Monday, November 1, 2010


Friday Jeff and I had a meeting with the diagnostician  to discuss having Tyreik tested to see if he has a learning disability. Ty has been working very hard, doing his homework etc, but has been not doing as well on his tests. The teacher in me thought hmmmm... could he have an unidentified learning disability?- hence the meeting.

The meeting went very well. The diagnostician explained that since he has had gaps the past few years due to multiple absences from school- she proposed NOT testing him because she said she believes that if she did test him now he would test out as having a learning disability. (are you following me here?)  When in fact she believes that he has missed key information the past few years since he has missed so much school. (these were facts that I was unaware of) His mom did not share some of this info with us and what she did share was modified (to say the least).

She proposed doing curriculum based assessments to see where his areas of weakness are- then teach the concepts,  see if he can learn the concepts, & then she will reevaluate him at a later date to see his progress. If he improves then he does not have a learning disability, if he does not- then he does and they will change his schedule to get the help he needs. Either way- he is going to be getting extra help- which was my ultimate goal.

Anyway- the reason I am explaining all of this was that for the first time I went to a parent teacher conference and actually felt like I was IN CONTROL.

Most of the parent conferences/meetings I attend are for students I work with in special ed. and the school often does not ultimately have the control- the parents seem to run the show, and unfortunately what the parents want is not always best for the student. The stories I could tell...yikes! In my district if a parent does not get what they want they will often threaten to go to mediation which involves getting lawyers involved and 9 times out of 10 when this happens the district typically has always "given in" to the parents demands.

Jeff said that he really enjoyed the meeting b/c he had never seen me in "professional mode". He said he likes to watch peoples body language and that based upon the body language I totally was in control of the meeting. I wasn't  aware of it but he said every time I disagreed I would lean forward- and she would lean back... he said when  I had a question and would stop her for clarification - this seemed to intimidate her & put her on edge a bit... she knew she was dealing with someone who understood special ed. I asked him if I appeared rude- or like a bitch b/c that was NOT what I wanted to convey- he said no- I just appeared to know what I was talking about, I understood the jargon/terminology she used and asked pertinent questions so there was no way she was going to be able to get anything by me...

We were able to come to a consensus and actually this will be more work for her than simply testing him...My momma bear emerged and no one was going to NOT help my adopted son!

This past weekend Jeff & the boys went to JMU to visit Stef & this was the first time Ty got a taste of what college life is like... He LOVED it!  So hopefully this will help him to stay focused & committed to his studies.


  1. All of this is such wonderful news! I have always had the opposite experience with the schools where they would threaten us if we didn't do what they wanted [to the point of wanting to take us to court - and when we said "Okay - take us there." they backed down - funny how all of our kids are fine.] I am so, so happy that Ty is there with such strong advocates for what he needs and people that love him so much. You guys rock!

    I am glad everyone enjoyed JMU - how were the leaves? lol

  2. Hi! Yeah, all of that sounds very sensible. We have the same dynamic here...parents can be very unreasonable and v difficult. The worst kid at our local high school called the Principal a #$$%^&%* idiot. To his face. And his mother? She backs the kid! It is not helpful. I wish Ty all the best while he catches up. And, good job Barb and Jeff! xxxxooo

  3. So glad it went well! If they say "learning disability", look at food allergies or intolerances too... keeping a food journal helps a lot.

    LOVE your background!

  4. Good for you! I love the momma bear in you! And really, nobody is going to advocate for your son better than you are. You go girl! Sounds like you have everything under control.

  5. I've been in on some really strange parent teacher conferences. Some teachers flip out when they have to talk to parents. Sounds like you're good at them, on both sides of the table.