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Friday, September 28, 2012

TGIF

HI all- i have been kind of slack with the blog this week. Nothing exciting to report on the adoption or kid front. We do need to get all our notarizations done, all the forms and letters are just sitting here. But we are also waiting for the FBI and Immigration clearances. Work is going well- we had our first field study through the Rocky Branch Creek Watershed and examined the different problematic cites and polluted areas. I think it went really well. I especially love the set up of our class, in bringing many different speakers, participating in campus action and field studies. I have been pet sitting a good deal for extra $. I am going to Asheville next weekend for a bachelorette weekend! woo hoo I am very excited about this. So the extra money is needed for vodka  spa-days :) My friend Manda is getting married and I am super excited about it. I have my bridesmaid dress still at the alterations shop- the dress is loose int he waist but too tight in the boob area- ugh! I need to up load some photos soon.....soon

Saturday, September 22, 2012

New ventures in OT, speech and a trip to Charleston

I have been loving my job/assitsantship and even though i feel like i cant get it all done in 20 hours a week, i feel i am learning and contributing a good deal and the people are super great. This week I was able to attend a "green is good for business" conference and meet some cool people, catch up with people i haven't seen in a while. Sam is adjusting more to school and making good choices. We have completed the screening for speech and have began the Sensory OT evaluations- which we will go to once a week for a while until Sam has his sensory diet/interventions written out and we can adjust his IEP accordingly. We are trucking along but still need to have a meeting with the PE teacher to address some issues there, especially since he needs PE. I am trying to be optimistic. After the issues that arose last week there are still statements and forms i have to submit because of the FERPA breach. A dear friend of mine who works with certain key education committees with the state department of education, and is also a professor for early childhood ed nearly had a fit last night when i finally told her what happened. I delayed telling her because i know she would seriously be irate about this issue and advocate for us to the "top"-  I just firmly believe that this should be a teachable moment for other parents who have children with special needs, and to educate parents about the rights of their children. I also suggest that an email audit be done, which is a likely occurrence. Although I doubt i would be informed about any findings of the audit. As long as the district and admin know and can follow up with the correct actions, I will be happy with that.
Anyhow, we got our biometrics completed- and we got a health report on K- and things look good for her. We are excited but guarded, preparing for a variety of situations. So happy to have the DVDs from the ETC conference :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Where we're at- ETC and Ira Glass

So the irony of this past weekend has been profound- my little educational "crisis" revolving around how kids "from hard places" behave and learn differently. I am addressing this personally with Sam, academically as i research, a whole day of the conference was focused on sensory issues and learning and low and behold Ira Glass's "This American Life" radio show on NPR was also focused on this. Think the universe is trying to tell me something? This is important stuff- parents, teachers, educational psychologists, OT folks, counselors, addressing attachment and sensory issues in a trust based way can change lives. I have been a teacher for so long and so little of this stuff is taught to teachers. As a parent and researcher i feel i should try and take this information to teachers....learning psychological/emotional regulation skills and understanding why there is a difference is frustrating but so needed. I have so much swimming in my head....not sure if i just should focus on Sam and doing more training myself or really start reaching out to teachers in the are OR reaching out to our teacher-training faculty here at USC. I just feel overwhelmed in a way....so much needs to happen.

Anyhow- the conference was great- i was able to meet some great moms and build upon the skills we already have. I came home with DVDs and books of course....and i was entrenched in a flurry of texting to John about what to do/stop doing with Sam....i just feel i need to process it all and then set up new approaches for Sam and Gabe, not to mention trying to get a grasp of what may come out way with our new little girl......whew!


Thursday, September 13, 2012

Being the Difficult Mom

This is a post that is being donein haste- i should be on the road on the way to Nashville (Karyn Purvis!!)- but right now my heart feels like it was handed to me on a plate. Apparently- in the last few weeks as I have advocated for my son, inquired about certain issues that were very unclear and as I have felt hurt in being greeted with a "your son needs to be evaluated and have a 504" on the first day of school- I have now become a mom to be talked about and ridiculed at my sons school, by teachers, behind my back. I have no doubt he needs, will most likley get a 504- that is not an issue. What has been an issue is that communication has been lacking and Sam's expectatons have been unclearly relayed to us. Not only that as I have correspnded with his teacher via email, my concerns about Sam- his sensory.behavior issues- apparently these emails have been relayed around to at least one other teacher ( a 4th grade teacher who has nothing to do with our son or his learning). Said teacher emailed me back mistakenly- going off on a tirade of how I did not respect teachers and have no clue about primary education yadda yuadd (maybe i will post it)> I guess she thought she was emailing Sams teacher back, not the "Crazy" mom. This woman then asked Sams teacher for a link to my blog (Welcome, Ms. K- hope you are well). Apparently my blog was mentioned in thier correspondence. Regardless- at this point our confidentiality has been breeched, i feel that my sons (both of them) may not be treated objectivley, and i certainly feel disrespected as a parent and educational professional. I am super hurt because these emails really seemed to be an attack on me, my character, my professional background and me as parent. I am beyond livid, i seriously feel sick. I have emailed both teachers back in a respectful way- letting them know that i have now been clued into this unprofessional, ILLEGAL, conversation about me and my son. Of course my husband and I have also reported this breech and lack of professionalism higher up as well. I worked for the district for 8 years- I know what teachers are and are not allowed to say to one another, I have had to sign confedentiality statements, IEPs, 504 and the like left and right. I fear what will come of this and realize that when and if i have to move my boys from this school, that it is really only them that end up suffering- at the hands of very unprofessional teachers who have mistepped in a major way.

All parents of older adopted children- advocate for your kids and thier needs- but be aware that you may become the mom who gets ridiculed or talked about behind yourback. I would not change any action that i have taken- and do not regret advocating for Sam. 'Also p[arents- please feel free to email me privately if you care to understand more of our situation and your rights


As for Sam's teacher and her "friend"- Welcome to my blog- I will be posting information from the conference I am attending, of which several sessions are about advocating for a child from trauma with sensory issues, in school. I hope i can relay some helpful information to you.

 

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flurry of Activity

We have been so super busy this week. It felt like a 7 day week as opposed to a 4 day work week. I am really enjoying my new position and love the class i am the assistant for. I am excited about our upcoming projects and trips. This week i had two parent conferences- one for each boy, plus i have been scurrying around getting ready for our big big yard sale- WHICH IS TOMORROW! Woo hoo. I also had to have pictures printed for our dossier, get johns work letter, and now request our doctors forms (the 2nd version of them). We are still waiting the FBI background check- which is a new item on our to-do list compared to our last adoption. Fingerprints will be done the 19th
Anyhow, we have been soso fortunate to have like a dozen people/families donate for our yard sale. We have SO MUCH STUFF! Plus my mom was here last weekend, that kept us super busy too. Tomorrow, after the yard sale, we have our USC gamecocks to watch, hopefully I can swing by adoption day with Anna (our foster doggy) and then tomorrow night is the Ethiopian New Year Celebration!!! Sunday I have to assist with Sunday school, then have an Indian Guides Meeting (we quit boy scouts) then have a pot-luck meeting for "Green Council" in the evening ......no rest this weekend~ none

I may have a break next Tuesday to sleep in....for real, its crazy arund these parts.
Next week, on Thursday, i leave for EMPOWERED TO CONNECT! Karen Purvis~! I am so excited about staying at a hotel all by myself, my bed, my tv, my choice for dinner, my silence (wait, i am supposed to actually learn some things as well) So yes, lots of activity around here....we need it to calm down some- maybe the week of the 17th our house will feel back to normal