"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, November 28, 2012

So Tired . .. .

So tired . . . so very, very, very tired of negative news from the school about Katya. It's to the point I cringe when the phone rings.

There is one person way up the "food chain" there that I don't think has said one single positive or encouraging word to us this whole year about Katya. Every single phone call, every single interaction is to report negative things.

I'm really weary of it.

Yes, Katya has problems. Yes, she still does things she shouldn't do that are not socially acceptable or appropriate. But a positive or encouraging word occasionally would go a long way.

Today I got another phone call. With the main teacher gone, and a sub in place, Katya bit a child and pulled a chunk of hair out of a child's head. While I'm glad they inform me, it would be SOO nice to just once every couple of months hear a positive word about my child from this person. Just every once in a while, you know?

We will continue to address the biting and hair pulling at home . . . although the fact that she no longer does such things to Chad tells me that Katya is capable of stopping if the stakes are high enough, and that she isn't likely to stop at school since they have ignored our pleas for a behavioral plan that addresses such things. I don't want my daughter to behave in those ways, but I also think that given her history, her non-verbal status, and the fact that they have ignored our suggestions largely  . . . I can only shrug my shoulders and not let myself get too emotionally involved any more when they keep reporting issues.

So, even though I shall try not to get too emotionally involved, I will pull out and read these books to Katya again:

 Teeth Are Not for Biting

Hands Are Not for Hitting

We have used them a lot already with Katya, and will continue to use them. Geared for the toddler crowd, they are perfect for Katya, teaching her simple but important concepts in ways she can understand. The English is simple and perfect for a child still learning English as a second language. The pictures are bright and engaging, and while the children pictured are clearly children, neither the art work nor the words are "babyish". So there is no offense to Katya's view of herself as a "big girl".

We also have and use other books in the series, and highly recommend them to anyone looking for a good method of helping their children learn appropriate social interactions.

In the meantime . . . wouldn't it be nice if there was a similar book that we could hand out to those needing it  that would teach them how to say positive and encouraging words every once in awhile about Katya?!

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Astrin Ymris said...

You know, all my training repeatedly urged us to tell parents positive things as well as negative. I tried, but when you've got a zillian other must-do administrative tasks on your plate, as well as the ongoing task of teaching, it's easy to let "providing positive feedback to parents" slide. It's regrettable, but it's reality.

Also, I don't think educational personnel who are used to typical children can possibly "get" how well Katya is doing compared to everything she's been through. "Katya independently obeyed a direction aimed at the entire class and got in line" doesn't seem like an accomplishment to them, but expected behavior for a kindergartener.

I hope you won't take this the wrong way, but if I was the parent of a child in Katya's class, I'D be agitating for her to have a 1:1 aid! It's like they're setting her up to fail, so they can justify moving her to a contained class.

Have you connected with other parents of special needs kids in your state? They may have some advice on how to get what you need through the school system. They might even have some advice on appealing the denial of sedation dentistry coverage from the insurance company.

Susan White said...

Ive benn "blurking on your blog" because I have a new grandson adopted from Russia....and here' s a thought. Can you bring up the concept of social stories for the school to write and USE! I am an SLP and I help write a lot of these puppies. Biting, hair pulling, spitting, all the good and bad. Wrote one for my grandson about having big feelings and who to turn to for help. His mama read it to him every day for a week and after one week of reading he looked up and asked the test question from the story "will you keep me safe" and Mama said "Yes" just like the story said.