Thursday, January 20, 2011

Updates & some issues

Goodness, where to start.  Bojan & Alyona were dx'd w/ the flu.  Both on Tamiflu.  Both still running fevers but controlled w/ Tylenol.  Alyona literally laid in bed until 5:30 today.  I made her get up to eat.  Otherwise, we'll have other issues w/ her.  Bojan is coughing like crazy.  Other than that, he feels okay.  Not spectacular but better than before he said.  Hoping tomorrow we turn a corner w/ them.  Warren stayed here and worked all day from home.  Well, except for when he took the kids to the dentist.  Get to that in a minute.  Got Alyona & Bojan's school work when I went to pick up Nik.  They had everything ready for me.  Told you, I like the kids' teachers.  It's the school rules & stupid stuff that comes down from central office that I despise.  I wasn't feeling up to par but no flu, just overtired I think.  So, Warren took Irina & Nik to the dentist.

We go to a wonderful children's dentist.  Nik & everyone have always done fantastic.  That is until today.  Irina got sealants.  Nik was to have 1 cavity filled(his very first one) and two teeth pulled to make room in his mouth.  They put the nitrous oxide mini mask thing on him and went beyond ballistic.  Warren said he really freaked out.  Way overboard of anything he'd ever seen.  Now, he has never ever had a bad experience and was looking forward to going.  No needles at this point either.  It was just the mask.  Simply don't get it b/c he LOVES the masks at his surgeries.  He even came home from all this & told me how the mask smelled like ice cream.  Asked him if it made him dizzy.  He said no.  Asked Nik why he was scared and he didn't tell me.  So, he is to be rescheduled & both Warren & I will be there to see if we can get him put under this time.

Took Nik back to school & I went to the chiro.  Almost didn't go as I was simply exhausted today.  Made a bunch of appointment phone calls for the future.  Warren was still working.  I caught up on all laundry & other stuff.  Needed to be done.

Now, the issues I mentioned.  Irina.  You know she was supposed to take an exam today but missed it.  Now, stupid thing is NOT even an exam for a class she has.  The state changed the laws AGAIN, (as if this state isn't in the news enough for their stupid school decisions), so now my 10th grade special needs daughter has to go & take a 9th grade exam even though it won't count.  Umm, what's the point of that one school officials?  Oh yeh.  To cause the kids quite the headache, anxiety and other stuff that comes w/ all this.  They are very worried & not just my kid.  Remember, these are all MMR kids mostly.  On an occupational track, not a diploma track.  Makes no sense.  Anyhow, Irina got totally upset b/c the test is on reading & has 80 questions.  She knows she can't retain what she reads.  Well, they fail(even though it doesn't count), then they have to take a remediation class for 5 hours on Friday.  Sorry, she MUST get fingerprinted.  This is not even for a class she has mind you!  URGHH!!!

Okay, brings us to the next issue.  My plans were to homeschool Irina this semester.  Frankly, I don't want to.  I'm being honest here.  But, w/ yet another teacher being charged w/ criminal charges at her school it probably should be done.  She was begging us today to be homeschooled.  Broke down.  And I mean totally, totally broke down.  Warren & I knew right then & there that there must be more to this wanting out of school so badly.  Sure enough, there is.  Irina is terrified to go to her own school.  She doesn't feel it is safe.  Let's face it, having it on the news every so often doesn't help matters much.  A few teachers there have been arrested for inappropriate things.  Drugs are rampant.  Fights are rampant.  IMO, this high school does not represent this community the way it should.  Shoot, they have a bench outside the school dedicated to all those that die there in car crashes.  SO many have died at this school.  1 more this week from a car crash.  High speeds, etc.  Few were truly accidents w/ no fault of the drivers.  Well, from what I've read.  It's ashame.  I know other high schoolers that go there that are afraid to get their licenses b/c it's so bad.

Anyhow, Irina does not feel safe at her school at all.  Apparently, drug deals go down on her bus all the time.  Lovely.  First time I'm hearing all this btw.  Now, what she is most afraid of is someone is going to come after her for telling.  She told someone's sister that their brother was selling drugs on her bus.  IRina is afraid this guy is now going to come after her after he is out of the "safe school."  Safe school here is where all the delinquents or behavioral kids go.  They stay for a couple months & then are released back to their school.  We asked Irina if she told school officials.  Of course not.  She's afraid of retributions.  URGHH!!!  Now, I have to call the school & figure out what to do.  And no, the boy did not get sent to this school b/c of this.  Instead, he was sent there b/c he exposed himself in the classroom.  This kind of crap goes on all the time at school here.  Everyday, Irina would come home & tell me some stupid story or incident.  Fights galore in the halls.  Yes, you'll have fights in high schools.  I'm not naive.  However, this seems to be excessive & not being resolved.  They told all the kids in the beginning of the year that theft was so bad there, they had to install cameras.  Many have their items taken.  IRina always carried her books all day long b/c she was afraid of stuff being broken.  I don't want her to live in fear.  Period.  She has to get out.  Yet, since she would go to a different school next year, would be best if she stayed there the next 4 months.  I just don't know what to do.  Will talk to some of her teachers tomorrow & explain the situation.  See what they say to do.  I'm really tired of all the drama.  Shouldn't be this way in school.  Especially, high school.  Our intentions are to homeschool them.  Most of them.  Irina is sometimes difficult to work with though.  The FAS will get the best of her at times.  Incessant talking is one of her characteristics.  For those who think that that is not that bad, come here for a day.  You'll see firsthand.  Don't know.  I really don't.  I've homeschooled her before.  She did really well.  However, she has changed quite a bit over the last few years.  I love her and don't mind schooling her.  Just not sure I can do it at this point in time.  Yet, know it is critical to her health as well.  People give her junk all the time she told me today & she can't get her brain to say no.  Her words, not mine.  This too is part of the impulsivity side of FAS.

