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#31 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 03:11 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Black Orchid View Post
She isn't talking about all situations, just this one. Im sure that you would agree that if your child was repeatedly abusing another child in school that parent would be justified in removing their child from the school. And vice versa.. what if your child was being repeatedly targeted by another child? What would it teach your child to disregard their fear and allow them to be repeatedly sbjected to abuse? that they have to take it so the other child can "learn"?

I don't think anyone on this thread is saying that inclusion is wrong. I don't think that is the point of this thread at all. It is that when there are repeated incidents of abuse from one child to another that something should be done. Period. Regardless of whether the child is special needs or not.

It came across to me that the idea is that inclusion is just not helpful to a neuro-typical kid. It may not be, but guess what? It's gonna HAVE to be when they become adults and are working together or interacting with various ppl on a daily basis.

NO, no child should be subjected to getting hurt! I'm not saying that. My sn son was subjected to abuse at his last school. I took him out because he was being mistreated by the freaking administration. He was repeatedly targeted by THEM.

If a parent wants to remove their child, that their prerogative. But for ppl to make a generalization about the whole thing is just stupid. These kids have SN. Therefore they need Special Help. The teachers need aides that will do something to HELP these SN kids. If a SN kid is a repeat offender on a particular issue, then they need to be removed from the classroom or whatever the school deems necessary. This particular school seems to not be on the ball as far as that goes.

I'm not saying to leave these kids in the class and let them run amok. CLEARLY they need help beyond what most other kids need. But they also need to learn that actions have consequences.

I have a problem with ppl making generalizations about kids like mine. We're not asking for extra leniency. We want something to be done so they can continue learning how to act socially and what is acceptable. Additionally, NONE of us want our kids to be beating up others. You can't imagine how horrifying that is for us. Like, "OMG. I have THAT KID. The one nobody likes."

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#32 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 03:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Clarinet View Post
It's not about the children who are having the issues. It's about the way the adults are dealing with the children who are having the issues. One lesson to be learned in order function is society is that a person doesn't get to hit three people before an intervention.

I'm trying hard to see both sides of this but I can't imagine why a parent whose child is assaulting children and teachers on a daily basis thinks it's rude for other parents to complain about how it's being handled. Obviously, this inclusion isn't working for the children who are hurting other children.
I don't think you CAN see both sides of the issue unless you have kids that are on both sides.

I DO think it's rude because the way my child is being educated is apparently not acceptable to some posters.

The OP has every right to be upset with the way the administration is handling this. I would be, too.

My issue is that other posters have deemed it acceptable to say inclusion isn't working or whatever.

In THIS instance, no, it's not. But it's been made to sound like inclusion for everyone is unacceptable.

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#33 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 03:16 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Clarinet View Post
It's not about the children who are having the issues. It's about the way the adults are dealing with the children who are having the issues. One lesson to be learned in order function is society is that a person doesn't get to hit three people before an intervention.

I'm trying hard to see both sides of this but I can't imagine why a parent whose child is assaulting children and teachers on a daily basis thinks it's rude for other parents to complain about how it's being handled. Obviously, this inclusion isn't working for the children who are hurting other children.
The OP assumes that it was 3 hits and a TO, but really (based on the info posted) it was a 3rd offense that was a hit that was answered with a TO. IMO, the first rough handling needs to be dealt with immediately, but I don't think we can conclude from the info provided that 3 hits occured.

I just re-read the original post. Is the actual ratio in this classroom 16:1? If it is, lots of stuff with a class full of typical kids is going to go down, never mind if there are a bunch of rambunctious boys.

I didn't read from the original post that there was one child assaulting children and teachers daily. What I read is that the OP's children come home and tell how their day was, and that it includes some, frankly, typical preschool behaviour (really, typical children with no issues NEVER throw sand, or lose their temper, or kick or hit?). And, I read a vent from an overwhelmed teacher about her cumulative experience over the course of a year. There is no doubt that this has been an extraordinary year for this teacher, as this many kids with extra needs must be a statistical blip.

The issue is the handling by the school of the very unusual circumstances of this many kids with extra needs. Maybe that could be the focus, rather than the anti-inclusion stuff that's very alienating for the moms with SN kids.

