Monday, July 4, 2011
Stars in my eyes
After two years in the public school system and dozens of IEP meetings and a fresh out of college Speech therapist who I felt really did care and I will explain . Dalton was put into the class with all special needs children, anything from autism to down syndrome , this is where the head banging began and the chewing on his shirt collar. I was still learning how and what the IEP meetings where about and how helpless I was in them. Its just to difficult for a parent to explain and articulate the needs of there child especially if that child has special needs.....(it is for me) . I don't think there was a meeting where my voice didn't crack and or my eyes didn't start to tear up . I took notes and brought any information that I had read or gotten from the Internet . Desperately wanting my son to at least just say 'DADDY' . There was the new speech therapist as i mentioned , bright , young , full of enthusiasm and hope. She asked us to come to the school to see a video of a new system that had allot of success it was called PECS , its where the student uses pictures of everything and hands them to you as you say the word...Like if they wanted to go to the bathroom there was a picture of a bathroom , If they wanted Mommy there was a picture of mommy. She called us up and asked to come to the house to explain and was real exited , it sounded like a good idea ...she also had a video she wanted to show us of how it worked and the success story's .. it all sounded good but we had reservation of Dalton caring a book of pictures , but it seemed to work on others. We tried it for at least a semester and he was communicating a little with the pictures....at home he still would grab you're hand and lead you to what ever he wanted with out ever uttering a word . One night while i was reading up on anything i could get my eyes on about autism. I stumbled across the STARS program , it was not very far away from where we lived and it was worth a look at .....so we called and made an appointment there happened to be an opening but there were pre requisites. We went in for a visit and discussed Dalton's needs and they started the evaluation. The first thing was , they explained how they would use there method and that we had to be trained to communicate the same at home as they do in the school. The next was about the behavior , they told us that no matter what when they start that he will more than likely have a melt down and we were not to respond in any way . If we had trouble with that just go stand in the corner and don't make eye contact with him.....So it began....the toy that he was playing with they took away. He had no reaction at first , he got up started walking into the other offices and slamming doors ....a little screaming and more slamming he came back , we did nothing. I felt him look at me as my eyes were fixed on the floor , My wife had to get up and stand in the corner , which he followed over trying to get a reaction out of her she could only look down. After about five minutes of this he sat down beside me and I looked at the doctor and with his nod i put my arm around him.. The Doctor said " perfect" ....now he just learned that by doing the destrucion is not going to get our attention.