A YouTube video recently popped up in my email feed offering 12 Simple Ideas Parents Can Do to Improve Their Child’s Classroom Experience from Asperger Experts.
The 12 Simple Things video is straightforward, well-presented, and I could identify with almost every single suggestion.
Simply put, the 12 suggestions promote seeing the school as part of your child’s team, which is the way it should be.
In fact, there were only two of the suggestions that I have not always agreed with and implemented in my interactions with my son’s school.
I found early on that I could not volunteer in my child’s classroom – he would be distracted by me, sometimes hiding behind me when he was anxious.
After we realized we were dealing with Pathological Demand Avoidance, it was clear that my being in the classroom was a go-to means of avoiding the demands of the classroom.
Instead I stayed in close contact with his teachers so that I could, to some degree, fill in what I lost in not being able to observe on my own.
The other suggestion that I did not always agree with was the one reminding parents to remember that teachers had more than one student in the classroom.
It was about this idea that for the first and only time, I went fully “mama bear” in an IEP meeting.
It was at our first IEP meeting and his teacher said something about “we need to think about how much time he takes away from other children in the classroom.”
We had been working with the school for months trying to solve the behavioral issues we were seeing in the classroom, for his sake, the teachers, and the sake of the other kids.
Now we had a diagnosis and recognition of a need to approach things from a different perspective, accommodating and supporting him, rather than him supporting everyone else’s needs.
It was amazing how fast the attorney in me came out.
“I can see why that would be a concern for you but you need to understand that that is not one of mine. We have determined that he has a disability, that he needs an IEP, and how we are going to support him is what we are here to discuss. How the other kids in the classroom are impacted by his needs is not my concern.”
The issue never came up again.
That is not to say that since that meeting we have not been aware of and paid attention to the fact that there are other children in his class; but it has never been an prominent consideration when it came to his IEP or his education.
Overall, the video offers totally great ideas – check them out and let me know what you think of them.
If you have not taken the time to enjoy and learn from Asperger Experts‘ videos, I encourage you to do so – and give yourself some time to do it because one leads to another which leads to another and the next thing you know you have been watching videos for an hour!
Also published on Medium.