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#34 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 03:19 PM
 
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Yes, well, unfortunately even if you barred all SN kids from all schools...you'd still have to deal with bullying.

Because MOST children who engage in bullying behaviors are NOT SN kids. If anything, it's SN kids who are most likely to be the target, especially of non-physical bullying.

This is an example of what I'm talking about, when I say that the vast majority of time in regards to bullying people want the easy way out. Easy to shove the problem off on 'inclusion', but the SN status of the child involved is largely irrelevant. Very easy to be distracted by.

The very fact that we've been siderailed from bullying policy to special needs inclusion is very glaringly instructive to me. :/
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#35 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 03:20 PM
 
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The issue is the handling by the school of the very unusual circumstances of this many kids with extra needs. Maybe that could be the focus, rather than the anti-inclusion stuff that's very alienating for the moms with SN kids.
Thank you.

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#36 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 03:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post

I have a problem with ppl making generalizations about kids like mine. We're not asking for extra leniency. We want something to be done so they can continue learning how to act socially and what is acceptable. Additionally, NONE of us want our kids to be beating up others. You can't imagine how horrifying that is for us. Like, "OMG. I have THAT KID. The one nobody likes."

Ditto everything else JTG said, too. I desperately want my son to learn the strategies he needs to be successful and thriving and a welcome asset to his community.

I wonder what the parents of these boys are feeling? I wonder if they're in the loop, really, about what's going on. It is very confusing to be parenting a child with SN, when you don't know what's necessarily development, what might be temperament, what might be reactivity to stimuli, and what might be strictly related to a SN. I'm sure those parents want the very best for their kids, too.

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#37 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 03:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Tigerchild View Post
Yes, well, unfortunately even if you barred all SN kids from all schools...you'd still have to deal with bullying.

Because MOST children who engage in bullying behaviors are NOT SN kids. If anything, it's SN kids who are most likely to be the target, especially of non-physical bullying.
I can illustrate by way of example. My son has SPD and certain stimuli can prompt certain, predictable responses.

For instance, personal space. When he was three, if he was on the blue square on the carpet, and another child's toe touched it, he might:
-shove them off;
-anxiously vocalize while his body went rigid;
-cry inconsolably.

That first one sure looks like bullying, hey?

One of the first things we did, as we stumbled our way through figuring out what was up (since he wasn't born with a label), was to actively discourage any form of rough physical contact with other kids (who knew high fives are another way to get some of that excess energy out?). Interestingly, this came at a real cost to my son as the actual act of shoving relieved the tension, whereas taking it on internally and emotionally was hard. We had to give him substitute outlets for that energy, which was hard with a three year old with minor fine and gross motor delays. For absolute clarity, I'm not suggesting that he should have been allowed to continue hard high fives or any other hurting behaviours. But figuring out strategies that work for individual children is hard work and there might very well be some mistakes and growing pains along the way.

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#38 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 03:59 PM
 
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Been there, done that - with dd2 in toddler group four years ago. I really learned a LOT from that situation, and am now actually thankful for the experience.

Dd2 was two; we attended a one morning a week mom/toddler group that was set up like preschool - sign in, free play inside with large and small manipulatives, water table, books, puppets, dolls, play kitchen, playdough, etc., circle, snack, outdoor play.

There were 15(?) two year olds, 15 moms, 1 teacher. Great, great program. There was one little boy (we'll call him C) who would have physical outbursts against the other kids with no known reason. He seemed to focus on my dd2. I can understand if one child has a ball and the other wants it and doesn't have the words to ask, and hits. I expect that that will happen with two year olds.

My child is no angel. She makes mistakes. I do not think that she never was in the wrong in toddler group situations; all kids are learning how to interact fairly and kindly.

However, she got the receiving end of a fair amount of physical aggression from C at toddler group. I never saw her do anything preceding it, nor did anyone who was around. She would be sitting playing blocks; C would walk over and shove her, then walk away. My child in tears, hurt feelings if not hurt physically, and no idea why it happened. This happened week after week. C's mom tried her best to shadow him but it was hard to stop every impulse. The teacher wanted us to focus on the hurt child, and give no attention to the child who was being aggressive when the hurt occured. Tough as it was, we all did this for months. It didn't seem to help the situation.

