So after the re-evaluation was completed it was determined that our son would be classified as, “Multiply Disabled”. When I asked the child study team what that meant I was told it was because my son had more then one disability. It seemed to make sense. They never did mention he would be in a class with low functioning children with Autism, Down Syndrome, and Behavior Problems. I was handed the new Individual Education Plan that the child study team had developed.
In the meantime, my husband and I had found our new home. It was located in a lake community which offered a lot of activities for children. It also had a reputation for a good school system and was in an “I” District as classified by the New Jersey Department of Education. An “I” district was the second highest of eight groupings. These groupings are classified by comparing common socioeconomic characteristics of the local districts in New Jersey. From lowest socioeconomic status to highest, the categories are A, B, CD, DE, FG, GH, I and J. Our home would have 4 bedrooms, a front porch across the entire front of the house, a walk out basement, level land and a nice size property. We were excited and thought, “This a great place to raise our growing family.” We went into attorney review and that summer we would move in just prior to our eldest son starting kindergarten.
I registered my son for school. I signed the necessary paperwork to have my son’s current school district send his educational files to the new district. My current case manager was impressed with the new town we’d be moving too. She said the case managers caseloads were 1/8th of her current caseload and the school seemed to have a great reputation. Everything seemed to be falling in place.
However, we were notified by the new school that our son would not be attending our neighborhood school. He would be bused up to another location where the “multiply disabled” class was.
He started school on September, 6th 2001. A note from his teacher came home in his backpack that read, ” He had a great first day. He is SO cute. We pretended to go camping today and listened to stories. We made roosters too and took a walk to see the garden.” I was so happy to hear he had such a great day.
By October 25, 2001 I wrote my first letter to the school, “My son seems to be having a problem on the school bus. He told me that a few of the kid’s pick on him, says bad words (Ex: Asshole and Stupid), throw things, and take their seatbelts off. Please advise me ASAP as to what you will do to correct the problem.”
Shortly, after our new case manager informed me that the Principal and Special Education Director had been notified and would be handling the situation. The Principal called and said he had gotten on the bus and spoke to the children and hopefully this would resolve the problem.
In the meantime, my son started to regress. He would come home and be in tears. He’d tell me all the awful things that happened on the bus and in the classroom. He hated to go to school. I felt so sad and distraught since my son had been doing so well prior to our move. I informed the principal and teacher but nothing seemed to change.
By January of 2002 the teacher sent a progress report. On it said how naming the letters of the alphabet was a difficult task for my son and that he was disinterested in sight words and complained that the task was “too hard for him”. He also had an “immature pencil grasp but was improving.” Also she she stated that he enjoyed listening to stories and was able to answer questions with details. He was able to follow one step directions but “if more then one step was given, the direction must be repeated.” He also now recognized numbers one through then but would often confuse the 6 and 9. He also had a wide range of knowledge and understanding on many subjects, especially animals.
Now here came those haunting words, the teacher stated that my son frequently showed oppositional behavior in school. For example, if told to come to the table he would often go the other way or go under the table. If he felt a lesson was too hard for him, he would walk away or call out.
However, she did go on to say a statement that in the upcoming years would often be repeated, “He is a very compassionate child. He likes to be the caretaker and helper. He enjoys showing others how to complete a project. He is a very generous child and willing to share with others.”
I thought all of this did not make sense because why would this “compassionate, caretaking, helping, generous, willing child” be “oppositional” then?
I had two thoughts that were running through my mind:
1) Was the children that I reported back in October that had been picking on my son and saying bad words affecting his behavior and affecting him emotionally?
2) Did my son have DYSLEXIA?
Copyrighted 2011: danadogooder and DMT