Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wacky Wednesday

Well, my little friend, D.J. had a rough day today! The morning started out horribly, with all the usual behaviors. (see previous posts!) When we went to lunch, he still hadn't really calmed down. Next was art, and I didn't get any complaints, so I guess he wasn't too bad. But, rest time was a different story. Like yesterday, he asked to go to the carpet. Again, I told him he could try it, but if I had to say his name, back to his seat he would go. Well, it didn't go as smoothly as yesterday. He rolled around, wiggled, touched the kids near him, kicked the kids across from him, and this all happened in the first couple of minutes! He also took off his shoes. He did that in the morning, too. Doesn't sound like a big deal, right? Well, it's a bigger deal than you would think.

It's actually a CPS "rule" that the kids can't be without their shoes on, mostly for emergency reasons. If the fire alarm ever rang, whether for real or just a drill, we would have to exit the building immediately, and they don't want any kids outside barefoot. Makes perfect sense to me. Especially when we have fire drills in the winter and there's snow on the ground, etc. I had to ask him several times this morning to put his shoes back on, so when he took them off AGAIN at rest time, that was the final straw. I told him to put his shoes on "right this minute and go to your seat!" (I was running out of patience at this point.) Naturally, he continued to wiggle and jiggle in his seat, eventually moving to the floor and under the table. About a minute before the rest time music ended, I looked at him, and he was half under the table, flat on his back, arms and legs out spread-eagle. But, he was still and quiet, so I ignored it. A minute later, the music stopped, I turned on the lights, and realized he was out cold. Again, selfishly, I let him sleep for a bit. Again, he woke up during snack time. This time, however, when I came back, he was standing next to his seat, crying. I thought he was crying because he missed snack time. I told him I brought him a snack, and he should sit so he can eat it. No response. I asked again. No response. I walked over to him, put my arms around him, and immediately realized why he was crying. He was soaking wet! He had an accident while he was sleeping, the poor baby! No wonder he woke up!

I put a call in to his mom, and his older brother came and got him. About 45 minutes later!! The poor baby had to stay in those wet clothes all that time. I just don't understand some of my parents. Technically, no one should live farther than 8 blocks from the school. That's the way CPS is set up. That's why there are so many neighborhood schools. If it takes you 45 minutes to come 8 blocks, something's wrong. And it's called, my child is not my priority! No wonder this baby has issues! OK, I don't want to start a rant, because it's late, and I'm tired, so for now, I'm going to let the subject rest.

I got a new student today. I had her sister last year. That makes 13 of my 24 students whose siblings I've already had. Weird! I've never had a class like this before. Let's just keep our fingers crossed that no more kindergarten students come this year. I'm officially out of seats! 24 is too many for a kindergarten class, especially one without an assistant. But, I shouldn't even be complaining since some of the other grades are far more overcrowded than we are. My friend in 2nd grade has 37 students!!

The only positive thing that comes to mind for today is that I was able to put together "art bags" for my kids today. Metra had given us plastic pencil bags one year, with 2 pencils, an eraser and a 6" ruler inside. (Actually, they might give them to our school every year, I'm not sure.)
Anyway, I had a bunch I had put aside, so I pulled them out, wrote each child's name on one, sharpened the two pencils, and put 8 brand new crayons (the basics - red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black) inside so that they would have something to take to art class with them. They were so excited! It was nice to see them so happy about something so simple. The bags are definitely going to be "school only" bags, because if they ever went home, I'd never see them again. They'll take them to art tomorrow for the first time (I didn't have them all finished before art today) so we'll see how it goes.

Quote time:

All I really need to know ... I learned in kindergarten.

---Robert Fulghum

Of course, this is one of my favorite quotes of all time! :)

This has been a very full and busy day. As I walked in the door from work, a friend called me asking what was for dinner, because he was hungry, so naturally I told him to come on over and I'd whip something up. I also had my son's best friend over for dinner, because the boys were going to hang out together for the night while his mom and I went to a Parents' Club meeting at their school. She's the president, and I'm the vice president. Since both of us are single mothers (!) you know, we have nothing better to do. NOT! (I only got out of being president because I've been in grad school. I couldn't escape VP, though. I waited until after the election last May to tell everyone I'd be graduating in July!) So, I threw together some pasta with broccoli, broiled orange roughy and a big, tossed salad, fed all the boys, basically pushed my friend out the door (after we shared a yummy piece of triple chocolate cake!), ran to Dunkin Donuts for a Box O' Joe and a dozen donuts, and made it to the meeting with about 5 minutes to spare. Now, it's about a quarter to 11, my son is still putzing around and thinks I don't hear him, so I need to go yell, and then hit the sack. Right after a healthy dose of Nyquil! My cold seems to be on it's way out, thank goodness.

Be sure to check back tomorrow to see how my Thrilling Thursday went! Good night.


Christina Shaver said...

I feel bad for D.J. and I KNOW how frustrating it must be for you.

Here's the thing about the sensory processing disorder and CPS. The family could get D.J. tested through the school and if he indeed DOES have SPD (which everything you're describing sounds like to me)...YOU get the benefit.

From my understanding -- and granted by son doesn't got to a CPS school nor get services through them, but I'm well versed -- if D.J. has sensory integration issues an occupational therapists will consult with the teacher to help strategize solutions for the classroom.

Maybe you already know about this. And maybe it's too late to do an IEP? And I agree with your last comment that some parents don't like to test kids so they don't get labeled. But if over the course of the school year things don't improve, it may be something to think about. And now I will shut up about D.J. because you are his teacher and what the hell do I know.

On the other hand, your posts make me think about my son. He's adopted. And I am just so thankful for him that he was adopted by us. I think you're right that sometimes parents don't like to address issues with their kids for whatever reasons, but the truth is, the earlier the better. We still have two and possibly three years at the therapeutic nursery school (kids can turn 6 in the program). So there's lots of hope and time!

I think that Evan could have been your D.J., but hopefully when the time comes he can just be another kid in the class. Or if not that, then at least not so disruptive.

Christina Shaver said...

Oh. One last question. Is he wearing socks and shoes?

Evan can't stand his socks and wants to take them off the minute I put them on. If D.J. takes his shoes off again and he's wearing socks, you may want to try turning the socks inside-out so he can't feel the seam. Maybe that's what's bothering him.

ChiTown Girl said...

Christina, you're the best! Thanks for all the tips and advice. Quite frankly, YOU'RE the expert on this subject, not me. Teacher or not, because we have to know about so many different special needs, it's difficult to know a lot about any one of them. My very last class in grad school was a special ed class, and as helpful as it was, I don't remember even discussing SPD. I'm going to pull out my textbook and see if I can find anything.

As far as CPS goes, what you described is exactly what's supposed to happen. Sadly, it NEVER happens at our school. It may still happen in your area, but in the areas like where I work, the majority of the staff is incompetent, and/or we're understaffed for sp. ed. Like I said before, kdg. is like the red-headed step child. By the time they deal with all the referals from the 3rd grade teachers, as well as the upper grades, the school year is more than half over! Then they work their way down the grades, so we're always last. It's like banging my head against a brick wall sometimes. On the rare occasion when I actually have a parent willing to be on-board with the whole process, I always encourage (OK, beg!) them to be the squeaky wheel and advocate for their child. Sadly, I have yet to see it make any real difference.