One week from today Noah will be going back to school. He is very excited, but I'm a little stressed about the whole thing. I'm not sure what a great placement would look like for Noah, but his current situation is ok. Not great, but adequate. I suspect that some of my concerns are just personality issues with his teacher. She's a wonderful teacher, but we don't always see eye to eye on things.
What I like about Noah's school:
1. vision services - this is the #1 reason that we don't want to change things. His vision teacher is awesome! She's also dual certified in O&M which is a huge plus in our book.
2. related services - PT & OT rocks! It would be nice to have a speech therapist familiar with deaf students, but I have no complaints about his current ST.
What I don't like about Noah's school (the abbreviated version):
1. Lack of communication. Perhaps I was spoiled by working at a private school that expected parental involvement, but it would be nice to know the date/time of class parties before they happened rather than after. The only time the school seems to want to talk to me is when Noah is misbehaving.
2. Discouraged interaction. I would love to be the room mom, to volunteer for things, help out, and get to know the teachers, students, and other parents. I definitely got a vibe that that was not encouraged. Heck, I was told parents weren't allowed in the classrooms at all (the principal mentioned the school's open door policy at an IEP meeting partway through the year or else I'd still think that).
3. Punishment for disabilities. This isn't an overall every day issue, but there have been times when Noah has been put in time out for "not listening" or "not looking". Ummm... yeah. Deaf-blind, anyone? I get that Noah can cause trouble when he wants to, but if he can't hear/see what you're doing he can't listen/look at things. It would just be nice if they verified that before they punish him.
4. Lack of hearing services. Noah's hearing services consist of a (wonderful, which is the only reason it works) teacher of the deaf talking on the phone to Noah's SPED teacher a few times a month. I really wish there was at the very least someone at the school building who could see him in class and point out that he can't hear the teacher when he sits next to the screaming autistic child. He had hearing goals last year, but they weren't worked on until the end because he didn't have direct hearing services and no one wanted to take responsibility for them. Hmmmm....
What I'm nervous about..
1. Noah has a new 1 on 1 aid that has not been trained on his feeding protocols (yet - that's Thursday) and as far as I know can't tell a cochlear implant from a bluetooth headset.
2. Swine flu. Ok, sickness in general. Noah is aversive to soap and I'm not sure that they're particularly keen on pushing the issue. His lungs held their own fairly well this past year, but that was only minor illnesses.
3.Social interaction. Noah loves other kids and he tries sooo hard to play with them, but he doesn't get it right very often. He does have friends, but not at school. He'll be in a regular classroom for part of the day this year, and I'm not sure how that's going to go.