Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Communication Issues!

And I'm not talking about Kittyboy, either, I'm talking about great big grown-ups who have full command of the English language!!
Back in December, when Kittyboy was getting his IEP, aging out of EI, and on the waiting list for an EC classroom - I know so many acronyms - they offered us the option of starting therapy while we waited for a classroom to open up. I should have jumped on it. Instead, we said, "Oh, we may as well wait for the classroom, no point in getting him started with someone and then have to change all over again." It was going to be hard enough to go from his weekly therapists whom he knew, to a teacher he wouldn't, I didn't want to throw in another therapist to whom he'd have to say goodbye as well. At the time, that was a reasonable decision. Then it was mid-late January, I was hearing nothing, no one knew ANYTHING about when a teacher would be hired or classroom found, and they offered again to set him up with at least speech, sort of "outpatient" as it were, and I said yes. So last Wed, he saw his "new" therapist for the first time. It went, meh, okay.
I got a phone call later that day from his future teacher, Ms. K, basically introducing herself (she'd JUST been hired), the classroom will be at Feitshans, and saying that she "thought" there would be an open house "Wednesday or Thursday of next week" i.e. THIS week. Didn't know for sure, it depended on the principal, and she didn't know when the classroom was going to start - the absolute earliest being the 8th. Great, and we just started him with the new therapist.
So Monday was his second day of unenrolled therapy (it didn't go as well as the first), and therapist said she'd "heard the news" about him starting school the 8th! Really? WHAT news? This was yesterday, the 1st, and I didn't even know yet if/when there would be an open house this week! Well, according to therapist, she'd gotten an e-mail saying he would start the 8th (and so to drop him from her caseload as of then). So we went home, and I sat down at the computer with phones and numbers to find out what times, when enrollment was, when orientation, when when when?
Long phone-tagging story short - Feitshans said to call Early Learning Center. ELC said to call Feitshans. I got that the class would be 9:30-12 (Husband works at 12, transportation glitch here), but nothing about open house, orientation, "meet the teacher" thing, nothin'. So this morning I called the school and asked directly for Ms. K. I got voicemail. Reminded her who I was (she called ME last week, after all), said I'd heard class was starting the 8th, if so when was the open house? Nothing-nothing-nothing, so I called after school was out and talked to the secretary. The secretary knew nothing, but HAD seen Ms. K bring in fliers to be mailed (mailed, as in Postal Service) which mentioned "an" open house. Secretary helpfully put me through to Ms. K's voicemail again.
Tomorrow's Wednesday. No one knows anything. A therapist got an e-mail. A secretary saw fliers to be mailed that mentioned an open house. The teacher may, for aught I know, not have been instructed in how to check her voicemail at this school (she was just hired, after all). By definition, an Early Childhood classroom has ten kids max. Ten sets of parents, possibly fewer. How much time does it take for someone - anyone, the secretary, the teacher, someone in Student Support Services, someone at the ELC - to sit down with those ten-or-fewer names and CALL? "I'm sure you heard from Ms. K already? Good, the open house will be this day and this time, classroom starts on X Monday." Obviously the therapist's e-mail about it starting Monday has to be wrong - they can't be mailing notices today and expect to have an open house (for registration!) before Monday.
And, therapist and I had already talked earlier today about how Kittyboy, who is not a fan of change, chaos, new people, etc, had not exactly cozied up to the new arrangement of going to therapy in a school (the gym had a class in it the second day, the noise and running and chaos TERRIFIED him), and she'd said it might be best "since he's starting school for real on Monday" to skip the rest of this week. Don't even bother trying to get him settled in with HER, since he would then have to settle in with yet another teacher, environment, etc, next week. Sage advice indeed. And we commiserated on "Why even start him with a therapist in the first place, a week and a half before his classroom will start?? Big transitions for the little guy..." Except now it probably will not be next week after all. (I'm NOT calling her back to restart, that WOULD be insane).
And Kittyboy will not be the only child in this class for whom the surprising and different is Not Fun. Not by a long shot, if there are kids who really are autistic (not just looking like it to the "experts" as Kittyboy does). I would think this is a population you would want to have as much preparation in advance for THEM as possible. Not, "Oh surprise, you're going to school Monday." And if not for the therapist mentioning the e-mail, I would know NOTHING.
I am probably overreacting because someone e-mailed the therapist prematurely, but this is unnerving. I'm a bit of a control freak - I don't need to be running the show, but I DO need to know that whomever is, IS firmly in control and on top of things. Not getting that feeling at the moment. Doesn't seem to be, anywhere, any one person in charge who knows everything. And so it's bringing up everything that's made me nervous about leaving Kittyboy (the controlling, the strong-willed, the easily-unnerved - the ME clone) with strangers.
Come to think of it, now I know not only where he gets his will and his take-charge nature, but also the tendency that once he's unsettled, anxious, unnerved, he'll stay that way. And once unsettled, the greater the need to have control...
Someone, just! Tell! Me! Something!


Pres. Kathy said...

I am glad to hear that a school was found for Kittyboy. Everything will work out - I guess at this point all you can do is be patient and wait. By the way, WAITING STINKS! :-)

Caeseria said...

I've been reminding myself that had someone not e-mailed his therapist early, I would be blithely waiting for the teacher to call again - or mail - and not even worrying about it. If there IS an open house, I will somehow be informed, so I just have to wait for the mail to come. I'm breathing in, and breathing out!