We had the meeting with the school about JD's IEP (independent educational program) for his current status of EBD (emotionally-behaviorally disturbed). Well, THAT was interesting!

At the last meeting they had requested that we sign some papers to have him tested for communication deficiencies. We said that we would need some time to look over the papers and think about it. Ultimately we decided that the least we agreed with the better; so I sent the counselor a letter telling him our position on the matter. He wasn't very happy with that, but...


Another person that wasn't too happy about it was his math teacher. In fact he confronted us at the parent-teacher conference about it. AND again at the meeting today. He said that he thought that we were doing our son an injustice and that a program in communication building skills would be in our son's best interest. I explained that we planned on doing some things with him this summer to help him. Also, I flat out told him that this would not be the first time that we had been told insistently that something we weren't too sure about was in our son's best interest. AND on those past times those well-meaning people had been WRONG. In fact, the last few times we went along with something that was supposed to be in JD's best interest, it actually made things worse.

He of course was not convinced. But then, it doesn't matter because WE are JD's parents and WE will decide what will and what will NOT happen.

The school administrator said that he himself had observed JD in action and although he thought the things JD did were weird, he didn't think that being nerdy equaled disability.

We were told by all his teachers that JD does not seek out friends and that he has a very difficult time talking to anyone. Even when he talks to the teachers, they say he won't look at them and barely says two words. I wanted to ask, "Well, what the hell are you doing to him here? He is not like that outside of school!" Shannon of the Shannonosphere can attest to the fact. In fact, all his friends' parents and our friends comment about how mature he seems and what a ham he is. So what ARE they doing to him at that school?

That's when a teacher took the opportunity to point out that if he wasn't like that outside of school, how would we be able to help him? We wouldn't know if something was working.
My argument is, he's not going to be in school all his life, so if he's only having problems in school and seems to be fine out in the real world, is there really a problem? I think not.

I also went on to explain that when I was young I was very shy.
YES, ME! I was SHY!
I thought the other kids were silly and didn't particularly care to do the things they wanted to do or talk about the things that they wanted to talk about. I often stayed in recesses not because I needed the time to catch up on homework, but because I just couldn't stand to be around those irritatingly idiotic kids any longer. IN FACT, when I was in kindergarten, my parents were dragged into one of these conferences because the school was concerned about my antisocial behavior. They wanted to put me in a program because during freetime I wouldn't play with the other kids. I would go off by myself and paint instead. My parents asked, "Is she doing poorly in school? Is she disrupting the classroom? Is she hurting herself or others? No? Then let her paint if that is what she wants to do." And NOW look at me!! I'm not an antisocial hermit who can't hold down a job. I'm not homeless. I'm not a gun-toting loner. Hell, I'm not even really shy anymore. I'm just fine.
And JD will be just fine too. He doesn't need a bunch of misguided busy-bodies butting their noses into his life. He just needs to hang in there until he gets to college and finds more people like himself.

Don't get me wrong. I understand the school's concern, but he is not the average kid. They can't hold up his actions and compare them to the norm.
YES, he will go through this all over again next year with a new set of teachers. But that is not his problem, that is their problem.

The verdict? Since they could not determine that he had any special needs that would define him as disabled, he now officially is not EBD and is no longer in need of an IEP!!



Shannon said...

What does JD have to say about what's going on and the teachers' concerns?

Flubberwinkle said...

I think that school staff should be tested to see how good they are at understanding kids. Who are they comparing JD to? The cheerleaders? Do they not appreciate the uniqueness of each child? If someone slips out of stereotype mold he/she is in need of testing? Since JD is fine everywhere else, you make an excellent point regarding the school environment. Something is amiss in that school.

Shamus O'Drunkahan said...

Woohoo - it sucks when strangers try and tell you your kid isn't normal.

"AG" said...

Nerdiness is the best. Nazis are disabled.

sideshow bob said...

Look out for the booze-puking shark!

The Doc said...

I am really glad that JD doesn't have an IEP anymore. Not actually having ever met him, from the way you describe him, he doesn't sound like he's got any kind of behaviour disorder - and really, the school didn't seem to be even trying to work in partnership with you on this, so tough noogies to them!

DrMax said...

It's hard being shy. I was always pretty shy through school too. I guess I eventually learned not to take it all so seriously but it took a while. Hang in there JD, Syl and SSB.

Lindsay Lobe said...

Agree with Dramx. Hard if he's shy, especially if has a high intellect and feels alienated.

