Home » blogging » MY I.E.P. for OnlySon

MY I.E.P. for OnlySon

My son is a unique child. 

Everybody says that about their child, and it’s true.  Every child is unique, and original, and has their own way to make in the world. I have 3 unique, different, special, one-of-a-kind children.  Not one of them is like anyone else on the planet.  They may have some similarities to other people, but they’re all slightly different, in some way.

OnlySon is no different in being different from everyone else. 

His teachers cannot understand this.

We had OnlySon’s annual IEP meeting yesterday, to discuss his Individual Education Plan for the year.  They had concerns about his lack of interest in school (?), his shyness, and his “quirky sense of humor and imagination”  as they so colorfully put it.

We’ve had to run interference for OnlySon for his whole school career.  Shielding him from teachers that had a problem with his “imaginary friend” Darren Dansen, teachers that had a problem with his sense of humor, or his shyness, or his unwillingness to join sports of any kind. 

Einstein himself said this:   “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

I happen to agree.

And OnlySon has imagination in SPADES.

Imaginary friends are a temporary thing, they eventually fade off into the distance.  Darren has, the only time we ever hear about him now is if I ask OnlySon about him, then my son gets a glint in his eye, and comes up with some cool story about his friend, off gallivanting around the globe.  But he doesn’t come to stay anymore.

Shyness?  What’s wrong with being shy??  I was shy almost all the way through school.  I was quiet, kept to myself for the most part, and hung out with the horses we had on the farm, my goat, dogs, cats and my books.  I only had one really close friend in high school, and I was fine with that.  I’ve never really been that fond of crowds, nor did I like public speaking (still don’t), so being shy kept me out of any spotlights (except for the senior play). 

And as far as sports are concerned?  We’ve never really been a “sports family”.  The girls each participated in something – basketball for Eldest in 6th grade, swimming for Eldest and Younger in middle school – but they were never really manic about it.  Sports were supposed to be fun, and if it wasn’t fun anymore, I let them quit.  The end.  No forcing, no pushing.  OnlySon is no different.  If he ever wants to join a team sport, I’ll support him, and try to get to as many games/matches/meets as I can.  I did that for the girls, I’d do no less for the boy.

So, as my OtherHalf sat at the table and stewed over their criticisms of OnlySon’s behavior (I’m frankly surprised he didn’t blow a gasket), I calmly listened to their assessments, turned to my son (who was also in on the meeting, it is about him, after all), and said “Do you want to join any clubs or teams right now?” 

He said “No, Thank you.”

I said “Ok”.

I then turned to the teachers and told them in my “voice” that my son responds better to positive reinforcement than criticism.  You want him to do something?  Ask him politely, and treat him with the respect that every human being deserves.  He knows his own mind, even if he doesn’t speak it out loud very often.  And, if you push him, he’s going to push back twice as hard.  If you continue to push instead of ask politely, he’s going to put up a wall between himself and the offensive party, and they won’t reach him again after that.

*OnlySon is not home right now, please leave a message after the beep, and he’ll delete you later*

I also told the teachers and counselors that he comes by this trait honestly and genetically, so we know what we’re talking about.

My I.E.P. plan for OnlySon involves more of this:  Showing OnlySon that it’s ok to ask for help, by doing it myself.  I have an issue with getting help from other people, even when I know that I can’t do something on my own.

OnlySon even told the teachers yesterday that he would “Swallow his Pride – – AGAIN” *with his eyes rolling* He is so my child.

It also involves more imagination – I want to start getting him into doing “safe” experiments, as he seems to like science a lot.  I want to try to get him interested in more books, as he loves to read, but has a limited range of subjects – maybe I can get him interested in something other than sharks, wimpy kids, and dogs that run away from home. 

Hey, he liked rockets when they went to the school’s field trips to the air force base… maybe if we blow a couple of things up… Does the air force frown on unauthorized rocket launches in the vicinity of their bases? Hmmm…

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17 thoughts on “MY I.E.P. for OnlySon

  1. Parenting is not an easy task. I am past the IEP’s, it doesn’t get easier just different as they are young adults now. Your right on track looking for the things that spark his interest. Not everyone’s a jock. Thank God for his imagination and independence and for you as his parent and best advocate!

    • Thanks! There was a time, when the teachers tried to force us to pay for ADHD testing that they thought was necessary. I knew better. I told them that he was not ADHD, just emotionally immature, as his birthday falls right at the end of August. We held him back a year in the 1st grade (on my urging) and the next year, they couldn’t BELIEVE the change in his maturity level. I just stood back and told them “See? Not so blind after all, am I?” I know my son. I know he’s not perfect, he has his quirks. But the system needs to stop trying to push him into a mold, and shape his education around him.

  2. Sounds like that school has not changed…LOVED my time there, but they are definitely fond of their “cookie cutter” children. I adore every quirky child that enters my classroom – they are the true geniuses…..they amaze me every day with their A to X to G thinking. Linear thought produces the same old worn out results that most teachers crave. I get excited when students see beyond “the answer” and realize the trip there is what is truly interesting! OnlySon will rule the world someday; then we’ll see who gets the last laugh!!!