I was furious - my kid was hurt and scared and didn't want to go to toddler group anymore. She made a growling noise whenever C walked into the room; he'd hurt her so many times that she expected it. We should stop going just to be safe? They should get to stay? I was truly angry and upset and thought C's mom should take him out and try again next year when he was older and more able to manage himself. I was trying to decide between going to her to ask her to stop going, or going to the teacher to ask that they have him stop going. Neither option felt great to me, but it seemed really awful that my kid was being physically attacked each week. I do know that it was just as awful if not more so for C's mom - that her child was the one doing this. She was a calm mom who seemed to be doing her very best, doing all she could to monitor the situation.

It all came to a head when C walked from the small manipulatives room into the large manipulatives room (where my dd2 was playing), shoved her down to the ground, kicked her IN THE HEAD, and walked away. My chest is getting tight just remembering that day. : They were TWO YEAR OLDS. It was so sad for all concerned. But when that happened, I just snapped. C's mom was in parent ed (for 20 minutes each week, half the moms would be in an adjoining room with the teacher while the other half of the moms watched all the kids - you asked another mom to watch your child specifically). I picked C up (a bit roughly I'll admit) and stomped into the hall with him, putting him down in the doorway of the room where his mom and the teacher were in parent ed. I firmly told him "DO NOT HIT OR KICK HER EVER AGAIN!" and walked away.

I know the GD moms will flame me, but it had been many months of my kid being hurt, over and over. We'd tried other techniques; they didn't help.

He never hit or kicked her again. However, the next week, he started in on other kids, two boys in particular. It continued to be a problem for the last months of toddler group.

I then learn that C's mom has signed him up to be in the same preschool that my family uses (in a town different than the one where both C and I live, and a different town than toddler group). There are at least 20 preschools within a ten mile radius of our town, and she picks mine. I had been looking forward to not having to shadow my kid to keep her safe.

Guess what! C's mom and I decided to carpool. C and my dd2 became friends. They had no issues at all in preschool. She even asked to play at his house after carpool sometimes. They ended up going to the same alternative public kindergarten!

I learned so much; my dd2 learned so much. It was hard but it was worth it in the end.

Sorry this was such a novel...
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#39 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I think your expectations of what can and can't be managed in a school classroom are a bit unrealistic.

Children's behavior CANNOT be controlled 100 percent of the time. Do you "control" all aspects of your children's behavior all the time?
Oh I know this believe me. But my children have never hurt another child intentionally. They went to nursery school all last year and there were 1 or 2 incidents of minor hitting or whatnot all year (3 year-olds), and certainly no perpetual bullies. I think our society does A LOT of "kids will be kids" and "these things happen" about bullying, which I think is really missing a wonderful opportunity to prevent it from happening in the first place much less change it once it does. Our society is pretty violent and we accept a significant amount of violence between children (and emotional abuse) as "part of growing up." That makes me both very sad and very frustrated.

I just wanted to say, without responding point by point, that I really appreciated your post and agree with almost all of it. You made some really great points.

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Guess what! C's mom and I decided to carpool. C and my dd2 became friends. They had no issues at all in preschool. She even asked to play at his house after carpool sometimes. They ended up going to the same alternative public kindergarten!
Sounds like our experience with N. It was very interesting to me also that after HOURS of talking about N, they finally became friends on their own and now he doesn't act up anymore with them and not as much in general.

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Originally Posted by joensally
I wonder what the parents of these boys are feeling? I wonder if they're in the loop, really, about what's going on.
Oh they're in the loop. I had a whole post typed out but just I guess all that matters is yes, they're very in the loop.

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Originally Posted by joensally
For absolute clarity, I'm not suggesting that he should have been allowed to continue hard high fives or any other hurting behaviours. But figuring out strategies that work for individual children is hard work and there might very well be some mistakes and growing pains along the way.
OK. I hear you. But do you hear me? They are focused on their child and trying to find a working system. I am focused on my child and making sure they are safe. I have no doubt that it is hard and there are "growing pains", but it is not acceptable for my child to be physically assaulted while T's parents work out the kinks with his program. This is the disconnect for me. It's like, I know they see there's an issue and that "it's hard" and "it's a slow process" but hellllooooo... my kid has been terrorized in school and nothing is changing. It's May. School ends in now 1 day. Whatever they're doing (the school at least) is not working, and they need to get their acts together for next year to make sure they can better support the children.

