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  1. #1
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I'm the stressed out parent today!

    This is simply a vent, offload, de-stress if you will. Having no colleagues to talk to and very few friends who have the first clue what it's like in my position. (((sigh))) Just feel like I need to get it out of my system a little before I gather myself together to handle the situation.

    I'm working till 3:30 today when all my families are collecting early so I can go into school for a meeting. My son is 12/Gr 7 and 2E. For those who don't know, that means Twice Exceptional. He has an LD and is also Gifted. Sometimes I wish he just had one or the other as there would be a general set of protocol to follow to deal with his needs which would simply need tweaking, but every 2E child is unique and are extremely difficult to deal with for that reason. His LD is comprehension, writing specifically. He doesn't struggle with getting info out of his working memory but having the info actually get in in the first place means that info needs to be delivered in a particular way. His IEP is very detailed in teaching him as though he is a deaf child. He needs information delivered in a certain way so it clicks and then he is good to go. The progress that has been made over the years is phenomenal and last year my son got A's in English and French which was something I could never have imagined. He also struggles with basic concepts and he is all about logical thinking so anything that needs to be done that does not have a right or a wrong is a huge struggle for him. Creative writing is the perfect example and it's like trying to get blood from a stone. His LD has him on the 12th percentile in these areas.

    His area of giftedness is spatial reasoning and non verbal reasoning which actually has nothing to do with verbal skills. He is on the 99.7th percentile with an IQ of 140 when last tested at age 7. He is two years advanced in math, has even written his own mathematical theories for fun I might add, lol, and is about a year ahead in science.

    The Niagara district school board does not acknowledge 2E kids, just one or the other of special needs. It's so out of date, especially as other boards in the province do. Majority of kids diagnosed with adhd are misdiagnosed and are in fact 2E, there just aren't enough tests for it and standardized testing is a waste of time for these children. He was never flagged at school. I took him to Oxford Learning initially for homework help as he was so delayed and I didn't think I could support him enough and on their initial intake assessment he scored higher than any student age 3 -18 in the past 15 years and they all pulled us in immediately to follow up. I confess, I thought my son was just slow, not particularly bright and I thought it was just him. The school he was in at the time had a principal who was a right piece of work, an opinion shared with many. He would not acknowledge this assessment and would not give him any more support. Fortunately a friend of mine who is a teacher had held a 0.5 position in Halton catholic board teaching the gifted program for years and they acknowledge 2E so she was familiar. Whenever I described my son to her she didn't really say much for the longest time. She didn't even plant any maybe thoughts of what may be going on. It came to the point where she said that she thought that he would be missed on the Gr 3 screening that every child goes through and that if I could I should invest in a private psych ed assessment to find out exactly what was going on which would then be processed by the school board and be legally binding to follow. That is how this all came out in the wash. I'm sure you can imagine how delighted I was at the beginning of Gr 4 to hand this to the principal!

    Back to present day....in a different school but in the same board...
    So, he gets no enrichment, unless his homeroom teacher gives more challenging extra work and gets no gifted learning. Okay so what, it really isn't the end of the world as I pick up that end of things by enriching him outside of school, but at least they should be doing everything they can to cover all bases in the area of his LD.

    So today I have to go and meet with his current homeroom teacher who is honestly the worst teacher he has had in a long time and ask why they aren't sticking to his IEP. It is exhausting. I will never stop advocating for my son, but I really shouldn't have to chase up teachers who are not doing what they are legally obliged to do. My son has withdrawn and is in tears every night with class work he is bringing home to finish up. No guidelines on what he should be doing even for me to try and help, and I'm stuck with my son and I butting heads because he is so rigid in his thinking and I'm suggesting new ways to approach the problem. My son has not acquired the skills to be able to do his work and that is the fault of his educators letting him down. Even when he has been struggling, he has not been this bad since Grade 5

    My son came to me in October saying he was concerned that he gets no homework and how is he going to be prepared for high school. I was very proud of him and followed up with his homeroom teacher and asked for homework to be sent home. He said he would send Math. Well that certainly wont prepare him for high school as he can do that in his sleep. He needs work that will challenge him and teach him how to do assignments independently. Teacher said he would find something to send home for him. Fast forward to January and still no homework so I called the LRT. She sent stuff home thankfully, but it is really sad that when a student asks for homework I have to constantly chase people up for it.

