I Get To

Somewhere in my online travels I read about the power of I get to.  It is something you should say to reframe your mind when you are dreading something or are simply not happy to do it.

The example I thought of to drive this home is this:

As a teenager, I was busy (for the purposes of this story)  Going and seeing my grandparents was a drag and be boring. Now that they are both gone, I would do anything to spend time with them again.  If only I had thought I get to. I would realize that many people don’t get to spend time with the grandparents. But I get to. I am lucky,

I get to.

If you say it, your mind opens up and it gives you reasons why you should feel lucky.  Being volunteered to  facilitate a group on self-esteem, I had to use this phrase. I dreaded facillitating because, well, I didn’t think it would go well and I was nervous.  Then I remembered, I get to. With that phrase I began to think about how I have researched self esteem. I think it is important. I thought about how I want to help young people and that I think I can do a good job with it.  Then I could think how the young people I would be working with a pretty great and I would enjoy it.

So I thought about this and then I did go and enjoy it.

 

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Set Point-

Studies have shown that  people quickly (within six months) to their normal state of happiness after a significant event.  That thing that happened to you that made you depressed, there are lifelong consequences with some things, you will return to how you felt before.  The same goes for that wonderful event that was going to make you happy for the rest of your life. You fall in love or win the lottery, those are great and may change your life, but you go back to the same level of satisfaction.

That does not mean, however, that you are doomed to be unhappy.  The way you look at life is the way I looked at Algebra. When I was young, I did not like Algebra.  I thought it was confusing. It sucked. Now perhaps, you feel that way about life. That’s because young people do not have the knowledge base to handle life (like I did not with Algebra).

Algebra may not get better for some of us.  But it does get easier once you learn some ideas. I had a better outlook on Algebra once I mastered some of the concepts. The same with life.

Young people, life does get better.  You learn (from your mistakes). Once you learn things- life goes on, you will fall in love again, you must focus on appreciating what you have- you will get better at living and your attitude toward it will improve.

Each day, try to master the things that make people happy.  You will increase your level of happiness. Bouts of depression will hit you.  You will get sad, but with time (and maybe medication) you will eventually return to a level of happiness that people with money, fame or whatever don’t have

Who will Pay Special Education

Private schools are not required to provide services for special education students. The public school district is still required to find these students and offer them the services.

I wonder how that will mix once Devos tries to get all students into special education.

My inclination is that an influx of students will make private school more selective.  They will have greater resources, but that will still have limits.  They will take the high achieving students and ignore the low achieving students.  Those students that require smaller class sizes for example.

This will make a hardship on public schools as they have less students that are cheaper to teach.

I think it will make it more difficult on special education students.  I think there might be court cases saying that a student was turned away due to their disability.  I think that there will be more lawsuits against private schools in regards to special education students.

There will be more lawsuits against school districts.  Which overall is a good thing.  The law keeps people in check.

Public schools have the responsibility to provide a free and appropriate education for students.  In other words, the education must be equal to a nondisabled student. That means accommodations and special education teachers.  However, that education will probably be at the public school.  It is up to the parent to decide to put them in that class or keep them at the private school.

 

It’s like medical care.  Hospitals are required to give you medical care.  But you must go to their hospital.  The law does not make them go to your home.

 

Now a special education student may thrive at a private school. But what is going to happen when the private schools do not meet their needs?

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Advocate, Advocate, Advocate

You are your child’s advocate in any level of planning meetings, the professionals do want good things for your child.  But it is within the framework of what is best for themselves and their institution.

My son required quite extensive interventions when he was younger.  In home therapy, early childhood, speech, OT, etc.  We were  blessed that he made so much progress that his needs fell away.  At one point, the only thing addressed on the iep was speech and he did not really need that. It was clear that they wanted to keep him in special education to keep that special education money.

Sometimes, it works the opposite. Professionals want to do what will save money and manpower by not giving your child what they need.

