DS started Kinder this year (mainstream class w/ some accommodations) and overall has been doing very, very well. I had a parent teacher conference 2 weeks ago and the feedback was excellent - lots of positives, and one specific area where we still need to work hard (writing) which was no surprise. Behavior in class, cafeteria and recess has been good - outside of 1 incident regarding a fire drill.
I specifically asked the teacher about some of the classroom accommodations in his IEP and how she is implementing them. Proximity control, frequent feedback, among others. She said, that in class, he so far is able to keep up, isn't distracted, follows directions and is on target for most skills. She isn't seeing that he needs her to implement those accommodations very much that he seems to be doing well. Super.
And then I got a note home from the PE teacher on Friday. At our school if they have a behavior incident 3 times in the 9 week marking period, the teacher sends a note home. His third time with a behavior incident was Friday, which also happened to be the very last day of the 9 week period. The note said "DS can improve by keeping hands to self, not pushing or hurting other children. Today DS grabbed a student by the clothes and dragged him".
Now, keeping hands and feet to self is a goal in his IEP....so that fact that he has trouble here is no surprise to me. However - the grabbing a child by the clothes and dragging him is extreme even for my kid. So I questioned him about it, and he said that yes he did that. I asked him why. Because H (the other kid) was not following the rules. What did he do? He cut in line. So my kid took it upon himself to make sure that this other child was following the rules, grabbed him and dragged him to the end of the line. Obvs not ok...however, this is another goal on my sons IEP - to be more flexible around when other kids break the rules. DS is very focused on the rules and what is right and wrong, and gets angry when other kids try to cheat or break the rules.
To make a long story short - the child whom he dragged we know very
well and lives 5 houses away. I marched his butt down there on Saturday
morning so he could apologize - which he did. But in talking to the
other Mom, her child also got a behavior notice on Friday - for the same
incident. The boys apologized to
each other, we talked about both of them making better choices in PE, and we had a play date later that afternoon and all was
I called the PE teacher to set up an appointment to discuss what is happening in PE. I told her my sons version of the grabbing incident - which was exactly how she described it. And I also asked her to tell me more about the other incidents happening in PE. All were basically the same - pushing, shoving, getting angry about the "rules" or if he perceives something is unfair or if another child cheats.
Then I said "well, I'll be honest, the fact that struggles with these things in PE is not a shock to me as they are goals with accomodations in his IEP".
Teacher: eyes wide. "ohhhhhhhhhhhh".
Then I went over the specifics of his IEP, and I said I'm sure you have a copy, but I brought and extra in case you want it? And she took it.
I asked if she felt that she was able to implement the accomodations
in his IEP appropriately given the class size (which is 55 Kinder
students to 2 PE teachers!), and in her opinion did I need to call and ARD
to have additional accomodations put in place so that my kid can be successful in PE.
She said, well, I think I can accommodate him just fine. Let's give it a couple of more weeks - I will ramp up the accommodations and see how he does. Translation: I was not doing this before but I will now since you are threatening an ARD for additional support. She also made a point to tell me that she has a background and training in special ed.
So I said, super. I will call you in 2 weeks. You can tell me if the supports are working and if not I'll call an ARD, does that sound fair? She agreed.
It was a very amicable meeting, I stayed friendly and smiling, and I'm giving her a chance to fix it.
So, 2 more weeks. We'll see how it goes. I'm guessing, he'll have a more successful 2 weeks in PE.
She also made a point to tell me that for the first 5 weeks of school he did not have any behavior incidents - all of these incidents have happened in the month of October. I am very pregnant and due in about 3 weeks - she took one look at me and suggested that he "senses" a big change coming at home and this behavior is the result. Which, ehhh, I could buy IF he were having a behavior issue in class, therapy or at home - nothing has changed - this is a problem only in PE.
WTF with 55 kinder students for 25 mins of PE? It's 3 Kinder classes to 2 PE teachers. I asked if they get additional aides in PE during those times, no. How can that possibly be effective for ANYONE? With the ratio like that - how can she possibly exhibit proximity control with my kid, provide him frequent feedback etc? I just don't see it.
I know this environment is hard for him - its loud, chaotic, LOTS of kids, competitive - all triggers for my kid. In addition to that - PE can be hard for him physically. Its a lot of effort for him to keep up, try to make his body do things and he gets frustrated. To be honest I'm surprised I haven't gotten a behavior report sooner than this.
Also - who is supposed to make sure all of the teachers working with my child know about his IEP and what his needs are? His caseworker? Me? I'm now concerned I need to have a discussion with the Art, music and theater teacher too.
Our annual ARD needs to happen around the first of the year, so not too far off anyway.
So, any additional thoughts? Did I handle this well? What could I be doing better?