how teachers can get burnt out and fed up with students. I taught for four years. I can understand it, but that doesn't mean I want a constant stream of 'you're not good enough' being hurled at him for another year.

Should I get the district to put him back in his old school? Will that give him and even worse message about his capabilities? I just want my kid to learn and be happy - is that too much to ask? He's in a special needs class for a reason - because he's got special needs. One of those needs is for understanding and compassion, not irritation on a daily basis. And I increasingly doubt that one of those needs can be met from a little brown bottle.

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