    • LOL, as in the “Overlord World Domination” type… complete with minions. I want a minion. As the Mother of the Overlord, don’t I qualify for a minion?? Except he’ll be a Compassionate Overlord… And have puppies and icecream and Pokemon for everyone!

      • That’s the kind of ruler I want!!! And yes, you are entitled to minions. ; )

  3. I’ve had my run-ins with these types of teachers and school staff. You are correct, every child is unique. This has been my arguement since my children were born. Schools are designed to teach a “text-book” way and if any of their enrolled children fall out of the “text-book” category, it’s a problem. Every child learns and interacts differently, has different strengths and weaknesses, and has different levels of creativity and imagination. Without imagination we get nowhere. It’s sad that adults try to put out a child’s fire because it is inconveinent for them, but it happens all the time.

    I encourage my kids to be different, have fun with life and speak their mind. I am so happy to read that you do too. It’s hard to be a parent and it’s even harder to be an effective one! Sorry he had to go through all of that but good for you. 😉

    • I understand that they have a lot of children going through their doors every day, and that for the most part, the kids are ok with learning from the “chosen text book”. But sometimes, you get kids that just can’t learn that way, or at the same speed. They are not wrong, they’re just different.

      When I was in 4th grade, our teacher had all the lessons for the period in a rack. We, as students, were responsible for working on the lessons, in order, at our own speed. If we had questions, she answered them. If we needed an explanation of theory, she would take a moment and explain it. But really, she was a resource for us. We were the students, and we were our own teachers. Everybody got A’s that semester, even if we didn’t all finish at exactly the same time.

  4. Have you looked into Indigo Children and Crystal Children? Your son, from what you have written, has the tell tale signs of an Indigo Child.

    I don’t think ADHD/ADD/ODD, or any of them, really are what doctors make it to be. I believe they’re the next stage of evolution, seriously.

    Have you done research on his “imaginary” friend? He could be more than make believe, a lot of indigo’s have imaginary friends.

    • No, I looked into those, purely for my own academic interest, but I don’t think any of my kids could be called Indigo or Crystal. They are merely products of their environment, and an open-minded parenting style. My kids are allowed to express and stretch their imaginations. And as far as Darren Dansen is concerned? I don’t think he was ever “real”, except to a very young boy, with an active imagination. It is more of a game that we play now, with OnlySon telling the stories, making them up as he goes along.

      And, the teachers all agreed with me, once they saw how he improved his second time around in 1st grade, just how much more mature he was. He still has issues with organization, but it’s more about his lack of interest than anything else. He’s very much a “1-track mind kid”. He’s also a Virgo, which is a sign that is very attached to set schedules and routines. When you mess that up, he has trouble adjusting.

  5. “Quirky sense of humor and imagination”…… That is what they said about me during all my years of school. I barely made it through school, for the sole reason I was bored by school. Other than Cross Country, I did no other sports and belonged to no clubs or other activities. I’m sure a lot of my teachers thought “there is something wrong with that boy” when dealing with me. I went on to College, after getting my grades up at a community college, and was an Honor Student. There is nothing wrong with having a great imagination and with not comforming to what everyone else thinks is “normal”. My hats off to your boy! He’s gonna be just fine! Just as I was! 🙂

    • If he’s anything like you, Mark, then I’m set! He’ll become a famous comedian, and make enough money for me to retire into the lifestyle to which I WILL become accustomed.

      I know the kid’s smart, his teachers even admit that. He just has such tunnel vision. When there’s a subject he doesn’t like, he shuts off that part of his brain! I can see his point, but…. it’s just one-a-dem things you have to get through.

      Like Winston Churchill said ~ “If you’re going through hell, keep going!”
      Once he’s out the other side, the sun will come out again!

  6. For the record, I’ve never been sporty, despite the fact that I come from a fairly sporty family. And I was terribly shy up ’til my mission. And imagination? Yay for imagination! It bothers me that some teachers are still trying to fit kids into a “mold” of what they think is right. Good for you for saying what you did.

    • Aw, thanks, Lil k! I just hate it when they try to tell me that my kid is supposed to fit into some kind of “plan” that someone else has laid out for him. It ticks me off, because HE’S the only one that should be laying out those plans!

      We can teach them, guide them, and hope for them, and then we have to let them go, trusting in the wings we help them build.

      I don’t want anyone ruffling his feathers, or trimming his wings before he even gets a chance to try them out!

  7. Boy does this sound familiar. Both of my kids are late bloomers, and both are smart but just don’t fit the current academic cookie cutter profile. Good for you for letting them know he doesn’t need to fit their cookie cutter. I wish schools recognized kids for their uniqueness, rather than got busy with the business of trying to stuff kids into their mold.

    Argh! I have to stop now…I could go on forever about this topic!

    • I had you in my head while I was telling them off, politely, of course. You stood behind me and cheered! 😀
      Seriously, neither OtherHalf nor I will let the school steamroller us when it comes to OnlySon. We didn’t let the elementary school do it, and we won’t let the middle school do it, either. When he gets to the high school… *sigh* we’ll see how it goes, but we’ll probably have to struggle all the way up, I suppose.

      But OnlySon will get the education he deserves, not just the one that the administration is willing to give him.

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