Saturday, September 06, 2003

Getting back in fighting shape

We've now successfully made it through the first week of school without major trauma. My daughter settled down after her first dreadful day of middle school and is now down to simply not liking it, from hating it with every fiber of her being. I've had enough contact with school personnel to feel that she'll probably be okay. My son's teacher has been conscientiously following through on every note I send her and every discussion we've had. She sent me the report that finally came through from the behaviorist who saw him last year, and it's pretty hilarious stuff -- apparently, among other things, my guy took off his shoes 21 times in the course of two hours of observation (and apparently was nagged to put them back on again 20 times by his aide, which may explain some of the problems he was having). Yesterday she reported that a behaviorist saw him again, and that we'd discuss it at our meeting on Tuesday at 8 a.m. I've got my IEP tote bag all loaded up and ready to go. And in the spirit of getting back to a school year of advocacy, here's an IEP List of serious sites that have been lurking around my e-mail inbox:

1. A page from the LDPride Web site that offers explanations of learning styles and multiple intelligences, including a quiz that can help you figure out your or your children's styles. I personally learn best in short intense bursts of concentration between long fitful bouts of procrastination. I wonder if that's an official style?

2. An article on "Explosive Outbursts in Children With Tourette's Disorder" from the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.

3. "Measuring the facial phenotype of individuals with prenatal alcohol exposure: correlations with brain dysfunction" looks interesting and very promising, but I was not able to get past the point where I'm supposed to measure all this stuff on my kid's face. He's supposed to sit still for this? For years, his head circumference would vary greatly from doctor visit to doctor visit because he put up such a fight, and these were professionals. I'm just as liable to prove he doesn't have FAS with all this measuring, and then we'll be back in "what the heck is wrong with this kid?" land again. Maybe I'll leave well-enough alone.

4. The Apraxia-Kids site, with lots of good information, publications, and message boards.

5. And, okay, one frivolous one, for when you're home from the child study team meeting and just want to crawl into your jammies, curl up in bed, and think about how simple life used to be — is a site that gives complete rundowns of every episode of every season of "The Muppet Show." The amount of free time it must take to put something like this together astounds me, but I'm grateful just the same. Everything's better after a visit with Fozzie Bear.

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