    I have seen my son deteriorate at a rapid rate and its always so heartbreaking when a teacher is letting the child down. Should they need more help and guidance that is what the LRT and principal are there for. A couple years ago I had to get someone in from the board and I was really worried how I would be received, although honestly it wouldn't have stopped me from speaking up. That board appointed LRT for the area absolutely laid into the staff at the meeting table. I was blown away by how much she had my back. I hope it doesn't get to that point again although it had a huge impact on my sons learning but I just wish that it wasn't a crossed fingers affair at the beginning of each school year as to what his teacher will be like in meeting his needs.

    Watching your child break down and cry is something that no parent wants to see, but to have little ability to help and no way of protecting him from developing this core belief that he is stupid is a constant battle, and takes me from sad to angry in a second. Fortunately I have always done well at containment and this afternoon I know I will be able to leave my emotions at the door and be appropriate and professional with these individuals but I can not stand this anticipation of all the excuses and BS they will feed me as to why his learning as gone down hill so rapidly.

    I have pulled out his report cards from last year and his IEP and assessment. I've made notes so I don't get side tracked and I am totally going to pull the teacher and LRT and make it clear on what I want to see change or I will call the board again.

    Thanks for letting me continue to have my long winded posts on this site It's so hard having no colleagues and all my family is overseas so this forum is a huge relief at times like these when I just need to get stuff out of my system.

  2. #2
    Euphoric !
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    You're son is lucky to have a mom like you!!! I hope today's meeting goes well

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  4. #3
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    I'm so sorry you're going through this, your son is lucky to have you advocating for him, but as you stated, you shouldn't have to been telling the teachers what they should be already doing!!

    I am in a similar situation, my son just started jk, and I suspect he may be similar to your son. He is extremely gifted but also has some 'quirks' about him. The first teacher meeting, she told me she was concerned as he is often daydreaming and cannot answer simple questions when asked. Yet he comes home and memorizes the times table for fun. We see a specialist in paediatric development tomorrow.
    Good luck, I hope your meeting goes well!

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  6. #4
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3rdtimesacharm View Post
    I'm so sorry you're going through this, your son is lucky to have you advocating for him, but as you stated, you shouldn't have to been telling the teachers what they should be already doing!!

    I am in a similar situation, my son just started jk, and I suspect he may be similar to your son. He is extremely gifted but also has some 'quirks' about him. The first teacher meeting, she told me she was concerned as he is often daydreaming and cannot answer simple questions when asked. Yet he comes home and memorizes the times table for fun. We see a specialist in paediatric development tomorrow.
    Good luck, I hope your meeting goes well!
    Thanks and good luck to you too. Unfortunately certain parts of the brain aren't developed at such a young age and diagnosis can be difficult and quite often the wrong course of action is taking. My sons pediatrician suspected adhd, he actually has no symptoms at all, never has so I don't know why she came up with that. Additionally the Child Psychologist who assessed my son said he has one huge spike that the school board will automatically try to use to label him ADD because he becomes disengaged and withdrawn. This is actually a very classic and common sign of an under stimulated and bored child, which is not something wrong with the child, but the environment and teaching model in place. She made a very clear and concise statement in the evaluation write up that he does not have ADD and if he is withdrawing he requires harder and more complex work and then you will have his attention.