The inclusion also makes her feel so low.  Okay, before I go any further, I will preface this with saying inclusion is different in every state.  I can ONLY speak for my kids & my experiences in my state.  Other states have inclusion classes that get it right.  Not here.  Inclusion is where they place the special needs kids into the regular classroom.  Umm, to do regular work as well even though knowing full well, they can't do it.  Makes them feel so, so stupid.  IRina told me "mom, I wish I was still in self-contained."  I said why.  She said "at least that way I don't feel so dumb all the time."  From our experience, the whole inclusion garbage this year has been a horrifying experience for these kids.  And not just my kids.  Have heard from other parents around Johnston County.  They put the middle schoolers here & high schoolers here in inclusion classes.  What business does a kid have w/ an IQ of 58 being made to take Algebra?  Duh people!  Makes them feel even less of a person.  Irina feels that she can't do anything now b/c of inclusion.  Algebra, literature.  And, what is the point of putting them in said "regular" classes if the other kids constantly make fun of them?  In addition, the special ed teacher calls them all out of the classroom.  IRina said "mom, they all know were special needs when she does that & I hate it."  Nice Johnston County.  Nice way to make the special ed kids here feel.  Class act, huh?  I don't think so.  Sorry, a little venting going on here w/ what has happened this last semester.  BTW,her job coach got fired too.  So, basically I have no confidence whatsoever in this school, yet question my ability to help a high schooler mid-way through 10th grade who was not on a diploma track to begin with.  Don't get me wrong.  In some states, inclusion is fine.  Works well.  I just think here they haven't thought it through & it is really having a negative effect on the kids it's trying to help.  In the self-contained classes, she had friends, was full of life, enjoyed school.  Now, with inclusion, there is none of this.  It has changed her & I must say, not for the better. The kids here are cruel.  Teachers will say they stick them with people they know won't make fun of them. No, but they sure do make them feel low.  Guess I just needed to vent.  I worry for Irina.  For her future.  Her academic future.  Her future in life.

I will most likely take her out of school to homeschool her and worry about all the details later.  Yes, I have the certs for homeschooling & all that.  I'm talking about details of matching what I teach her to where she'll be next year for the new school.  For this semester, I won't have to teach her much.  Shoot, all she is listed as having for this upcoming semester is math, science, teen living, & KC (some study hall type thing).  So, only 2 subjects.  Umm, I think I can handle that.  LOL.  And I'm going to teach her math she can use in real life w/ her abilities.  not algebra that is beyond her comprehension.  I guess why I'm so upset is b/c I want things to change. I want my kids to succeed.  I really think we have such great teachers here but the rules that they are given to abide by make it extremely difficult to teach.  Oh well, a dream.  A dream to change the system. 

so, that's what's going on a bit here.  Worried about Irina.  Hoping the fundraiser grows.  Worried about what scared Nik so badly.  Okay, no more of the dreary post.  But, again, life has ups & downs.  Just being honest w/ what is happening.  It is not always cut and dry here.

Oh, forgot about this morning here.  No heat.  Great news though is that we have an awesome HVAC repairman.  Honest.  Really, one time he charged us a quarter for a part!  This time, he talked Warren through the troubleshooting problem.  Told him how to fix it over the phone.  Warren fixed it, repair guy never had to come out & no money spent.  how awesome was that?! 

Time for bed.  More to come tomorrow.  Can't wait for tomorrow.  Taking Max & Irina to get their permits.  Watch out.  Hoping we can go to a Marbles Museum(that's a hands on museum here) but probably not w/ the flu kiddos still w/ a fever this evening.  We'll see.  I know this post may cause some controversy.  I"m okay with that.  I have to stand up w/ what is right for Irina and my other kids.  For them, inclusion is not working as it was originally intended and has caused some major self-esteem issues here.  Changes need to take place.  Some teachers have told me this too but privately.  Both in this county & in Wake.  Teachers here are afraid to speak up for fear of losing their jobs which I do understand.  I just think the disconnect between parents and administration that make the rules for special ed is huge.  Something has to change and soon.  I have too many other kids in the system for it not to change. 

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