My son, Connor, is having a mountain of trouble at school. We've been in the ARD program for asperger's, dyslexia, and adhd since 2006. He began this new school 2 years ago. Over the last few months I have noticed changes in my son for the worse. He has expressed feeling "lost", "has no purpose" and has told the Asst. Prin he "wants to die".
He is written up (notes about his behavior are sent home each day) for losing focus, not paying attention, inability to complete his work at the same pace other kids are, that his aide (who is assigned to him) has to sit next to him so he does his work, etc. These are all things that coincide with either one or all three of his learning disabilities. I'm not sure if these notes are done to document the need for services for Connor but Connor is starting to feel that all he is worth as a student/person are the bad things that are written about him. I've requested notes of praise be sent home from the teacher for good things he does and none have been sent.
We have a speech therapist, resource classes, an aide for his mainstream classes and open lines of communication (or so I thought) with all his teachers and the counselor. I have even hired a 5th grade teacher familiar with Connor's disabilities to tutor him three afternoons a week.
He is an A/B student so the notes that come home really don't reflect the good grades he is bringing. He is grasping the information. I've also learned, though not confirmed this with my son yet, that the aide has in some manner eluded to Connor that he "is an idiot".
This last week he was punished for poking a kid with a spork. Connor admitted it, acknowledged his wrong doing and apologized. The other kid stated "Apologies don't fix everything". My husband and I met with the Asst. Prin and Connor to discuss this and I was upset to learn the AP sided with the other boy's refusal of apology. I didn't want to address this in front of Connor as I felt my disagreeing would show Connor to argue with an adult. That's not what I want to show. He needs to respect authority and the position that the AP holds. So I sent an email to the AP so we could discuss this issue away from Connor and between adults. This complaint went ignored.
I learned Connor was hit in the balls twice in P.E. by a kid who did it on purpose, a Coah witnessed it and nothing happened. Connor called me from the nurse's office and said he was in pain. I told him, if he could, try and make it through the day and if it was still hurting to call me and I would take him to the doctor. I addressed this in another email with the AP and she dismissed that complaint. I asked why nothing happened to the other boy when Connor said the boy was happy he hurt Connor. She didn't address it.
So today I get a call from the school district that Connor's school has called an ARD for next Monday. Normally our ARD's are in December so I'm finding this coincidental that this happens on the heels of last weeks events. I've sent emails to Connor's principal and teacher asking for a list of what is to be discussed in the itinerary Monday. Those have gone unanswered at this point.
Do I need to hire an advocate for Connor or an education lawyer who specializes in special needs kids? I'm trying very hard not to be "that mom" but he is my son. That little boy is my world and I'm very upset that he feels as depressed as he does. He's 10. All he should be worrying about is being a little boy, nothing more. The things he is feeling are adult emotions and it's draining him.
How do I advocate for him effectively without losing my cool? I know I am so close to this issue emotionally and I'm trying to be objective. This is very hard for me.