    I just remembered a time when he was newly diagnosed, had a wonderful teacher thank goodness, and he was Gr 4. During French the kids would sit on the carpet and listen to the teacher. His teacher told me that almost religiously within a few minutes he would just get up and walk to the other side of the classroom and start doing something else. LOL can you imagine, most kids would get in so much trouble be labelled rude and insolent. This was when "deaf child" model of teaching was applied and while it's not applicable in lots of areas, this was a perfect example of him having no knowledge that she was talking and being drawn somewhere else lolol

    I don't know which province you are in but if your son is displaying giftedness in Math at this young age you should look into a math program called "Spirit Math" He is at the perfect age to enter the program. It is an after school program, like a math club, but using a different math model than the Canadian education system and it is quite amazing. My son tried it for one class but he was older so was already in an awkward spot. He can do the work so uses the at home app, but in class with drills and time limits he shuts down and they can not accommodate 2E so that was that.

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  8. #5
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    Good luck today! Hope it all goes well!

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  10. #6
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    I've just spent the last couple of hours getting myself prepared for the IEP meeting and what blows me away when I read through the Grade 5 notes I made for that meeting are that all of the recommendations made in my sons psych Ed are exactly the same issues now. If they were following these guidelines he would be fine. So disappointing I feel like perhaps the special need lies with the teacher not the kid. I guess I need to go in and hold some hands and go over it again. My initials are not LRT...this is beyond ridiculous.

  11. #7
    Shy
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    wow hopefully your meeting goes well and you get this straightened out so they follow his IEP

  12. #8
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    To be a devil's advocate only, there are two potential issues. #1 the teachers sucks (and yes there are shitty teachers...passed along from school to school) or #2 the teacher is great but the educational system has her/him bogged down with too many special cases and too large a class load. I know this as my sister is an amazing and dedicated teacher who is spread so thin...she works many hours a night to keep on top.
    I think you are an amazing mom. I hope during your meeting you can suss out the truth of the matter. I

  13. #9
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    So how did it go, bright sparks?

  14. #10
    Euphoric ! bright sparks's Avatar
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    So the meeting went well although it baffled me that my son's homeroom teacher had no idea of the specifics of his special needs. LRT was there nodding in agreeance to my recommendations and that he can not possibly keep up with x,y & z in class the way it's being delivered to him and I was just gobsmacked at the fact that while the teacher knows what is in his IEP, he clearly had no idea why he was supposed to do any of the things. I am obviously disappointed in the LRT as well. What I have found out though is that she is only a half time LRT. She is the Gr6-8 LRT and there is another one for Gr 5 and below. Last year I had very little contact with the LRT but that was as a result of having an AMAZING teacher with not only years of experience but a very similar mind as my son. He excelled with her and her methods, growing leaps and bounds. There was never any need to call upon the LRT because his teacher supported him adequately.

    I asked that my son have 1 on 1 time with the LRT to try and bring him back from these struggles and restore some confidence back in him. She said she would try but as she only has mornings to see so many kids because she teaches in the afternoon it would likely be a struggle. While I feel for her, I think it's appauling that because resources are not there, children suffer. You can come up with any explanation or excuse but at the end of the day it's the kids who pay the consequences. My son has huge potential which is not my opinion it is the opinion of every educator who crosses paths with him and those professionals who have studied and assessed him. His educators are failing him if they do not have time for him. It's obviously the system, not the individual, but it's just not acceptable.

    LRT has said she will apply for him to get his own computer which he will keep till high school graduation. This will help him tremendously so I'm very happy about this. I asked for one back in grade 4 and his previous school said no.

    My son's homeroom teacher made loads of notes and then told me what his plan of action would be. Yesterday my son already came home with an assignment I had previously told him stop doing, with an entirely different structure. I am very pleased and feel positive moving forward so there is for sure some good in all of this. I'm just bloody annoyed that LRT's are stretched to thin that it potentially causes harm to the kids. IEP's simply say 1 or 2 words about the accommodation, but it is so generalized and without explanation, it's no wonder IEP's don't always work without parents constantly advocating and keeping an eye on the schools.

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