I have been thinking a lot lately, about moving Brother to an online school. This school year started on August 1st, and it has been full of conflict. He was more often than not, in a panic at the front door in the morning, so we devised a plan to drop him off in the back. Then, he was not able to get up and dressed to leave the house. We adjusted our night routine and sedating medications, but the issue still lingers.
Most mornings, I load all of Brother’s school items and clothes, into the car. I then physically move him out of his bed and help him stand up. He is usually up before this time, eating breakfast. He goes in and out of states of dissociation in the mornings. Once he gets to school, two or more adults meet us at the back door. One of them physically removes him from the car, just like I move him from the bed. He changes clothes in the school, then goes to someone’s room to chill for a bit before facing classes.
Let me write about classes…this is a great example. Last week, Brother was out of school 4 of the 5 days. He was in the hospital after trying to self harm. This week, only one of his six teachers bothered to email me the assignments he missed, and let me know when it was expected to be turned in. That’s great, but Brother didn’t bring home the foldable he was working on, and the other work was on PowerPoint and in the textbook. She emailed me the PowerPoint. There was no textbook, because the school only has enough for a classroom set, and they don’t get sent home. I offered to Google search for the information. She needed the answers from the textbook, so she sent me a link to the online version. It didn’t work. After emailing back and forth, she reset the link. Now we got onto the platform, but still needed some kind of class code to access the textbook. I emailed her again- by now it was Wednesday. The test would be Friday. I never heard back from her. Brother was made to take a test over information that he was not even given. If this doesn’t make an already anxious kid shut down, it would be a miracle. Brother shut down.
This was only one class. None of the other teachers even bothered to send make up work. When I go through his binder, I find half completed work, and things that probably should have been turned in. He has a behavior plan and an IEP with specific accommodations to address these things.
I don’t think it is asking for much to have the instructions, rubric, and textbook. I don’t think it is too much to ask for teachers to ask him for work he hasn’t turned in. Having been teaching students who have special needs for the past 18 years, I feel I am not asking for any more than what I would have done for my students. I don’t feel that these will take significant time away from the other students either. I guess I don’t understand…
I think that this weekend, I will sit with Brother and weigh the pros and cons of online homeschool versus public school. I found a lady who will tutor with him two or three times a week in our home. My main concern is that Brother will withdraw even more, and refuse to partake in self-care or leave his room. Of course, he can always be put back into regular public school if that happens.
Adding to my dismay, I was told to get a letter from the therapist, covering Brother’s anxiety related tardiness, absences for therapy and anxiety, and anxiety with gym. The therapist gave a beautiful, all encompassing letter. The attendance clerk wouldn’t accept it because it wasn’t specific enough. I called the therapist, who also happens to work intensely with a neighboring school system. He did not understand the problem- this would suffice in his county. Now there will need to be a lot of unnecessary time spent on this.
Topping it all off, is the ex having his attorney draw up a motion to enforce our agreement, because I haven’t spoken with HIS therapist. Luckily, I had her recorded on a voicemail stating that she didn’t need to speak with me because Brother’s therapy group was handling what she was thinking she needed to do. I’m sure this was just the dad’s angry response to being asked to actually pay his responsible portion of uncovered medical bills (24%), and reading Brother’s new psychological report which reveals some harsh truths…oh and having to start paying about $100 a month child support. He hasn’t helped with expenses or child support at all as of yet, and I’m not holding my breath.
Praying to make the right decisions…