"We are going to focus on LIFE for Katya. I believe, one day, she will amaze the world."

Dr. Ben Carson on Katya Dueck

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

One of THOSE Moments . . .


According to the teacher, who I emailed back and forth with today, this kindergartner is a troubled boy with a "lot of issues". The school is doing what they can to work with him, but his issues have seemed to bring out the worst in Katya previously, and they have clashed a lot. (Umm, yeah, given the chip on his shoulder towards her right from the start of the year, I'm sure!) They generally try to just keep them separate. The teacher was out of the classroom today (the para had her back turned to the whole incident this morning and was more in the middle of the group so she didn't hear it) but she will take it up with him tomorrow. When I pointed out that some empathy training might help this young man, the teacher assured me that they teach empathy and take it very seriously. I asked to be kept appraised of the situation (nothing has been said to me previously about this one particular child and Katya having huge issues, so I'm feeling like I was left out of the loop and am not very happy about that). I will check up on it periodically, and will be alert when taking her to school for any thing coming from him OR from her.

No, Katya does not have a 1 on 1 aide and yes, I believe that it would be helpful if she did. However, the school has not seen fit to provide one for her and she has to share a para with 24 other kids.

We really appreciate all the support and comments and feedback you all have left! Thank you!! We read and consider them all!!

This morning when I dropped Katya off at school, she walked into the gym with a happy, pleasant look on her face, and stood close to the boy on the end of the row of bleachers they are supposed to sit on. There was no room for her to sit down there, and besides, all the kids were standing getting ready for the pledge at that second.

This Kindergarten boy is one I have observed before seems to carry a chip on his young shoulders towards my daughter. This morning his chip seemed to have grown to epic proportions as he stared with a ugly look on his face towards her and snapped loudly, "KATYA! No pinching! Katya! No kicking!" No "Good Morning". No welcoming smile. And she hadn't even DONE anything to him except look at him pleasantly.

She stood there looking at him in perplexment, then moved away. He then turned and said to me in this ugly tone of voice, "WHAT'S WRONG WITH HER?!"

I simply replied, "NOTHING." And I may or may not have added, "What is wrong with you?!" I think I said that, but after I got out of there, I wasn't even sure if I had said it or just thought it!!

Fortunately, after she moved away from this boy, the little girls lovingly welcomed her and made room for her to sit with them. So all was not lost, but my Mommy heart is furious and hurting again . . . I know this is what my daughter will face in life but it's hard to see it happen right in front of my nose.

What would you have done it if it was your daughter?!


Ashley said...

Oh Hope Anne, I'm so sorry. I grew up as a disabled child too... does Katya have a 1:1 aide? It seems as though it might be helpful for situations like these. The children should *never* be tasked with reprimanding Katya, it's not healthy! Especially since they are children and will shout at her (it seems) just because the teacher allows it... I'm heartbroken for you.

Deb said...

My heart aches for you and Katya. My son has a speech impediment along with a lispe. In first grade I walked in on a fifth grader mocking him and talking in a baby voice. I tapped the boy on the shoulder and said he has a disability, why don't we walk down to the principals office and we can discuss your bullying. The kid backed off. About a month later I saw this kid with his mother outside the school. I was just about to get out of the car and make her aware that her son was bullying mine. Before I had a chance, the mother started screaming and berating her son, embarrassing him. I was speechless and needless to say didn't confront her. I turned around to my son and before I had a chance to explain, he said, I feel sorry for him...maybe this is why he teases me. I think we all learned a lesson that day. Good luck, I know it is hard. My son has come a long way in speech therapy and they say by 10-12 it will be gone. I often wonder, what the ramifications to his psyche will be. If it's one positive thing, Collin is definitely a nicer person and more apt to not single out others.

Tayley said...

There is a phrase I use in casual conversation with friends when angering individuals are mentioned, I believe it's rather appropriate in the case of this nasty young boy.

"Defenestrate with extreme prejudice."

Natalia said...

I'm so sorry to hear that :( . I think an aide would be ideal to solve that kind of problems. Maybe the boy is just afraid Katya will pinch or kick him and no one will be there to stop her. In that case, an aide would help him feel safer. On the other hand, If that boy is acting nasty because he likes hurting other children, the aide would be able to redirect him and let him know It's not ok to be rude to Katya.

Designs by DD said...

I would suggest a meeting with the teacher. I have two concerns
1) This is bullying and needs to be stopped. The teacher's need to take the opportunity to teach kindness and courtesy.
2) He has learned this from someone - Are the teacher's correcting her this way in front of other students? If so, they need to work on alternatives that will redirect Katya in a positive way.

Candace said...

I would have said exactly what you aren't sure if you said. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?! (emphasizing the YOU). Then I would have marched over to the teacher and asked her if there was a problem with the boy and his relationship with my daughter...like is there something going on between them that I am not being made aware of. And make sure that the teacher knows that I wont tolerate her being bullied, no matter what has transpired in the past.

Milena said...

I agree with what Designs by DD says above.

I would also encourage my daughter, telling her that I saw what happened and that it was not OK that the boy treated her that way. I would let her know that she can always tell us at home if something happens at school.

Now I do know that Katya's ways of communication are limited, but since she understands what you say, maybe you can tell her that if she is sad about something she could use some kind of code. Like specially designed premade notes that she hands you, or a certain gesture. Or could she make her Lego-figures act what happened?

Boysmom said...

I agree with Natalia, but I can't recall if Katya has an aid, I'm thinking no. You should see some of the kids at my school who don't have aids, it's not easy to get, sadly. Hopefully as Katya's communication skills improve things will get better in general. This boy felt empowered to speak that way partly because Katya can't respond verbally.

Astrin Ymris said...

Okay, I'm going to be a bit of a contrarian here, but if Katya really HAS been kicking and pinching this boy, taking the proactive step of warning her not to doesn't strike me as being bullying-- no matter how "ugly" his tone of voice was.

This is a kindergarten boy who's still learning appropriate social behavior himself, just as Katya is. He's not a teacher or paraprofessional himself who should be expected to know positive discipline techniques.

This is, of course, contingent on whether Katya actually HAS been attacking him. If she's never touched him, and he's saying this, it's a totally different problem. However, I'd got the impression from your buying Katya the "hands" book that this was a problem she'd been having.

In either event, I agree with you that Katya should DEFINITELY have a one-on-one aid! There should be a procedure in your district to appeal this.