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Originally Posted by Justthatgirl
I have a problem with ppl making generalizations about kids like mine. We're not asking for extra leniency. We want something to be done so they can continue learning how to act socially and what is acceptable. Additionally, NONE of us want our kids to be beating up others. You can't imagine how horrifying that is for us. Like, "OMG. I have THAT KID. The one nobody likes."
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Originally Posted by Tigerchild
Yes, well, unfortunately even if you barred all SN kids from all schools...you'd still have to deal with bullying.// This is an example of what I'm talking about, when I say that the vast majority of time in regards to bullying people want the easy way out. Easy to shove the problem off on 'inclusion', but the SN status of the child involved is largely irrelevant. Very easy to be distracted by.
What I've been saying is that the school is totally not set up to handle kids like this and are doing a piss poor job of it as a result. I also followed-up and said how thrilled I was after kindergarten orientation that they have a program in place that seems to be working for special ed kids being included in kindergarten classes. I'm sorry if you're reading something in my posts that I just flat out don't believe... it sounds like you want to think I am against special needs kids or something, which I've never said nor do I believe implied, as I've come right out and said I think the issue is the school's sucky handling of the situation.

The situation with T is not just about bullying but is about having a child with behavioral issues that cannot be accomodated in a regular preschool setup. Teachers used to handling 15 or 18 easy peasies are now being asked to take on 20% of their classroom with serious mental and behavioral problems, but with no additional training or support or decrease in class size. Inclusion is great, but it's not just about throwing a special needs kid into the deep end of the pool and saying Woo Hoo look at us, we're inclusive. I agree 100% with everyone who said not only does this hurt kids like mine but it hurts that child who is missing out on vital opportunties at what must be a critical time to learn social skills.

Not only is the special needs discussion not irrelevant, but it is absolutely central to the issue.... the cause of this problem is that the school needs to change to accomodate these kids' specific issues and not just put their heads in the sand and think a time out or gold star or whatever is going to do the trick, for all the kids' benefit.
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#40 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 05:49 PM
 
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Peri, I wasn't speaking of the specifics of the original situation. I agree that situationally, SN is one of the complexities that have to be considered for the presenting situation.

What I find irritating/annoying is the fact that there has been sidetracking into anti-integration stuff in generalities. And sadly, that's very easy to do. Instead of addressing the real problem (the way the school is handling discipline and making sure that it's the safest environment for everyone), it seems to me that some people are focusing on the integration issue.

Integration does NOT mean lack of discipline and process. And that's the problem here, truly. Not whether there are SN kids in the classroom or not.

It just seems to me that some folks are extrapolating 'At this school, they have difficulties keeping everyone safe in a situation with multiple kids with SNs and not being able to set proper boundaries around children who harm others' to 'You better watch out if you've got SN kids in the class, they'll probably attack your child and you won't be able to do anything about it.' I really hope that I'm misreading some of the general comments. But I don't think so, I've heard enough of that sort of sentiment to know that people are particularly quick to leap to that conclusion. Which makes it really hard to come up with a solution that will serve everyone--because the SN issue is still a side issue.

It seems to me that the primary issue is how the school handles physical attacks or (hopefully this would fall into the same category) emotional ones. Those things have to be in place for all children. A SN kid who acts out might have more supports (an aide, less time in the classroom with others, more support in stressful situation) but it still doesn't change the fact that if you have a child that is harming other children then the school MUST have a policy in place for how much is too much and when. It doesn't have to be in a punitive sense (I have seen children released from care in the preschools and daycares I've worked with, and most of the time it was done with great compassion and the parents agreed, even if they were sad), but there has to be something in place regardless of status.

