Usually going to the grocery store on a Sunday, after 11am is a huge mistake. If I go early on Sunday it’s a breeze, because it’s just me and the other heathens. But I was lazy this weekend, and got a late start.
Note: For this post, my “inner” dialog will be written in parentheses.
While perusing the first strawberries of the season, I heard someone call my name. I looked over, and saw the district autism coordinator (oh geez, summon a big fake smile, quick). I’ve had mixed feelings and experiences with her (god, she doesn’t have any makeup on and looks like hell), so I wasn’t sure how I felt about the random encounter (AND she’s wearing sweatpants. I have makeup on and jeans. Awesome, I have the upper hand in terms of presentability.)
We talked for a minute about the budget issues. The school district is bracing to receive 20 million less in funding this year, and many positions are on the possible chopping block, including hers. She said she’s stressed because she has a son in college (lucky for her she doesn’t have a kid with autism to worry about), but she’s thinking of starting a daycare if her position gets cut (I wouldn’t let her dog-sit for me).
Because I’m selfish and single-minded, I steered the conversation toward the behavior intervention plan they were working on creating for Connor, at my insistence (because they’re slackers and shouldn’t need me insisting to have the obvious). She says they’re working on “data tracking.” So I told her that my original question was can an aide or someone spend a week shadowing Connor at recess, and helping with social skills on the playground, because that’s when he has a difficult time. How hard is it to understand that a kid on the spectrum needs help and coaching to learn how to play with the other kids?
“I’m sure we can find a way to make that happen.” (standard bullshit answer) So I reminded her that my initial question about a shadow was never answered in the onslaught of back-and-forth email between me, regular teacher, sped teacher, and her. I was told about the social stories they read him (great, but forgotten by recess) and about his “motor time” (still useless at recess). But no one could ever give me an answer about a shadow at recess to help with social skills.
Oh yes, she assures me she will look into that (lying sack of shit). And I remind her that it shouldn’t take me ten emails back and forth about something like this (and if they thought they would wear me down, they were sorely mistaken, because I will take it to the ends of the earth just to prove a point, because I’m that much of a bitch). It should be common sense that a child with autism needs some help with social skills on the playground.
I did not, however, tell her that I was completely aware that they were all using stall tactics to try and stretch this out to the end of the year (goddamn them to hell). I also did not mention that I called the principal to request the behavior intervention plan to force them to include social skills training into his IEP (how can I make these people care half as much as I do about my kid’s success in school?).
I’m not sure if our encounter will produce any results, but I thought it was fortuitous timing to run into her (why was her hair so freakishly dry?? She needs a deep conditioner…). Maybe it was an unfair advantage to run into her and push my agenda, but autism isn’t fair, school districts aren’t fair, life isn’t fair. And damn it, I have a job to do.