Tuesday, October 16, 2012

School Supports

I'm still riding this emotional roller coaster.  Still wresting with what is best to help V.  We had a meeting with the school last Wednesday.  They have what they call an Intervention in place.  They are trying to help her behave better.  Some days she has a "shadow", some days she doesn't.  The days she doesn't are bad.  Last Thursday she didn't have a shadow, and she bit the teacher 6 times... amongst other things.  Friday she climbed up on a table and kicked the teacher in the neck.  She wanted to wear boots to school today and I told her she will not wear them to school as long as she thinks it is acceptable to kick people, and I made her put them back in the closet.

The girls therapist was at the meeting at the school.  She helped us out greatly with everything.  She learned that it has taken them this long to help V because there were other more severe cases that they had to deal with.  She also learned that V's teacher was a permanent sub that was pulled into this classroom because they had so many Kindergarteners they needed to open another classroom for them.  So we assume she doesn't have all the training needed to handle V.  She has been very inconsistent, and I mentioned in the meeting that I would appreciate more communication on her part.  V will not hesitate to lie to us and say she had a good day when in fact she didn't.  We celebrate good days.  So I am sure you can see how horribly that can go wrong.

After this meeting the therapist said she thought we should hold out on the day therapy program, still go through with the testing, but hold out on actually implementing everything, and give this intervention a chance.  Before she had told us that she feels that everything we have done has been a band-aid.  She felt that we needed to go through with this day therapy program.  After the meeting she felt that the school was putting some good supports in place and we needed to give them a chance.

Thursday last week we went to the day therapy program for testing.  I took V to school, then headed into work after the testing.  I am exhausted.  I am so consumed by helping her that there isn't a 5 minute time frame that goes by that I am not thinking about it. Thursday evening around 7:30 my cell phone rings.  I pick it up and it is the owner of the day therapy program.  She lets me know that the psych who did the evaluation on her feels that V's behaviors warrant her being admitted into the program, and they want to start her next Friday (10/19).

I am hesitant.  She asks me why.  I ask her about transitioning back into school once she "graduates" from the program.  She assures me that they have a great many supports in place to help V transition easily into school and explains them all.  She lets me know that they have bumped V up on the waiting list in front of a few other families due to the severity of her aggression (remember this is the day she bit her teacher 6 times).

I make the decision... against the school and therapist's wishes... to enroll her into this program.  She starts in a few days.  I am so nervous.  I hope I am doing the right thing for her.  I have made this decision because all the interventions put in place at all the day cares didn't work.  The only thing that worked was having someone shadow her and be her conscience, and the school made it clear that they don't like having to do that, and will use it only as a last resort.  So the one thing I know works best for her will not be used.

In the last week I have had two calls from the principal.  I have had to go to the school once because she urinated on herself in the time out room, and I needed to bring her a change of clothes.  It is very disruptive to my being able to work and generate an income.  My job as a mom comes first, but I still have to pay the bills...

In the last month, I have had to deal with V at work with me for 3 days because she was suspended from school.  I have had 4-5 calls from the principal.  Calls from the therapist.  Countless frustrations trying to communicate with the teacher.  I just don't know if this intervention will work for her.  I know how stubborn she is.  I know how hard she can be to redirect.  So I am going with my gut and hoping I am doing the best thing for her.

She starts the day therapy program on Friday.

DQ is doing so well with her dancing.  She is intelligent and doing well at school too, but she still talks too much.  There is something called the "special table" in her classroom, and she burst out in tears today because she hasn't been chosen to sit there yet.  I asked her why, and she said she didn't know.  I am willing to wager it is because she is disruptive with her talking, and I advised her to talk to her teacher, let her know that she really wants to earn sitting at the special table, but doesn't know what to do to earn it.  She said that two boys who had all ready had a turn at the table got to sit there yesterday, and she hasn't been able to once.  It made me sad for her, but she has got to get the talking out of turn under control, maybe this will be the incentive she needs.

Halloween costume contest time is coming up soon.  I have been working so hard on our costumes.  I wish I could say they are nearly done, but I still have so much to do.  I wanted to sew last night but the girls were fighting, and the house needed cleaning.  So I spent time with them and cleaned the house at the same time, then spent some time at the machine after they were in bed.  I am making Spats (boot covers) in black with white pinstripe to complete my Victorian costume.  I hope to finish them tonight, then begin working on my undershirt that will go under the corset.  So much to do so little time!

I am also heading up fundraising for the dance company.  We are selling McDonalds peelers right now, and will be doing Hot Head peelers soon too.  I also have gift wrapping and babysitting planned in November/December, along with wreath/poinsettia sales in December.  Lots of exciting things planned.  It does take away a little time from the girls, but M helps me out a lot with everything.  I really hope to pay all the competition fees with fundraisers.  It is expensive enough paying the monthly dance class costs, let alone the competition fees, and the dance instructor wants to take the girls to nationals this year!  So we have to have some money for hotel rooms and everything else on top of the competition fees!  But DQ loves this.  She needs something to call her own.  So much of our lives are consumed by helping V behave better that sometimes I feel a bit sorry for DQ.  So this is her thing and I will do what it takes to provide it for her!

