|As usual, this drawing by Allie Brosh has nothing to do with what I'm about to say, it's just plain awesome.|
School starts in two weeks. Two week. TWO FUCKING WEEKS. What the hell happened to the summer? I was just getting used to not having to do anything for the PTA and suddenly I've got meetings scheduled all over again. Seriously? WTF happened there? But I keep thinking I still have plenty of time so I'm like "oh, I'll work on that flyer next week" but SHIT! It is now next week and there's just no avoiding that stupid flyer anymore. Stupid flyer!
But, I digress before I even got started. Does that technically count as "digressing" if I haven't gotten started yet? Maybe it's more like "stalling." But, I stall....
Ever since Kindergarten, Child 1 has had an aide/tutor who has worked for me. At first, she was with him in the classroom, and then starting in 1st grade, the district provided him with an aide and she started helping him with homework after school, instead. She rules. Seriously. RULES. I can usually tell when an aide person is doing a good job because Child 1 will say that he doesn't like her; that means that they're forcing him to pay attention to the task at hand and they don't let him flap and stim and talk to himself all day long. He really prefers to flap and stim and talk to himself all day long, he doesn't want to do homework. But he was always kind of torn about this aide, because he really DID like her, he just didn't want to do homework. So he started saying "I don't want to do homework" instead of "I don't want her to come." Okay, now I'm REALLY digressing. My point is that she's awesome. She's awesome but she was expensive. Worth every fucking penny but still expensive. And I was (am) convinced that the only reason he was staying level with his peers academically was because she was coming in the afternoons. She would often report that it seemed like she was teaching him these things for the first time, and I'm sure that's true, because he sucks in a group setting and without an adult standing over him and making him pay attention, he's just not going to. (His district-provided classroom aide is also quite awesome, by the way, but he shared her with 2 other kids with IEPs as well as all the rest of the kids in the room who didn't have IEPs. Don't get me started on that, I did that already.)
So, last year when I wasn't working and I realized that I just couldn't afford her anymore, I went to my advocate and said I wanted the district to help pay for the tutor. After all, if he didn't have her, he would be seriously falling behind. She told me that the only way to prove that, however, was to take the tutor away and wait for him to fall behind, at which point I would have a case that he needed a tutor, at which point I would be able to go to the district and ask them to help pay for a tutor. Yeah, that IS as stupid as it sounds. So, we scheduled about 40 IEP meetings and low and behold, that's exactly what they told me. I couldn't prove that he actually needed her and since I couldn't prove that, they weren't going to pay for anything. Okay, fine, at that point it was, maybe, March, so I just rode out the rest of the year.
THIS year, though, is the year that (I guess) we're going to let him fall behind so that we can prove to the district that he needs extra help. I suppose I could try the tutoring myself, but I've also previously spoken about how much of a shitty teacher I am, so that would probably just make things worse. So, apparently we're getting ready to start 3rd grade in 2 weeks with just an IEP and a prayer. I have an IEP meeting scheduled for next Wednesday where we will be discussing this very issue, but nothing has changed since March so I don't expect anything will change much at the meeting (except that it's with a new Resource person who doesn't know him at all. YAY!) We're just going to have to start the year and watch him falter; I'm going to have to take some serious notes or something and document the decline. Then again, maybe the district is right, and he'll do just fine without her? Uh huh.
I haven't even mentioned Child 2 and Kindergarten yet, I guess that's for next time....