The beginning of our school year turned out to be quite a rocky start, not that I assumed it wouldn't be but a girl can wish right? At the end of the summer Sadie's ever so wonderful kindergarden teacher called me and said "Guess what? I'm teaching a first grade kinder combo and Sadie's in my class!!!" I cheered and hollered and danced all around my house after this news. I sighed a huge sigh of relief and thanked the Autism gods for this arrangement.
Then two weeks into school our district was overflowing with little kindergardeners who had to be pushed over to our school. This caused all the first graders in Sadie's class to be dispersed into other first grade classes. Oh and exactly when she was to be changed over to her new class the district made her regular one on one aid take a leave of absence for some ridiculous "you have too many hours" reason. Oh and we got a brand new principle this year who naturally knew little of our situation and I'm pretty sure is younger then me and a total bombshell ,which is really depressing, I mean when did I get old enough for a principle of a school to be way younger then me? (sigh) Anyways, this was enough to have me on the floor kicking and screaming.
Sadie actually handled going into her new class very well. I was a little worried because she was going to have substitute aids for two weeks. I had a flash back of a certain substitute aid who brought out Sadie in tears several days in a row last year. For some reason Sadie had a hard time with her and constantly hit and was frustrated. This aid asked me what kind of accident Sadie was in? Did she fall? Were her legs broken? All I could think was "really you thought you were called to be an aid for a really bratty kid with broken legs?!! Awesome." So I was super relieved when we didn't get that aid for the transition the first morning! I pretty much sat at home with Bro waiting for I don't know A DISASTER! Eventually the phone did ring. It was the school nurse informing me that the bottom of Sadie's dress fell in the toilet and she needed a change of clothes and she was a little upset. I could of course hear Sadie wailing in the background. Visions of me slicing down the office doors with a machete in hand ran through my head. This meant the aid not only didn't give Sadie's IEP a glance but also left her common sense at home thinking that a little girl who can't stand on her own could in fact hold her dress, wipe and maneuver around the toilet on her own. EEEEERRRR! After walking into the office, sans machete, I found a sobbing Sadie sitting next to none other then "Ms. how did your kid break her legs"! This fantastic individual apologized and then informed me that she would be the afternoon aid for the next two weeks. I didn't say much, all I could think was "Like heck you are".
I was able to call a meeting with the principle and tell her the situation. The new bombshell principle was actually super nice and eager to fix the situation. She let me pick the substitute aid and made her Sadie's ONLY aid for the next two weeks so that there wouldn't be anymore frustration over change. I also came prepared with my updated "10 things you need to know about Sadie". I usually wait for the IEP, but with all these new bees I needed to get on it. I actually made it 11 things to avoid another toilet mishap. Everyone got handed one of these even the new principle and especially her new teacher and aid. I also put copies in her Social Story folder and instructed the aid to give one to anyone new working with her. I do this every year and I've been told that it really helps. An IEP will probably mention if your kiddo needs help toileting but most likely won't tell you that you may get whacked if you mention Sponge Bob. A little list from mom helps.
Epilogue: I just have to add that the things I write in my blog are usually what I am feeling in the moment and I try to stay true to that. I am not a confrontational person and so I get it out in writing. The substitute aid may very well be a super nice person and so I would never want to slander that person as an individual, she just wasn't a good fit for "Team Sadie". As for our new principle, she is not only young and hot, she is also very professional and understanding and will hopefully end up being a great addition to our team.
11 Things you need to know about Sadie
Sadie can be very impulsive and does not have a full sense of safety reasoning. She needs to be carefully watched on the playground and especially in the parking lot.
Sadie fatigues mentally and physically very easily. When fatigued Sadie will zone out, become moody or aggressive. We have her take a deep breath or do deep pressure on her arms. Counting to 10 makes her more frustrated.
Sadie often needs prompting to complete a task or a written schedule to get through it. Using a schedule to see what’s “next” helps her get through the task at hand.
Sadie needs prompting for eye contact. We always have her make even brief eye contact when asking for something. (you can prompt her with "who are you talking too Sadie?")
Sadie gets uncomfortable and may have outbursts when talking about; getting hurt, band-aids, doctors, crying, sad, scared or something she is excited about like a tv show or disney character (she has a hard time interpreting feeling excited and scared)
Sadie will often have random inflexibilities. If there are any that are becoming more consistent please let her parents know so we can target them at home.
Sadie does great with a token system.
- A social story will usually help Sadie handle transitions.
- Sadie cannot be allowed to “W” sit.
- Sadie has just recently started to have success getting from the floor to standing on her own. She still needs minimal one hand assistance to help her up while promoting this independent task. ( if you ask her mom, she will gladly show you how its done:)
- Sadie still needs assistance toileting.