Tag Archives: bsc

Discharge

IMG_2209Mikey has graduated from wrap-around services. Officially, they use the term “discharge.” It didn’t feel like a discharge, though. We had a party! His last home visit with our BSC, Mikey was in charge of the whole plan. His ideas ranged from a trip to the bowling alley to “let’s sit on the couch and watch Lego movie.” Ultimately, we went to the grocery store and bought some fancy cookies and then played Guess Who.

Oh, and then we went out for hibachi.

At school, he barely noticed that S was gone, although he had started talking to her when she was there and deigning to suggest he was happy to see her. In front of other people, even!

Part of me was terrified of this day, that as soon as it happened we’d experience a dramatic setback and I’d be on my own. But now I know that even if something happens, I have a wonderful support system I can rely on.

Plus, any time in the next year, I can call up our agency for booster sessions with our BSC if necessary.

Truthfully, things have just been fine. Meeting with our wrap-around team is now one less thing we have to do each week. The void has been filled by Mikey having to read out loud for 15 minutes each day. And that? Well, the other day he said, “Did you know I can read inside my head? I just look at the words with my eyes.”

Next chapter, indeed.

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Transitioning Out of Wrap

Things have been pretty uneventful for us lately! Isn’t that unusual? Isn’t that awesome?

I had a meeting at Mikey’s school about his transition to kindergarten–a meeting that would have been very different had we not started him on medication a month ago! His early intervention teacher suggested she was going to recommend sending him to his feeder school (Mikey goes to a magnet Montessori) given some of his behavior challenges. The feeder school has more support resources in-house for “school age” kids (meaning Kindy on up).

Of course, the school district prefers all kids who have intervention services to attend their feeder school. At least this is what they said at our meeting. I actually laughed at them suggesting that as a viable choice–Mikey’s feeder school has 55% proficiency in reading, 66% in math. Not that I even like standardized tests, but this is telling data.

Worse, they have a 13 point gap racial desparity–meaning the average student of color scores 13 points worse than the average caucasian student at that school (and there’s only about 10-20 caucasian students at the school).

I didn’t mention any of this, though. I simply mentioned that the average kindergarten class size numbered into the 30s, and Mikey already struggles with attentiveness. Surely that would not improve in such an overcrowded classroom!

Anyway, everyone agreed, then, that Mikey will continue on to kindergarten next year. He’ll be in the same classroom with the same teacher (unless she earns a principal job somewhere…we’re all selfishly worried because she is completing graduate school!). He’ll be the “big 5” in the classroom next year, and judging by how he rises to being a 4 this year, we know he’ll really enjoy being a role model in the mixed age room.

Mikey wearing his "professional" clothes

This is how my big guy dresses for school now, because, as he says, “I am a professional.”

He’s doing so well, in fact, that we’re transitioning him to stay 4 full days each week, both by his request and Cody’s/my preference. His TSS has been taking careful notes and reporting data, but she mostly sits on a chair these days in the back of the room, not supporting Mikey directly. It’s been hard to justify her continued presence to insurance companies, so we’re cutting her hours back to 6 per week at school. She’ll complete these hours in the afternoons and help Mikey transition to the full days of school, but we think before long we’ll ease her out of even that.

Cody and I also talked about it, and we’d like to eliminate TSS hours at home. For one thing, Mikey will be in no mood to sit and work on social skills when he comes home from a full day of school. For another, Cody and I really feel like we have learned about all we can learn from our wrap-around team in terms of intervention when Mikey does have an episode or challenge.

We will still have our wonderful BSC with us, and she’ll still come to our house 2 hours per week. This will be partly to touch base with me about what’s going on in school and partly to work directly with Mikey reinforcing any skills we’d like to focus on.

Hopefully we aren’t jumping the gun in eliminating all these services. We fought so hard for a YEAR to get them in place!

But, truly, this particular medication has proven to be exactly what Mikey needs at this stage. We are proud of him and we can tell he is proud of himself when he makes great decisions and has a peaceful day. Plus, with Alex about to turn 2, I’d easily say Mikey is the easier of my two children to parent.

Mikey is quite fond of pointing out when Alex makes poor choices. Like, in the middle of a screaming fit where Alex is shredding important bills and throwing raw eggs on the floor, Mikey will lecture, “Alex, you are making a red choice. Do you think you are going to clean up that mess? Because that would be a green, peaceful choice.”

Maybe I should start a separate blog bemoaning my aggressive two-year-old!

Bolting Again

Mikey’s TSS started joining him at school this week. Our BSC prepared us that it would be a rough transition and that things would get bad before they get better. I guess I just didn’t think they would get THIS bad as he started testing his limits?

He bolted from school twice this week and I only heard about it today, the second time, because he made it off the school grounds and on to the sidewalk on a busy-ish side street.

It’s hard for me to tell whether I’m over-reacting or the teacher is under-reacting. Like, I don’t know if it’s a Montessori thing or if I’m a tightly wound nut job, but Mikey’s teacher told me she told him if it happens again, then he has to start holding an older kid’s hand on the walk to and from lunch.

I’d like for it to not happen again. Ever.

I know my kid is fast and determined, but I was surprised that he could evade the grasp of not only his TSS, but his BSC, teacher, and teacher’s aide all in his impulsive urges to…just run.

Tuesday, I guess he ran out the door of the building outside the cafeteria and only made it a few feet out the door. They didn’t tell me about it that day. Wednesday, he kept on going. I’m pretty shaken up.

All of this comes on top of some pretty aggressive behaviors on Monday and Tuesday, again with Mikey sort of testing the limits of what it means to have a TSS with him in school. Needless to say, I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate today.

Our action steps have been to email the entire team of people who were at our IEP meeting (principal, Early Intervention folks, medical coordinator, family advocate) to request a meeting to discuss some prevention strategies.

Then, we finally made the appointment with our pediatrician to discuss ADHD medication, especially after reading further about some of the medications and reading the discussions of their effect on impulsive behaviors.

It’s going to be another rough year. I’m just sad that I let a good week lull me into the false hope that things would just be sort of normal. I really thought we’d be able to stop crisis management and focus on social behaviors. Maybe next month…