After months of testing and discussion and eventually going to mediation with the school district, my youngest son moved from his neighborhood elementary school where he was not getting any services, to another school where he is now getting services. Apparently, in large school districts, such as the one we are in, the district can pool resources and assign certain services to certain schools. We had wanted to keep him in our neighborhood school so he could interact with neighbors and kids he goes to church with, but our neighborhood school does not offer any of the services he needs.
He moved to the new school about 6 weeks ago. Everyone at the new school is awesome and they've been patient as he's adjusted to his new surroundings, new schedule, and new people. Things seem to be going well. He's had a few instances where he didn't want to come in from recess or stayed in the bathroom too long, but we've been moving in a good direction.
He spends half his time in a general education classroom with peers without disabilities and spends the other half in a classroom where he gets individualized instruction and more intensive help. It seems to be working well.
His general education teachers are wonderful. Every day they send home a homework folder with what all the general education kids are doing as well as what my son's specific assignment is. Sometimes, they write notes on this paper (when he forgot to return a library book, when he wouldn't write his spelling test, etc). Monday, I glanced at the homework sheet and was upset to see the words, "hid" and "bit." I imagined him hiding in the bathroom or classroom and then biting some other student. I immediately talked to him about it and told him that wasn't okay. He just gave me a strange look, but I hoped he got the message. I want him to be able to attend his general education class and know that certain behaviors may prevent that. I thought about it and worried about it all night, especially because he'd never bitten anyone and hadn't ever exhibited that behavior at school.
Tuesday, I looked more closely at his homework paper, including the spelling words list. Guess what words are on the list? Yep. Hid and bit. Those were the spelling words his teachers wanted him to learn for the week, they were not a comment on his behavior. No wonder he gave me a strange look when I talked to him about it. He probably thought I was crazy (he may be right).
I had to sit down and laugh. I had been all worried about a behavior that didn't even exist because I hadn't looked closely enough at his homework paper.
Maybe I'm a little paranoid because I'm so hopeful he'll be able to spend time with his non-disabled peers. I'm just glad it was his spelling words, and next time, I'll take the time to actually understand his homework paper.