It doesn't seem like this school has a concise policy, at least not one that they're following. IME, parents of special needs children often respect those boundaries even more than most parents, because it also protects their children from being attacked or bullied and having to deal with the "what do you expect, your kid's a weirdo and they attract that" mentality that is out there.
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#41 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 06:01 PM
 
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But my children have never hurt another child intentionally.
Neither has mine. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body. He is sweet, intellingent kid who gets really overwhelmed in social situations and doesn't have the language or social understanding of how to get help when he needs it. If another kid is too loud, too close, too smelly (soap perfumes too, not just gross types of smelly), and he has hit his limit, how he is able to communicate it might look like bullying to the outside, even though it very much is NOT bullying.

In fact, my guy has to deal with sweet kids who say horribly mean things, even though they aren't trying to be mean, they are just being preschoolers. ("I got done first, so I am smarter", "he doesn't talk because he is stupid", ect ect all day long.)

Do you want me to call out your 'typical' kid for being emotionally abusive when they aren't trying to be mean, but are socially inappropriate? Do you want me to go on and on about how horrible kids are who say such cruel things? Or do you just want the kid to be monitored appropriatly and given a better example of how to handle the situation.

I have to go take my son to therapy now, but I will check back on this thread later tonight.

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#42 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 06:31 PM
 
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I think some of the discourse hasn't been directed to your post but to some of the responses to it.

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OK. I hear you. But do you hear me? They are focused on their child and trying to find a working system. I am focused on my child and making sure they are safe. I have no doubt that it is hard and there are "growing pains", but it is not acceptable for my child to be physically assaulted while T's parents work out the kinks with his program. This is the disconnect for me. It's like, I know they see there's an issue and that "it's hard" and "it's a slow process" but hellllooooo... my kid has been terrorized in school and nothing is changing. It's May. School ends in now 1 day. Whatever they're doing (the school at least) is not working, and they need to get their acts together for next year to make sure they can better support the children.
I do hear you. I have a "typical" child and a child with extra needs. And I accepted then, with her, and now, with him, that some kids are going to make mistakes. They're all learning, and a good program that is properly resourced will ensure that they can all learn with reasonable safety.

My son has also never deliberately hurt someone - it is always a reaction to overstimulation. My son, whose (mostly past) behaviour is likely seen as bullying by some of the other parents, cried at barely 4 yo when he intuited that Charlotte was dying in Charlotte's Web. He's a sensitive guy who doesn't always have control of his emotions or responses, and at 4 has become the kid who is a peacemaker and defender of those who are being pushed around by others. This, because he had the support he needed and was not rejected when he lost control.

Please don't assume that the other parents don't care about your children. They just might. When I cried, it was in frustration and worry, pain for my son, and worry for the child who went home sad that something happened at school.

This thread has had a whiff of "deserving" to it - all of these littles deserve to have positive experience in preschool, and the anger should be directed right at the school and the funders and adminstrators of support services, not the kids.

ETA: Periwinkle, I totally understand the mama bear .

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#43 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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What I've been saying is that the school is totally not set up to handle kids like this and are doing a piss poor job of it as a result. I also followed-up and said how thrilled I was after kindergarten orientation that they have a program in place that seems to be working for special ed kids being included in kindergarten classes. I'm sorry if you're reading something in my posts that I just flat out don't believe... it sounds like you want to think I am against special needs kids or something, which I've never said nor do I believe implied, as I've come right out and said I think the issue is the school's sucky handling of the situation.
No, it wasn't anything in YOUR posts. I was actually quite pleased that the kinder orientation went so well!! That's great!

I'm sorry my posts came across that way to you. It was certainly not intentional. It was what I perceived became an overall tone with the thread.

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#44 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Neither has mine. He doesn't have a mean bone in his body.
Great. I wasn't talking about your kids. I was talking about mine and the boys in their class.

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Do you want me to call out your 'typical' kid for being emotionally abusive when they aren't trying to be mean, but are socially inappropriate?
Absolutely. I would be very sad to find out that my children harmed another child, either phsyically or emotionally. We take hurting feelings very seriously. I do not consider being cruel to other children to be "typical" or a normal part of growing up.... normal in America perhaps, but not normal as far as some instictive way children always behave. Is it against everything I believe to be true about children, about my parenting philosophy, and my values. To turn a blind eye (or worse, pretend you're concerned but really do diddly to change the behavior demonstrating to the child that you don't really care and it's all appearances that matter) to this stuff drives me bananas.

