Friday, October 21, 2011

10 Happy Faces vs. 5 Sad Faces!

Some of you know that my husband is a Stage 4 cancer patient but some of you may not know that we also have 7 year old Autistic twin boys that are in the 1st grade.

When the boys started 1st Grade CJ came home with a letter from his teacher explaining the rules of the classroom, supply list, prep and gym days, student expectations and parent responsibilities and such and so on.  One of the classroom rules was that ALL students that get 10 happy faces on their monthly behavior report WILL be able to participate in the monthly birthday celebration at the end of each month!!  AWESOME, now I have something positive to work with here!!

Yesterday he brings home a notice that says ALL children with 5 or more sad faces in their monthly behavior report will NOT be able to participate in the monthly bithday celebration at the end of the month and they will also NOT be able to go on the scheduled field trip that month!  WTF is up with that??

So I call the school today in an attempt to talk to the teacher and she was in class so I left a message for his case manager (special ed teacher) Ms C.  She calls me back and asks what was up so I tell her....

I have to say something about this new rule...I think it's wrong.  Here is what the teacher now did..follow me if you will...

You told him at the beginning of the year that "if you get 10 happy faces you could participate which is very positive."  Now you are telling him "BUT if you get 5 or more sad faces, regardless of how many happy faces you have, you WILL NOT be able to participate!"  We are talking about an Autistic child who is watching his father die every single day essentially and he feels it's his job to save his father's life!  Not to mention that CJ works 2 to 4 times as hard to be 1/2 or AS good as the other kids in that classroom!  So now what you have done is taken his positive away from (10 happy faces) and TURNED HIM COMPLETELY AROUND and said "but wait 5 or more sad faces it's a no go!!  You're PUNISHED!"  which is NEGATIVE!  So instead of him focusing on positive, he is now turned completely around and focusing on the negative which is NOT GOOD for CJ! 

I understand why the teacher is doing this but come on....isn't that a bit extreme???  We're talking about a 7 year old Autistic 1st grader that walked into that classroom with some minor behavioral issues that are CLEARLY in his IEP AND he is watching his father die right before his eyes so now we want him focusing on even more negative???  Does that make sense, not to me it doesn't!!

After we went back and forth a few times I asked if there was another consequence we could come up with for CJ and not a PUNISHMENT that he won't be able to participate in the parties because his father is dying!!!  Which WE ALL know is how CJ will think!  Needless to say it's in the process of being handled...I hope to have better news on Monday.

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