Sometimes the plan they want to enact is simply not a good one for your child. Dealing with Autism, you may not be objective when it comes to your child. Sometimes it will feel like people are judging you.

However, professionals lose their objectivity as well. Seeing themselves as professionals, they believe they are correct on all things.

Even if they begin to cringe when they see you, you have a strong voice in the plan.  If they are not working in the BEST interests of your child, there is a process and ways to fix that.

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Adult Supervision

 

John Elder Robison, author of Look Me In The Eyes, talked about his Asperger’s syndrome going un-diagnosed until adulthood. A great book and in it he talks about the adults being the only ones that interacted with him due to his social skills.
People with autism can be challenging. However, as adults, we can handle it. When behaviors get on our nerves, we need to be the ones that keep them from isolation.
Their behaviors are not a choice to be naughty. They can be organic and they can be learned. They may make comments that are insensitive because they cannot predict how it will be taken.
Those behaviors do not need to be ignored. Depending on the person with autism, they may be thankful that you took the time to explain to them how to be social or why something may be off-putting.

Some problematic behaviors just have to be ignored. However, we need to make sure the person behind those behaviors are also not ignored. You do not know how important you might be to someone without positive relationships. We want people with autism to have friendships. Caring adults may be the only thing keeping them from loneliness.

 

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Know the child

The one thing that bugged me the most at my sons IEPs were the experts that liked to spout information about autism. He needs this as children with autism are low toned. It’s important that you have a lot of knowledge when working with autism. We need experts.
However, it does not help that much in making decisions. In deciding what is best for the child in question. Because every child is different, you need to know the child.
Teachers are taught to respect and include parents in planning meetings. I think they still often fall short. Educators have studied disabilities and accomodations. However, parents are vital because they know the child the best.
Professionals, I think, do not look to the parents for information enough. Research and such is great for guidance, but for every generalization made (yes by me included), there are just as many exceptions.

I know this because at my son’s IEP, I saw how the professionals talked. They did not know that I had that same information. I did not confront them, but I did not need to. They were able to get my child’s educational needs met.
However, at times they missed the mark. The last few years, he did not need an IEP, but frankly, I wanted the school district to get that special education monies.

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Advocate- Special Education

Advocate

You are your child’s advocate in any level of planning meetings, the professionals do want good things for your child. But it is within the framework of what is best for themselves and their institution.
My son required quite extensive interventions when he was younger. In home therapy, early childhood, speech, OT, etc. We were so blessed that he made so much progress that his needs fell away. At one point, the only thing addressed on the iep was speech and he did not really need that. It was clear that they wanted to keep him in special education to keep that special education money.
Sometimes, it works the opposite. Professionals want to do what will save money and manpower by not giving your child what they need.
Sometimes the plan they want to enact is simply not a good one for your child. Even if they begin to cringe when they see you, you have a strong voice in the plan. If they are not working in the BEST interests of your child, there is a process and ways to fix that.

Everyone is The Same

“I am different not less.” – Temple Grandin

People with mental illness and people with a disability are no different from anyone else. They do the same thing everyone else does. It is only that life and chemistry makes their actions extreme. A person may hear voices. You may not, but you do have an internal monologue that talks to you. There are many people in a mental hospital that cut themselves. Many people do not. But they do self-destructive things. Everyone thinks of suicide. Because of depression. Chemical imbalances make that desire stronger.
Children with autism may twirl their fingers. It is self-stimulation. A way to calm down. If everyone took note, they would see something they do similar things. Hair twirling. Pen cap chewing. Beard stroking. A child with autism may become violent. People have violent tendencies. Because they know of social conventions, they suppress it. A child with autism may hit a teacher. His or her reactions are extreme, but everyone has physically fought with a sibling (maybe at age 2). But they are in school, they know that is not social correct to hit a teacher. That they will get in trouble.
It is difficult, but everyone needs to learn that mental illness is just that. An illness. We don’t make fun of a person with cancer. We do not shun them or think them as weird. Mental illness is not the person’s fault.