Best wishes

Wendy A said...

Public education is made for the norm. Any child that is different just doesn't seem to get accomidated properly. I'd suggest a change in schools.

Sylvana said...

Shannon, we actually did talk to him. In fact, when I was in the meeting I was thinking, "Why isn't JD in here discussing this with us?" None of the school people had even talked to JD about their concerns. I told them it was the best way to find out why he is behaving the way he is.

JD says that he thinks that he just needs time to figure things out. I told him what they had planned for him and he thought that was a little invasive and unnatural. I agreed.

Elizabeth said...

Isn't this the second time they've brought you in? Sounds like a bizarre school. Can you change, and does he want to change schools? Isn't there at least one teacher who is behind him? I was TOTALLY anti-social in middle-school, as I said here before, AND I got bad grades, but I was not stigmatized as disabled. At least I had some teachers who believed in me. How totally annoying.

Figure things out- sounds like JD's on the right track. Sounds like his teachers would have done well to try to figure something out for once in their lives. Stick it to 'em!

sands of time said...

That school sounds a little strange to me.I think i'd be looking for another school.Its the first time ive heard that being shy is a behaverial problem.


Sylvana said...

I ran out of time commenting earlier.

Flubberwinkle, it is almost as if they have already made up their minds about him and are looking for anything that backs up their opinions. In fact, when we said that we'd work on this with him over the summer, they assumed that we meant professional counselling. He doesn't need to see a psychologist, he just needs to get out more!! Geez!!

Shamus, yeah, I don't want him too be normal. And I certainly don't need the school try to make him "normal"!

AG, "Nazis are disabled" sounds like a great song name. And I LOVE NERDS!!

SSB, I was thinking of just that when I wrote the title.

The Doc, I got the feeling that they weren't wanting to work with us; they just wanted us to go along with whatever they thought. I let them have the whole box of Tough Noogies!

DrMax, JD needs time to learn that skill. I don't think that I really did until I was later in high school.

Lindsay, the one thing that we took from the meetings was that JD does need help getting his confidence up. We will work on that this summer.

Wendy A, we can't switch schools - there is only one- and it wouldn't make a difference anyway. They are all pretty much the same. That's why we homeschooled.

Elizabeth, the first meeting was to talk about what we should do to gather info for the decision. This meeting was to discuss the results of the info gathering and the decision that was made. We can't change schools and he wants to keep going to public school, so we will wait until I see trouble.

Pink Lady, as I said, they considered that a major problem when I was going to school in the 70s, so this isn't new. I think that it is even more of an issue now since all those school shootings. They are looking out for weird loners.

Shannon said...

I agree with you- it makes no sense why no one asked JD what he was thinking, what he felt, or why he acted the way he did. DUH!!! Some teacher out there has got to be on his side- if he charmed both my aunt and my cousin (a speach pathologist for children!), someone out there's gotta be rooting for him also.

Lyvvie said...

Seems like so many teachers want to be the hero who discover the problem with a kid who's not like the others, but sometimes kids just aren't textbook.

Well done for you and the Hubs for sticking to what you know is right.

"AG" said...

Happy Mother's day!

OldRoses said...

Hang in there, Sylvana. I feel your pain. It always killed me that people who only interacted (in an artificial environment) a few hours a day for nine months of the year thought they knew my daughter better than I did who actually lived with her! For all the other commenters: It's not just that school. I live in NJ. My daughter was in two separate school systems here (we moved) and it was the same shit as Sylvana is going through in both towns we lived in.

Sylvana said...

Shannon, they all love him, they just don't really understand him. At least we had the school administrator mostly on our side.

Lyvvie, they were trying to impress upon us how critical it was that these "problems" get nipped in the bud early before they were "set for life". They are all in a panic because they think if something isn't done RIGHT NOW he will be ruined for life.


AG, hey thanks!

OldRoses, I would think that most people would remember what school was like. I do. It hasn't really changed much since I was in school except there are more disorders to label kids with and more "heroes", as Lyvvie calls them, that want to save someone.
One thing I remember vividly from the last meeting was a statement to the effect that it was the school's job to make sure that the kids were ready for the workforce and learned how to be productive members of society. Which workforce? Whose definition of productive? Silly me, I thought the school's job was to make sure that my son got an education that would help him make his own decisions. OH WELL!

Elizabeth said...

Sy- too bad about switching schools, but I'm sure it'll work out. Happy belated mother's day. :-)