Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a difference a year makes . . .

375 days ago we had a case conference to modify Dustin's school day. It was very traumatic and very stressful as we came to terms with Dustin's behaviors in school and the possibility that he could be kicked out for the remainder of the year and put on home-bound schooling. He was being labeld a threat to the staff and the other students. We accepted the modified day - a 2 hour a day schoolday - and he received a 1:1 paraprofessional. At that time we were not sure whether it would even work. We were heading off to vacation in sunny Florida shortly after this meeting.

Dustin's day was increased to 3 hours daily in the fall. He has been doing fabulous and has moved from a room with im and the aide back into the classroom. While she stills has to direct his behavior and his work he is remaining in the classroom with the other moderatel handicapped students. He is not perfect by any means, but MAJOR progress has been made at school. He has even been able to go on several outings that the children go on for their community skills program. He is still extremely defiant, yet they are increasing their expectations and he has mastered many of his objectives and goals set forth in his IEP. That has NEVER happened.

Today we had a case conference that was quite different. We increased his day yet again - this time to 4 hours - and were promised an additional increase next fall if this goes well to 5 hours daily. That would nearly be an entire day for him. We have also been granted paraprofessional hours for this time increase, so he will still have a 1:1 assistant. It was quite miraculous as I sat in that office thinking, wow, one year ago we were at the bottom, and today there IS light at the top of the well. . .

This weekend we head off to another spring break vacation . . . with much better hope . . .

4 comments:

FAScinated said...

Sheri, this is awesome! I'm so glad he is getting what he needs at school! ~Kari

Janine said...

Sheri, I am pleased for you and Dustin. My son and I are sort of back where you were a year ago. Seth is now on holidays but wasn't allowed to attend the last week of term and a meeting the day before school starts will determine if he is allowed back. It is a small private school and I think has the potential to be really good for him, and has been for almost a year, since he started. But they're objecting to his stress response, which is to act defiant and run off from the teacher, and I'm having a hard time convincing them this is totally related to his FASD and that there are strategies we can put in place before, to prevent it happening, rather than consequences after, which don't work for him. So I'm preparing myself as best I can for the meeting on Tuesday April 8th....wish me luck!

Sheri said...

Oh Janine! I will thikg about you and prayer for you and your son. I will pray for wisdom and open-ears on the part of the educators. I prayed alot for God to give me the words to say that would make an impact on the situation. . .

Take heart! We had some really dark times . . . I hate FASD.

Jo said...

Hope is a beautiful thing! And it looks like the plan with Dustin is working well for him. yay!