I hate the word.  Meetings. I’m skipping Definition Wednesday to share my hatred with you.

Everything needs a meeting.  Joseph is doing exactly what Joseph does, and what we should expect from him.  Progressing?  Yes.  Still Joseph?  Yes.  But we have to have a meeting. To discuss “interventions” and “preventions.”

Dude.  There’s an IEP plan in place.  There are consequences in place.  The 7 year old attends therapy once a week, which is in addition to his counseling sessions at the school.  Plus occupational therapy.  Plus special education.

But no – that’s not enough.  So we have to have ANOTHER MEETING TO DISCUSS IT.

Frankly, there’s nothing to discuss.  He’s doing to same stuff, and slowly making progress and getting better.  Looking at this year is a lot better than last year, and last year was better than the year before.  But nobody sees that. Why?  Because he took another child’s yogurt.  Wait!  Was that the earth spinning off it’s axis?  I didn’t think so.

But it is cause for another frickin’ meeting. I don’t get it.  But I CAN tell you how the meeting is going to go…

Teachers:  Joseph is doing XYZ.

Me: Which is better than when he did ZYX.

Teachers: Yes, but he is doing XYZ.

Me: …

Teachers: What are “we” going to do about this?

Me: I suggest this (same as he already is doing,) and this (same as he already is doing,) and this (same as he already is doing.)

Teachers: We concur.

Me: So we’re not going to change anything.

Teachers: No, but we feel we’re communicating off the same page now.

Me: …

And then I’ll have to sign something saying that we’re not changing a thing.

Two months from now, I’ll get a call asking me to come up with the copy of the thing that I signed as it was never added to the IEP, even though A) I don’t have the original, and B) WE DIDN’T CHANGE ANYTHING.

I really feel like they’re not seeing his progress.  That because he continues to struggle he must be “fixed” and since he isn’t “fixed” yet that there’s something wrong with the regimen we have in place.  But dude?  He took someone’s yogurt?  A couple years ago he tried to beat up the principal.  He tried to take BOOKS?  As in something educational?  Last year he took the money box instead.  And then he LIED?  Oh the 7-year-old horror.

Don’t get me wrong…  Joseph needs the stuff we have in place.  And he does have problems – a lot of them.  I just don’t think a meeting to negate the progress he’s made and change nothing ’cause nothing needs to be changed (and by the way not getting paid for the time away from work for my husband) is going to help.

And OF COURSE they scheduled it two weeks from the incident. That’s always helpful.

I hate meetings.

Thank you for letting me rant.

Emails Abound

In lieu of a Tuesday blogger – I’m working on it! – I’ll share an email exchange with you (I’ve edited out people’s names.) This is what we’ve been dealing with for a little while. The emails will go to Joseph’s therapist for further work on it, as well.

It’s so frustrating sometimes getting him to understand that he can’t just have what does not belong to him just because he has decided he wants it.

From: Joseph’s Teacher

To: Me

Hi Michele,The past couple of weeks I have noticed Joseph bringing things to class
that he says he has “found”. Most recently he told me that his father
gave him a pencil sharpener. The pencil sharpener showed up after
recess one day [Like we would ever send something with blades in it with Joseph]. When I told Joseph that I would ask you about it, he
told me that he found the sharpener on the playground. I don’t want to
be accusatory, however today at the book fair Joseph took a plastic bag
and put a few toys in it without paying for them. I had him put them
back. On our way out of the book fair I noticed that he had a few books
under his arm. Again, I had him take them back to the fair. Taking
items that do not belong to him is becoming a pattern and I wanted you
to be aware that [Joseph’s Special Ed Teacher] and myself are noticing this behavior.
Are you seeing any of this behavior at home, or is it just at school?

[Joseph’s Special Ed Teacher] and I will continue to monitor and work on this situation
with Joseph, and we will keep you informed of anything further. If you
would like to meet with us before or after the winter break please let
us know.

Thank you Michele!

Joseph’s Teacher

From: Me

To: Joseph’s Teacher

This isn’t new behavior – it’s just that it’s just starting up again for this school year. No – for once, as far as I know it’s not happening at home, just at school. Which in a way is good – the stuff he stolen at home was usually jewelry which he A) tried to give away, B) lost, and C) literally flushed down the toilet, including three rings totally about $17,000 between my mother and I lost. So, I’m glad we’re talking about pencil sharpeners and such. Oh, and at last year’s book fair, he tried to make off with money from the money box, so believe it or not, we’re making progress. Jay [Joseph’s Father] will talk to him, but he’ll also get the new therapist’s contact info and send her/print out and give to her this email so they can deal with it as well.

As far as the new Therapist goes, Jay will give me the contact info to pass on to you… That might be part of the problem – change doesn’t go over well with him. He’s still at the same center but his old therapist recently moved out of the state. So the center contact info is still correct, but we’ll get you the correct info just the same. I think [Joseph’s Special Ed Teacher] was in touch with [Joseph’s Old Therapist], so y’all should have that info as well.

From: Joseph’s Teacher

To: Me

Thank you for your email Michele. I just thought I’d let you know that
Joseph tried to take another toy from the book fair today. Mrs.
XXX, a resource specialist for the district, had him fill out a
“wish list form” so that he could practice what to do if he really wants
something: ask you for it and pay for it rather than take it.

Joseph’s Teacher

From: Me

To: Joseph’s Teacher


We’ll talk to him.


