Zachary's IEP Meeting

So yesterday was Zachary's MET (which is really the precursor to the IEP...Individualized Educational Plan). We met with the school psychologist, the school counselor, the director of special education and Zachary's teacher.

The general consensus was great. Basically, they feel that, on the meds, he is a wonderfully bright, charismatic boy. They have seen NOTHING of the problems (hitting, touching, hiding under the tables, hyperactivity, kids not playing with him, holding people down, etc, etc, etc) that they saw at the beginning of the school year. His school work is wonderful. His teacher showed us some examples of the beginning of the year vs. now and it's astounding. He's writing words all over in his journal whereas before meds it was just scribbling. All over the page. In one color of crayon. (Apparently that is common in kids with ADHD).

But, we still classified him as OHI (otherwise health impaired) because of the ADHD. Chuck and I's concern is that next year, when he goes to an all day school setting, he won't have that down time and we might see some of the things come back. Some of the things that we see at home.

I want to give big kudos to my wonderful husband too. He is such an active father who tries so hard to do what's best for the kids. He fully participates in everything with them. He takes them (all three!) to soccer matches by himself. He gets them to dr's appts if need be. Chuck is always there for his kids. And the school recognizes it too. The special ed director said that in all 21 years of her doing IEP meetings, she can count on both hands the number of dad's she's seen come to them. 10 or less??? That's just crazy to me! They said that as a united team we are the best advocates for Zachary and the best thing for Zachary at home too. I fully believe that. One more reason I would love to go to days sooner rather than later. But that's not going to happen too soon. :(

Anyway, Chuck and I felt pretty good coming out of the meeting. When we got home, we were informed by the sitter that Zachary was on time out. He was screaming at her and threatening to punch her. So Chuck went in there to talk to him. Which led to Zachary getting completely out of control and trying to punch, kick, bite, scratch Chuck and himself. So, Chuck restrained him.

I've restrained Zachary a couple of times. But nothing like this. Zachary went on for about an hour. At some points, listening to the confrontation I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Some of the things he was saying were so funny, but the situation wasn't. At. All.

Zachary finally calmed down and asked to speak to me. I asked how he was feeling, just tell me what's inside his head. He told me he wanted to die. That is probably the most gut-wrenching things you'll ever hear from your child. I feel so bad for him. I want to take all his hurt away and I just can't.

It's so hard to see this too, especially after hearing how wonderful everything is. I think he holds it together at school because he KNOWS what is socially acceptable. He KNOWS in his head that somethings not right. Zachary told me last week that his brain used to go this way (indicating counter-clockwise with his hands) and now, after the meds, it goes this way (indicating clockwise with his hands). He's a very smart boy. Very smart. So he holds it together until he gets home.

Well, that, and I'm sure he's still cycling. So, back to making tons of notes in my calendar about it.

Today is a new day.


Hannah said...

Wow - good and bad news, I guess. I mean, good news about the meeting and his improved behaviour at school, but bad news about Zachary releasing all his pain when he gets home (and I can't even imagine how hard it must be to hear your child say they want to die). Not sure what to say but I'm praying for you & your family. Big ((Hugs)) and stay strong!

noname said...

I'll never forget the time I had to physcially restrain Bear for a good hour in the floor. It was so shocking and made me feel like I'd really messed up bad. I called Mike at work, sobbing, once it was all over and Bear was asleep in bed. I told Mike that I felt like a horrible mom because I'd restrained Bear like you would a dog...hold them there until they submit. His doctors told me after that that I'd done the right thing, but it still didn't feel good. My heart goes out to you and Chuck.

Great news on the progress in school! Isn't it amazing how well our kids can do once their real needs are being addressed?


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