In the end, I think it came down to who had better drugs.
When I got to school for the team meetings for Little Miss and Captain Oblivious, the school psychologist and I, fighting off migraines, compared notes and treatment regimens, shared hints and tips. We bonded. We were Sisters. It was good.
It was the first meeting I think we’ve had where I felt like everything we said was heard. I had printed blog entries from lastcrazyhorn and Asperger Square 8 in hand, having sent them by email earlier as well. (Only one person had actually read the things, because they can’t read blogs from school. How efficient.) But we passed around copies there. We had names, numbers, suggestions, questions. We had those three little letters after my name (Esq.) that strike fear into the school system, apparently, since the principal came to sit in. (Last meeting it was the district assistant superintendent. I must be getting less scary with age.)
We were all thrilled with Little Miss’s conversational advances, but agreed (!!) that now that she’s in third, and moving to fourth grade, she needs command of a much greater vocabulary and expressive base. We’re looking for resources in the community as a joint venture. Also I learned for the first time that handwriting is a separate process for autistic kids; so when we ask her to write her spelling words, she has to fight with the writing as well as the memorization and the meaning of the words. We’ve been letting her type them into the keyboard, which they approved, and they’re going to look into getting her a keyboard at school. After all, she has the affinity and computer geek genes… might as well put those to work!
Moving on to contestant #2, it was a more bipolar session. We heard for the first time that just after Christmas, a bunch of “friends” had trained C.O. to chase after thrown packs of food, to “go fetch”, which he did cheerfully, thinking he was participating in a hella fun game. Oy. That, along with several other incidents where it was clear he was either pushed to strike out or completely missed that he was being cruelly mocked, showed the teachers exactly what I had prophesied for him at the IEP meeting last year, and bore out what I had provided in the handouts. We strategized about lessons at home and school in how to tell what others are really thinking– on video– which he’ll eat up.
On the other hand, C.O. has bloomed in the sciences this year, scoring the highest grade in the the sixth grade class on science tests, and they all praised his unique way of approaching problems (at the same time disappointed he always has to do everything without much impulse control and in “his own way.” Yeah, welcome to my world.) The principal even hinted he would go to the mat to have C.O. moved to the accelerated track in science if I’d like him to. Wow.
The autistic support teacher from the middle school took copious notes. We talked briefly after the meeting and she gave some really good suggestions about how to protect him in the drafting of the IEP. I’m actually looking forward to that meeting, a month or so from now.
So I left in a rosy glow, sure the road ahead will be paved with yellow bricks and we’ll get our wishes granted. Or maybe that was the drugs.
See comments for suggested materials and methods, particular for Aspie tweens.