I have to say that I find you are being extremely defensive and spinning my story to be about you and your child and your struggles and challenges. On the one hand, I have really appreciated your participation in this thread and I do think it's important to understand the other side (which I do as I stated in my OP). On the other hand, I am having a really tough time with this figuring out what to do and saying basically I should think about how hard it is for the parents of this kid or the child himself is both a.) something I've done extensively (read my OP) and b.) not helping the situation in any way.

******
The director rescheduled the meeting for tomorrow so the teacher who leads their inclusion enrollment can be there. She's the teacher in the 3 year-old classroom but apparently has other duties as well so she wants her there too.
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#45 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 10:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No, it wasn't anything in YOUR posts. I was actually quite pleased that the kinder orientation went so well!! That's great!

I'm sorry my posts came across that way to you. It was certainly not intentional. It was what I perceived became an overall tone with the thread.
: Oh okay. Sorry if I was snippy. I didn't sleep well last night thinking of this and then the director rescheduled the meeting and tomorrow is the last day of school..... I feel like I'm diving for a closing gate or something.
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#46 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 10:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This thread has had a whiff of "deserving" to it - all of these littles deserve to have positive experience in preschool, and the anger should be directed right at the school and the funders and adminstrators of support services, not the kids.
Where's the bumper sticker....

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Originally Posted by joensally
ETA: Periwinkle, I totally understand the mama bear .
Thanks. Again, sorry if I'm just going berserk here. I've tried really really really hard in my posts not to mention my thinking this entire year to understand the other side and not make this about the kids, but rather the school's response. I certainly don't want this thread to turn into another source of disapproval for you guys.
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#47 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 10:13 PM
 
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Since it was brought up, I'd like to clarify my post. I'm certainly not anti-inclusion, I just don't believe in sending my kid out to fend for herself in a situation she's not equipped to handle.

Wife to a wonderful dh and mom to four beautiful kiddos, dd (3/04):, ds1 (1/06), ds2 (10/08), and ds3 (7/10)
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#48 of 60 Old 05-23-2007, 10:14 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
: Oh okay. Sorry if I was snippy. I didn't sleep well last night thinking of this and then the director rescheduled the meeting and tomorrow is the last day of school..... I feel like I'm diving for a closing gate or something.
No, that's ok. We all have those moments. I had a migraine all day (woke up with it : ) and wasn't 100% myself.

I hope the meeting is successful and things can get fixed. It sounds like the Kinder teachers have a good grasp on how to deal, but the Preschool/Pre-K doesn't. I wonder if the Pre-K teachers just need some more education on it. The director MUST do something about it because it's just not acceptable for it to continue.

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#49 of 60 Old 05-26-2007, 01:25 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post
Ok, so, what do we do? We should remove our SN kids so yours are ok? What does that tell our SN kids who are trying to learn how to function in society? That they're not good enough? That they're freaks?

Whether you meant it or not, that is totally how it comes across to me as a SN parent.

None of us WANT our kids to hurt others. Our kids need to learn how to adapt and work with society. We have to help them understand in whatever way they can. The educators they have need to do the same.

Removing SN kids from the equation protects your kids, sure. But what does it do for mine?
I said nothing about SN kids - you inferred it. That's on you. And, no, I don't have SN kids- so no, I don't know what you should do about it. I have kids who don't want to be bullied by any kids in any situation - SN or not. If a kid bullies my kid and the administration does nothing about it - or doesn't think it's an issue - I would take my kid out in an instant. I have no idea what you should do with your kids - that' your issue.

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Originally Posted by Justthatgirl View Post

In THIS instance, no, it's not. But it's been made to sound like inclusion for everyone is unacceptable.

This is getting on my last nerve on this board - if someone said it directly - then address that - enough of this "well it came across as..." or "it has been made to sound like" stuff. Either someone said something directly to offend you - or they didn't. I didn't see any posts that said, "Keep SN kids out of my kids class."
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#50 of 60 Old 05-26-2007, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I forgot to post the update.

Had the meeting with the director and the so-called special ed teacher (who's not by either choice or training) and it went, well, okay.

