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Posts Tagged ‘kids’

My son finishes work early.  He has a para that takes him out to the library when he’s done, so as to not disturb the class.  He spends a lot of time there.

He has a Kindle, so he has plenty to read at all times. The school itself (Washington Middle School in Dubuque) has kindles to loan out to students, too.  

His para, for whatever reason, thinks that Kindles are a disgrace.  She first banned him from reading whatever he wanted on it, even though he reads adult science books, and Greek classics.  He could only read what was assigned in school.

Then she decided that was unacceptable.  On Friday, she ripped it out of his hands, went to the shelves, found the book he was reading, and threw it down in front of him.  For whatever reason, she would not allow him to read it on the Kindle.

It is bad enough they wouldn’t put him in gifted classes because he has a learning disability (dysgraphia, cannot write legibly), but now to discourage reading advanced books, and only read school books on paper? What is wrong with this place?

We’re taking him out of school after this year, and using the virtual public school until we move out of Dubuque. When you have staff acting against the child’s best interests, you need to pull your child out.  This is just the latest in a string of incidents with this woman, and it’s the last straw.

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They had a threat called in yesterday. It wasn’t a student. We got a self congratulatory phone call from them, yesterday. It wasn’t a credible threat, apparently.

But the real credible threat, the bullying we’ve been talking about for months, is still being ignored. The school won’t do anything, and neither will the police. Their answer is to call an IEP meeting. The children are acting like their parents, to be honest. You hear from them the same scorn and attitude as you see in parents around here. It’s been awful, and I cannot wait until the year is over. We pulled our son out so he could go to the Iowa Virtual Public school. After that, we are moving so we don’t have to subject our youngest to that horribly run school. I cannot wait.

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I no longer think that Dubuque is a good place to raise a family. In fact, if you have a child with a disability, you may be better off elsewhere.  It’s not bad, and better than what we would have had in New York City, but I’ve been looking around and there seem to be better places.  Madison, WI is one place we’re looking at, and if it wasn’t for Walker, it would be close to perfect.

But the bloom is off the rose, and Dubuque, which once seemed a very grounded and open place, has turned to the usual bad habits of many cities.  The politicians are inaccessible, the police are unethical, and the laws are now going from protecting citizens to generating money off of them. Schools get cut, but special pet projects do not.  Small businesses suffer at the hands of larger ones. They found a way to get rid of undesirable “people from Chicago” (code word for black) legally.  Discrimination is almost as rampant as apathy and ignorance.  There are few people with strong convictions here, and it shows.

I want to fight for a community that fights with me, for me, alongside me. I’ll be the best thing that ever happened!  

We still have to ride it out more than a year, since we do want our daughter to graduate from the local high school. It would be foolish to pull her out now.  But if we can figure out how to make it work, we need to go to a good city, one that is family friendly.

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If you’re a parent with a child on the spectrum, you’ve probably responded to the same annoying remarks and questions a thousand times. Here’s a handy list of responses that…you’ll probably never use out loud (but are fun to imagine using)!

via Top 10 snappy answers to annoying comments about autism | Autism Support Network.

I need to memorize these…

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I made this video today, based on actual conversations over the years.

http://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/jwplayer.swfhttp://www.xtranormal.com/site_media/players/embedded-xnl-stats.swf

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You can tell my nine year old has that bit of geek in him.

Today, I went to buy him a toothbrush. One that plays a song when it touches your teeth. The entire song is how long you should take brushing.

When I got home, I teased him. “I got you a new toothbrush,” I told him, “one that plays songs from High School Musical!”

“Ewww, NO!”

“I’m kidding, I think I got the Cheetah Girls.”

“Mom!”

“Actually, I got you The Theme from Rocky.”

“You got me a Stephen Hawking toothbrush? AWESOME!”

(He thought I said “I got you A Stephen Hawking” not “I got you the Theme from Rocky”.)

So yeah, my son knows who Stephen Hawking is, but not too clear on the Rocky thing.

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They changed the pick up point for my youngest; he now gets picked up in front of the house, not across the street.  So today I got to see him as the bus pulled away.  He looked at me briefly as they buckled him in, and then looked straight ahead. The thing about a non verbal kid is it is harder to know what they are thinking — as if people weren’t vague enough about their thoughts.  I wondered what he thinks about school. I know he seems to enjoy going.  Does he have any idea at all what the purpose is?  I’m really not sure, and leaning towards “no”. Every year the local newspaper, the Telegraph Herald asks the incoming kindergarten students what they want to be when they grow up.  There are all sorts of answers. Ballerinas and cowboys and doctors and singers and dancers and mechanics and truck drivers and babysitters andteachers and astronauts and anything a little kid can imagine. I wonder what my son would answer, if he could.  I know what I would want him to answer.  Independent. And that is what life is like with a kid like mine. Your dreams change. Your expectations are in a sense lowered. (But raised because you are aware of how hard each task is.)  When nothing but the finest schools and a doctorate in their chosen profession is just about shot down in flames when the prognosis is “I don’t know” for so many issues.  It’s not so bad, really.  Still, days like today, independence seems like such a great dream, but the thought that even independence may not be possible? That’s what can really hurt. By the way, his bus isn’t short, but it is chock full of kids who may face the same future as my son. Some more independent than others.  Think about that the next time you make a ‘short bus’ joke. About the parents that put their kids on that bus, and take them off the bus, if you don’t have the decency to think about the children because you think of them as less than human.  Think about me.

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