So, we’re back to taking stuff. 2 steps forward, 1 step back. Again and again and again. I think that’s what gets us parents. Doing the steps over and over and over again with no end in sight. Perhaps I’m speaking too broadly – that’s what gets me anyway.

Monday Headlines – Psychiatric Medication Treatment Guidelines For Preschoolers Issued

ScienceDaily (Dec. 4, 2007) — The number of preschool-age children being treated with stimulants, antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs is on the rise, despite limited research and a lack of clinical practice guidelines. In a first step toward standardizing treatment approaches, child mental health professionals from the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center and 11 other institutions have developed recommendations for specific disorders to help clinicians who are considering medications for children ages 3 to 6.

Read Full Article Here

One quote that caught my eye:

“Without established treatment guidelines, clinicians and families face a delicate balancing process. If child continues to have severe or dangerous symptoms after non-medication treatments, the physicians and families must weigh the potential risks of medications with the risks of not intervening in complex clinical situations,” said lead author Mary Margaret Gleason, M.D., of the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center.

It seems to me that so many times, professionals forget the family in the whole equation.  It IS a delicate balance – trying to figure out what’s going to help your child…  There are so many different minefields to walk around, so much research to navigate, so many land mines to avoid.

I personally think that these guidelines are a good thing.  Someone’s trying to give some kind of sense to the minefield.  A map if you will.  Research research research.  In the end, I believe it will only help more kids.

Back next week

I realize that I’ve not been around much this week.  Truth is, I’ve been sick as a dog, and writing on meds has been extremely difficult.  I’ll be back next week raring to go!

Thursday Tools – Google Calendar

Today’s tool is the Google Calendar.  It really has nothing to do with special needs kids, obviously.  However, this site is about us parenting our children, and that means dealing with real life.  This is a tool I use in my real life.

The Calendar is a wonderful web based calendar that can have multiple users.  You see, each person has their own ID/password, and then you can provide access to whatever ID out there you want.  So in our case, I have my own ID, and made an ID for my husband.  I then signed him in and gave all access to me, and vice versa.

It’s free.  I think that’s all I have to say about that.

Because it is web based, that means either one of us can access it from the daily used four computers between us.  And because I’m a work-outside-the-home mom, when stuff comes up during the day, I just can’t rely on my memory of a paper calendar at home.

You can set each appointment to send you an email reminder however long in advance you want.  What this does for me?  I can set an appointment to send an email reminder to my husband – I don’t have to nag, Google does it for me!

Both of us work full time.  My husband works from about 6am to 2:30pm, and then comes home and does kid duty.  I do kid duty in the morning, and then I work 9am to 6pm.  In there is daycare, school, two occupations (not counting my freelance activities,)  my elderly parents I help, homework, doctors for both kids, specialists for both kids, therapists for both kids, IEP meetings, parent/teacher conferences, as well as illness – oh!  And today, throw in the Vet appointment for the cats.   And we eat and clean the house sometimes too.

The bottom line is, we both need to have access to something that we can both update and access.  This works for us.

Tuesday Featured Blogger

I’m working on getting you interviews.  Several are in the works!

Monday Headlines

Here are several ADHD articles for your perusal.

Sharrie Hanley is one of only a few people in the state offering neurofeedback training for the management of a wide range of cognitive conditions from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder to anxiety and depression.

Read Full Article Here

EAST LANSING, Mich. Very low levels of lead in the blood — previously believed to be safe — could be contributing to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, according to a Michigan State University study of 150 children in the Lansing area.

Read Full Article Here

New findings that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may stem from a developmental delay that children could outgrow, rather than a cognitive deficit, have raised questions for parents of the 4.4 million children diagnosed with the disorder.

Read Full Article Here


Q&A Friday

…  Except that there’s no Q&A.  There’s  been no response here in at least two weeks.  So, I shall be taking myself to the social networking sites.  More people needed here for more discussion.  It’s not my strong suit, but I’ll make the attempt.

Tools that Rule

What tools are you looking for??  What tools can you never do without?  Let me know!

Aortic Stenosis

This week’s definition: Aortic Stenosis

Bonus definition: Congenital Heart Defects

Aortic valve stenosis means that a valve in your heart has narrowed and cannot open all the way, so your heart has to work harder. It usually happens because of aging, a heart infection, or a heart defect you were born with.

Definition: WebMD

Aortic valve stenosis (AS) is a valvular heart disease caused by the incomplete opening of the aortic valve.

The aortic valve controls the direction of blood flow from the left ventricle to the aorta. When in good working order, the aortic valve does not impede the flow of blood between these two spaces. Under some circumstances, the aortic valve becomes narrower than normal, impeding the flow of blood. This is known as aortic valve stenosis, or aortic stenosis, often abbreviated as AS.

Definition: Wikipedia

Congenital heart defects are problems with how a baby’s heart forms. “Congenital” means that the heart problem develops before the baby is born or at birth.

Most congenital heart defects affect how blood flows through the heart or through the blood vessels near the heart. Some defects may cause blood to flow in a pattern that is not normal. Others can completely or partially block blood flow.

Definition: WebMD

A congenital heart defect (CHD) is a defect in the structure of the heart and great vessels of a newborn. Most heart defects either obstruct blood flow in the heart or vessels near it or cause blood to flow through the heart in an abnormal pattern, although other defects affecting heart rhythm (such as long QT syndrome) can also occur. Heart defects are among the most common birth defects and are the leading cause of birth defect-related deaths.

Definition: Wikipedia

Other Resources: