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New Year, New School, New Start

When I first told Katie I was transferring her to another school, she protested for a few minutes, but didn't put up much of a fuss once I explained that this other school would have better ways to help her with all the things that frustrated her last year.

It wasn't long before this theory was tested.  Tears on the second day.  The teacher brought out a math assessment type test that was just meant to see how far they could get in one minute.  Katie got upset and panicked, (she hates timed tests) and was promptly taken to see the school counselor in order to calm down.  Ms Margot is a very nice lady who Katie was happy to meet, and this saved her the embarrassment of having her whole class witness her meltdown.  

From that moment on, Ms Margot began popping in to check on Kate several times a day.  They developed a thumbs-up/thumbs-down system for Katie to silently let Margot know how she's doing without drawing attention.  Kate's teacher, Mrs Phillips, responded immediately by allowing Katie to do the tests un-timed and in a separate setting from then on so as not to panic her again.  

I don't remember if it was Ms Margot or Mrs Phillips, but one of them called me that very day to tell me what had happened, what they'd done to intervene, and their plans for future incidents.  I was so impressed!  Again, the relief was so incredible.  The fact that they immediately went into action and didn't wait for it to become a pattern was so reassuring. So hopeful!

Though Mr P had encouraged me to write that letter requesting the Special Ed evaluation right away at the beginning of the year, that wasn't quite practical.  In order to do the evaluation they really needed to be able to observe her and gather some baseline data before they could launch into full eval.  So it was put on hold for a time.

Hayes does have a grant funded program called ADSIS (Alternative Delivery of Specialized Instructional Services) for kids who don't qualify, or have yet to be assessed, for SpEd services.  It provides additional academic or behavioral support for struggling kids as needed.  Mr Cooper is the Behavioral Intervention Specialist in charge of that program, and while we wait a bit to go forward with the eval, Kate can access the ADSIS services.  If Ms Margot is not available at a time Kate needs some support, she can go to Mr Cooper's room for a break.  

Further into the year they built into her day two scheduled "sensory" breaks in the morning and afternoon, when she goes to his office for a 10 min break.  My intention when suggesting this was that she be given time and space to do some heavy work to help calm and reset her system, but at first she told me she was just going to his room and playing games on a tablet.  I have since requested that he have her do something physical instead to get the full benefit if the break. 

This post first appeared on Pieces Of Our Puzzle: Recognizing Sensory Processing Disorder, please read the originial post: here

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New Year, New School, New Start


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