It started off, not too surprisingly I guess, with a lot of defensive and annoying statements that had nothing to do with the situation at all. They were clearly exhausted and beat by the whole thing and having a VERY pissed mother on the last day of school was probably the icing on the cake for them.

So after a few minutes of the b.s., I said that my children have a right to be safe in school and that I am upset by the lack of communication with me about the situation. They have no written policy and they are clearly reacting to these situations, not preventing them from occuring or even responding in a consistent way with either the children themselves or the parents. They agreed actually. They said they are in the process of working with the organization where the aides work and identifying minimum requirements. Apparently one of the aides was unable to walk well and so T would run off toward a kid and there wasn't much anyone could do at that point but just watch a train wreck. I asked why that aide wasn't replaced immediately and she said it was out of their hands to some degree. Anyway, they're writing up a policy on the requirements for inclusion and a policy that will include how to handle physical and emotional abuse. They are also going to ensure no more than 1 of these children in any classroom and are ammending the school's policy to include for all children language about bullying and what the school's response and escalation will be.

So it looks like, at the end of the day, I got my point across and they are aware of the issues and working to resolve them already.

Anyway.... sucks to be my kids - the guinea pigs - but glad for the kids next year.
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#51 of 60 Old 05-26-2007, 01:55 PM
 
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I'm glad they're getting on the ball, but jeez, the whole process of GETTING there could/should have been avoided.

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#52 of 60 Old 05-26-2007, 02:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post

So it looks like, at the end of the day, I got my point across and they are aware of the issues and working to resolve them already.

Anyway.... sucks to be my kids - the guinea pigs - but glad for the kids next year.
Wow! Thanks for the update, I'd been wondering how it went.

I have to say this PS organization lacks some professionalism. I hope they know that they don't have to reinvent the wheel and that many other organizations have written policies and standards that they would likely be willing to share.

I think part of my surprise at the whole thing was that I (mistakenly) assumed that they had these policies and strategies in place and were having an odd year. Every setting I've had my kids in has provided multiple-page long parent handbooks and policy statements (ie regarding safety protocols, discipline strategies etc).

Good for you for following through with this! Hopefully, next year's kids will have a much better year.

Mom to a teenager and a middle schooler.

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#53 of 60 Old 05-26-2007, 03:02 PM
 
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Quote:
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And I'm sorry I just snapped... why is this information that is kept from the parents? I have a right to know that a child has punched his teacher in the mouth 12 times and has hit 28 times and has a full-time aide (who apparently is USELESS) in the classroom with him. It is May for crying out loud! School is over in 2 days!

Actually, I'm prety sure you don't have the right to know that. There are privacy laws about this kind of thing. Yes, I know who in my dd's class has an aide, because she's told me, and I've actually been in the classroom and seen it, but I would never expect the teacher to tell me that. Another child's educational plan is NOT my business. And if the teachers in my ds's class tell me "a student" did XYZ, I can usually guess who it was, because it's a small class and I've been around to see the personalities, but they cannot tell me who it was.

I do agree that this program is being very poorly handled and it's not one I'd want either one of my kids in. Sounds like they've set up a situation that the teacher is not capable of handling. Which means they need a different teacher, not that the inclusion program needs to end or whatever.

(oh, and I'm going out for the afternoon, so if I don't answer again for awhile, I'm not ignoring it, just not here! )
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#54 of 60 Old 05-26-2007, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Actually, I'm prety sure you don't have the right to know that. There are privacy laws about this kind of thing.
Privacy laws do not prevent the school from communicating to me in a formal, consistent way that...

a.) my child has been harmed
b.) what occured
c.) what corrective steps were taken
d.) reiterating what the school's policy about physical and emotional aggression is, and how this communication is a part of that.

I know the boy's name because my children have been crying about him all year. If you read my posts, the teachers have actually been EXTREMELY circumspect about sharing ANY information at all about the situation, being evasive and saying "things" were being done, etc.

I will revise what I said about the aide though... I do not think it is my right to know the child's special ed plan, I agree with that. But I do have a right to know that violence is occuring in the classroom in a MUCH MUCH MUCH more detailed and consistent way than I have.