Speaking of M.  He is a fantastic salesman.  There is a business owner in the area that has always reminded me a bit of Ebenezer Scrooge.  He owns a business near the dance studio, and one evening after dance class M walked to the local businesses with the girls asking if they wanted to buy peelers.  Ebenezer Scrooge bought a peeler off of him!  Amazing huh?

Promised photos of the Color Run!  (SUCH FUN!)

DQ, V and I pre-race

DQ and V cheering on the runners

Me in my Color Glory!

A Colorful finish!   Digging the SuperMan undies!

I did it!   Happiest race on Earth - I plan on doing it again!

 Aunt TT

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Throwing Chairs Again

So V's school called me today... again.

It went a little something like this:

School: "Hello V's guardian?"
Me: "Yes?"
School: "I am so and so, in for the principal, she is out today.  I have V here in the principal's office."
Me: "yes?"
School: "She became angry today and began throwing chairs and crayons.  I know this happened before, and she just recently returned to us from time off for it.  What V?  (I hear her in the background).  Oh?  OK.  V wants you to know that she wasn't throwing crayons.  She only threw chairs.  She wants you to know that."
Me: "OK", thinking that's my girl....
School: "Mrs. W asked V to put her book up, and V became angry, it was a transition time."
Me: thinking finally... someone who understands and is willing to listen, and willing to see that my kid doesn't snap for no reason.  there is always a reason.
School: "So anyway, V is here, and I am not sure what to do."
Me: "I have been in communication with the school psych about V's issues, and am doing all in my power to help her.  Could you contact the school psych?"
School: "I don't know what her hours are, but I sure could try."
Me: "I know she is there on Monday and Wednesday."  Today is Wednesday... SCORE.
School: "Yes.  I will try to get a note to her.  Then I will get back with you.  Thank you for being such a big help!"  Yes.  She said that to me....  Honest to goodness.
Me: "You are welcome, and thank you.  Have a great day."

Seriously.  I am not kidding.  I gave them no window of "can you come get your unruly child".  Nothing.  She weighs 56 lbs.  How hard is it to sit her in the hallway and say, "You will not act like this in my classroom."  Remove her from the situation.  If there are no chairs around her.. SHE CAN'T THROW THEM.

Twenty minutes later....
RING RING (on my work line mind you....)
School: "Hi.  This is school psych.  We spoke last week"
Me: "Hi!"
School: "Mrs W. didn't get the e-mail I sent her.  Her e-mail wasn't functioning properly"
Me: thinking gee... she told me on Monday she had something on her desk from you.  I know you are a busy lady and split between schools, but I have been asking you for help for two weeks now.  I signed all the papers you needed..... as soon as you e-mailed them to me....
School: "Her e-mail is working fine now, and she has received the paperwork I sent to request the behavior specialist to come to the classroom.  In the interim while we get this set up, would you like to have a Care Plan meeting?"
Me: "yes.  I will do whatever it takes to help V be successful."
School: "OK Mrs. W's planning period is at 9:45.  I remember that you work.... so that would be difficult for you... Hmmmm."
Me: "I will work it out so I can be on lunch at 9:45am.  This is very important to me."
School: "Are you sure?  OK.  Then how about next Weds at 9:45a?"
Me: "I will be there."
School: "OK.  See you then."
Me: "Yes.  Thank you."


A care plan meeting.  And it only took a couple of thrown chairs... 

So when I got home from work, we had a talk with V.  I told her that from now on, I want her to count to 10 when she feels like she is getting angry.  I am going to drill this into her head.  I am going to make her count to 10 every time she seems like she is getting angry here at home.  I am going to tell Mrs. W. that I am drilling it into her head, and she has my explicit permission to continue encouraging it at school.  I am going to make counting to 10 when you're angry fun, and giggle and laugh and say, "See!   Don't you feel better now?" when she's done. 

I called the day therapy program today.  M and I decided it's time to enroll her.  I am excited and scared, and nervous all at the same time.  Just so much going on.  V is an amazing, funny, compassionate, and brilliant child.  I REFUSE to let her slip through the cracks.  If I have to start being mean and playing hard ball so be it.  I will not let us be bullied by these people.  I am done. 

DQ is doing AMAZING with her reading.  I am so very proud of her.  She was such a good girl today that M and I let her stay up an extra half an hour and watch her favorite show.  She just did so many things right, we couldn't let it go UN-rewarded.  DQ is also growing by leaps and bounds in her dancing.

I have volunteered to be the Booster Parent for the dance company.  I want to make sure we have plenty of fundraisers so I can afford competition dance.  If this is DQ's dream, I am going to make it reality.  I have a bunch of fundraisers planned, and I am putting them into motion as we speak.  I am really excited as well about them.  I can't wait to see how they do, and how things pan out.

I will be doing a Color Run on Saturday.  I am excited about this!  I may post photos... if I figure I don't look too unflattering in them....  LOL. 

P.S.  Promised photo of V's new earrings!  She's wearing the newsboy cap I made her too!!!  Sewing rocks.


Aunt TT