Friday, September 08, 2006

A NEW SCHOOL FOR LEROY

Leroy is a child that sends my heart soaring. I can take one look at this little boy and break in to tears of happiness or cry out in sadness. Leroy is my hope when I'm filled with doom. Leroy is my sunny day when clouds come.

Days before school began this year, Leroy started showing signs of anxiousness. He couldn't sleep, he wasn't eating well. After school started, Leroy would come home with his shirts chewed through...large holes in them. Leroy had picked apart his sandals. Leroy cried and had panic attacks during homework. One visit to his Pediatric Specialist doctor and one visit to his Psychologist indicated that we needed to get him out of the Mayberry school...and quick. The doctor explained to me that when Asperger's kids get older and social situations and homework becomes more demanding, they can lose control very quickly, especially in schools like Mayberry where their method of teaching is quite severe and with little empathy. The Mayberry school would not give Leroy any support. They had a school Psychologist on the property for 1/2 day, once a week for five hundred kids K-8th grade. That meant that Leroy was going to get lost in the shuffle.

A lot of my anger is directed towards the Mayberry school (I call it" The Gestapo"). They have ideals centered around conforming. As long as you can have complete silence in the bathrooms and in line, get good grades on the testing scores and do well on daily timed reading and math problems....you will do okay. If you or your child has difficulty with any of these things, then their response is, "So sorry. I guess this school isn't for your child." This infuriates me because I wanted a neighborhood school for my kids. Our house is a block from the Mayberry school.

One day, I approached the Mayberry teacher (who is a very nice woman by the way). I said that Leroy can't do the timed math. " If I say the math out loud ie: 9+5, 8+3, 7+11 etc. and Leroy says the answers aloud, he is very, very fast. We can sail through the timed math with seconds to spare. But if Leroy has to write down the answers, if his fours or eights aren't written perfectly then he erases them and starts over. He knows the answers, Leroy just gets caught up in the details." Mrs. Soinso understood, but she said that she could do nothing about it. Leroy had to buck up. They couldn't make exceptions. I pulled Leroy out the next day with no plan in place for another school. I considered homeschooling, tutors and other schools in Mayberry valley.

On a positive note, finding this new school for Leroy is like a breath of fresh air. They were embracing. They said, "Come to our school and Leroy will be taken care of. We will set him up on an IEP. We will make sure there is an aid with him on the playground to ensure that he socially has the support he needs. Leroy is a smart and beautiful child. We love Leroy's smile."

So do I.

7 comments:

MomSquared said...

They couldn't even accomodate him by giving him extra time to form his numbers?? Seriously?

Crazy. I'm glad you found another school. I think the school district should pay the tuition!

Jennboree said...

Awww...what a sweet face. I know nothing about Asperger's so I'm going to research it right now!

Very glad you found a good school for Leroy. It angers me a great deal when schools treat children as if they are to be seen and not heard. They are CHILDREN!

I'm Just a Girl said...

I used to work with adults who were mentally challenged with autism, so I have some knowledge of the Asperger's/Autism world. I hate that Leroy's school treated him that way. I'm glad you found a better school. It sounds like a wonderful place!

MomToTracyNSheri said...

It's hard to believe in this day and age, with so many Asperger's kids out there, that a school would not have a way to accommodate Leroy.

I don't know why I'm so shocked. I had to get a doctor's note so that TL's school would allow her to attend wearing collar-less shirts, even though the collars were making her neck break out in a rash every day.

Rules are important but so is individualization. It's been lost in the shuffle.

Anonymous said...

I'M SO HAPPY THAT LEROY WILL BE GOING TO A DIFFERENT SCHOOL. TELL HIM I'LL SEE HIM NEXT WEEK. LOVE AND KISSES TO IZZY, CHRISTIAN, LEROY AND TORI.

mistressofchange said...

I'm surprised you didn't lash out at the "educator." Bid kudos to you! You're a better person than I am. And congrats on finding a much more welcoming school for Leroy. He's a cutie!

Carol said...

Hi!

Somehow I happened upon your blog, and I have been reading it for a few days. I got teary reading about Leroy and your love for him today. What a beautiful child. He's lucky to have you to love and support him. Thank you for taking such good care of this wonderful gift!