Here's how I learned my dd was punched in the stomach by T:

In carpool line - 25 cars behind me... teacher helping kids into my minivan, me in the driver's seat... and she says "Ohbythewayddwaspunchedinthestomachtodaybutshe'sok ayandwetalkedaboutitanditwon'thappenagain."

I'm like, great, thanks, bye! Call you Monday!
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#55 of 60 Old 05-26-2007, 05:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Here's how I learned my dd was punched in the stomach by T:

In carpool line - 25 cars behind me... teacher helping kids into my minivan, me in the driver's seat... and she says "Ohbythewayddwaspunchedinthestomachtodaybutshe'sok ayandwetalkedaboutitanditwon'thappenagain."

I'm like, great, thanks, bye! Call you Monday!
Oh, yeah, no. That's not cool. We get written notes that there was an incident, details of the incident, and how it was handled.

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#56 of 60 Old 05-26-2007, 07:38 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
Privacy laws do not prevent the school from communicating to me in a formal, consistent way that...

a.) my child has been harmed
b.) what occured
c.) what corrective steps were taken
d.) reiterating what the school's policy about physical and emotional aggression is, and how this communication is a part of that.
Yeah, I can't argue there. I read the OP as you needing to know that a child was hitting the teacher or other kids, which is what I disagreed with and where the privacy stuff comes in. When it comes to your kid, yes, they absolutely should give you a report on what happened and what they're doing about it to prevent future occurances. A quick "hey, by the way" wouldn't cut it for me either, unless part of it was "and we'll follow up on that with you tomorrow/Monday".

Sorry if I misread you. I'm kind of on both sides of it here, because I do have an SN kiddo, and it can be a sensitive topic, but he's also been hit/bitten by other kids, and oh does it bring out the mama bear!
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#57 of 60 Old 05-31-2007, 05:01 AM
 
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Here's a question pertaining a bit to this thread:

It used to be very split - SN kids in one room doing God knows what and the other kids doing their thing. Then it was "let's see what little SuzyQ can do in the regular classroom" and the idea of mainstreaming began (I know - very general there.... ). Suddenly, we decide it's a good idea for ALL SN kids to be mainstreamed and then it moved to being in a regular class all the time. Then the whole privacy thing became a big deal and some parents balked at their child having an aid.

All that to say: do you think we jumped into this too quickly instead of building programs slowly to ensure the safety and well being of all children?

Jenn
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#58 of 60 Old 05-31-2007, 10:56 AM
 
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Great thoughts Jenn! Honestly, I'd have to say that it is a case by case thing. My son has PDD-NOS. His principal knows that. His teachers know that. But if you walked into the classroom and spent the day, you wouldn't know that. He is very high-functioning. You might think he was a bit immature - he might call out instead of raising his hand, he has a hard time sitting still so he might rock a little bit at times, but you would never think there was anything "wrong" with him. He gets straight As and loves school. I thank God for mainstreaming, because years ago that autism diagnosis would have had him in a special class, and I can tell you definitively that that would be a much, Much, MUCH worse situation for him.
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#59 of 60 Old 06-01-2007, 01:32 AM
 
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And for your son, Marissa, it's been a great thing to have him mainstreamed. The issue is that another mom with a SN kid sees him in the class doing so well and says "my kid can do that too" and it's great to let the the child try and see what happens - I am all for trying - but then something happens (her child is hitting other kids [not saying it's bullying but hitting is hitting intentional or not] or the teacher), the teacher wants him either out of the class or with an aid and his mom get all offended about it. The mom then pulls the "my son has a right to be mainstreamed" card and what can the school do? That's where I think policy needs to be developed.

(The above situation just happened in our district with an 8th grader who as Aspergers- child was much more violent than I described).

Jenn
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#60 of 60 Old 06-01-2007, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
 
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See, I think that all children have a right to TRY to be in a mainstream school if that's what the parents want. But if you're hitting and abusing other children and teachers, that right goes away. That's how morality works, i.e., you assault someone and you lose some of your rights (e.g., your right to be at your house and eating whatever you want and working and socializing, because now you're in jail). I don't care if the child has a diagnosis or not, this sort of behavior needs to stop being looked over and dealt with ineffectively by the schools or the parents.
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