Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Shootout at OK Corral



I have to tell you, dear ones, that I have never stalked into a meeting so ready to fight, and then...I found that I didn't need to.

Niko's IEP meeting was on a ridiculously tight schedule.  We had about an hour to complete the entire thing, so I basically walked in and said, "We feel that this isn't the right placement for Niko.  Although wary about the autism placement, it's preferable to here.  We'll reassess again at the end of the school year.  Enough of that.  Let's talk about the abuse allegations that I'm hearing about."

Their jaws dropped.  DROPPED.  They were absolutely horrified.  We looked at their faces and realized that they genuinely didn't have anything to do with it.  I shared the information that I had, told them who I was warned about, and demanded that the earlier abuse allegations be documented and put into his folder immediately.  They did so while we watched.  And then there was smiling.  They held sweet Lil' Lil.  We talked about how amazing Niko's speech is coming along, and how best to control his extreme anxiety, and how much he wants to please us.  We discussed his mind-boggling aggressive behavior at school (kicking, hitting, singling out victims) and how that behavior was nonexistent at home.  When they gave him his own floater aid, the violence dropped to nearly nothing.  He had 17 kids in his class, and it was too much.

The autistic placement turned out to be a godsend.  It wasn't right for him before, and we made the best choice at the time, but right now he is thriving.  It's delightful to receive notes from his teacher saying, "Did you know that he knows his colors?"  She constantly tells me how well he responds to ABA therapy.  She uses words like "delighted" and "amazed" and "impressed".  There was a bus snafu (okay, so there were many) and his teacher swooped in, fiercely protective of him, even though he has only been in her class for a few weeks.  She's truly playing for Team Niko.

He's happy.  He comes home humming new songs that I'm not familiar with.  He asks to go to New School.  He's himself again.

I couldn't be more pleased.

9 comments:

Eva said...

How wonderful for all involved! I'm greatly enjoying the jaw-dropping image- and immediate cooperation.

Laura Oler said...

Your post brought tears to my eyes. So happy that things are working out for Nikko. His teacher sounds great and I'm so happy his speech is progressing! I can relate to that part since my kids have struggled so -- after intense therapy and no progress for over a year, Jonathan has made huge improvements in the past six months and is actually understandable if you take the time to listen. It is such a joy to see your child overcome, esp. when they have struggled so.

Katie Aldrich said...

YAY!! I'm so glad you didn't have to fight. But if ever I were in Niko's position, you are exactly who I'd want in my corner. So, so happy!

Belkycita said...

Oh my He has GROWN!!

We are very happy for the good news.I admire your strength, but I am glad you didn't have to fight. His teacher sounds wonderful and I am just so happy for all of you.

Atta Rehman said...

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The Guile Hooligan said...

I loved your post. I see that your posting has decreased. PLease don't stop blogging.

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