Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Yearly IEP . . .

Yesterday I attended Dustin's yearly IEP meeting. I expected it to be fairly uneventful and for the most part it was.

There was one thing that disturbed me about the meeting. Dustin's para-professional ( his 1:1 aide) mentioned that she would like us to address the poking issue. Dustin tends to poke people when he wants their attention. He drives my mother nuts with it when he first sees her, but a couple firm redirections and it stops right away. He no longer pokes me because I don't allow it.

I turned to Dustin and addressed it. She said it was "real bad". I told her I knew what she meant and that he used to do that to me but I put a stop to it. She said, "How?" I wanted to say "Because I am the adult and I told him no in no uncertain terms to touch me like that." but I was kinder and told her I just put my foot down about it. Then she began to talk about all the ways he touches her. She said that he rubs her arm and her shoulder. She said he likes to put his arm around her when they walk down the hall and that he rests his head on her shoulder when he doesn't want to do work or when he is in trouble. She also told me that he tends to pet her shoulder when he is done eating and is waiting for the lunch hour to be over so much so that he gets food on her clothing everyday. This apparently has been going on for a LONG time and I was never made aware of it. The teacher had no idea how bad it was either.

I was appauled. I turned to Dustin and raised my voice giving him the business right there in the assistant principles office. I told him that under NO CIRCUMSTANCES is he to touch her again. I said, "She is not your friend, your mother or in your family. You are her job. She is your boss and you may not EVER touch her." She began back-peddaling saying she was his friend. I said, "I understnd you care about him, but you are not friends. He needs to treat you with the respect of an authority figure." I was fuming angry.

I am not in any way insinuating that she was being inappropriate. She was frustrated with the behavior as well. But OH MY GOODNESS allowing that behavior to continue for all this time is just unacceptable. We have had many conversations with the staff about attachment issues and getting "too close" to others outside of the family, and she didn't think telling me this was a good idea? For all these years?

Seriously. Should I even have to have this conversation?

All I know is it better stop. No hugs. No "petting" no touching her period. The kid has to have limits. Boundaries have not been set and it will be difficult to fix that, but it better be done.

Anyone else think that this could be part of the problem we are seeing at home with some attachment issues? Him not wanting to "live in this house" and him always saying, "I wish you didn't adopt me" are coming from something and I am wondering if it is partially from the attachment he feels with her. Ya think?


Becky said...

I think the para-professional did not get it as she is just that - a para-professional. Heck, even many professionals do not get it with our attachment kids! We get it because we make it our business to. Read book after book, research, study and study some more because our worlds and children depend on that. The para-professional doesnt do this. Nor do they always get that what we say is critical to our childrens and families well being in the long run. Afterall, they do not have to "live the life." It is just 6 hours or 8 hours for them and maybe (as in this aides case) it is only an irritant for a time frame in her day. That "living it" part is an entire new ball of wax!

Andrew tells me fifty thousand hundred times how much he would rather to have been adopted by anyone else other than me. He will even tell me he wishes his adopted dad (who became abusive and is still prone to that) would let him live with him full time. HA. He's scared of his dad! I know that deep down he does not want that. But if he can push me away and not have those uncomfortable attachment feelings bugging him... he'll say whatever will make him more comfortable at that moment, whether it is deep down true or not.

I think Dustin would still fight attachment with you whether this aide was in his life to hang on to ... or not. It is what our children feel they need to do - fight that scary attachment.

I do agree with you - all the touching and familiarity of the aide, especially at Dustins age, must stop!

Attila The Mom said...

Oh yuck. When Little Guy was a pre-schooler, he used to run around and hug everybody. With the help of the staff, we got him trained out of all that.

Then the next year, when we had to put him temporarily in the district's self-contained classroom for kids' who have dis, the staff constantly ENCOURAGED him to hug them. Grrrrr