Voilence in the Schools

I got a note from school that Micah kicked his Occupational Therapist. This was a few weeks ago. His personal aide was distraught to have to tell me that, but laws make reporting mandatory. Her and I both know that it's very uncharacteristic for Micah. Because it was Micah, we didn't do anything about it. I think he knows that he shouldn't kick, and talking with him after the fact may or may not register with him.

Last week I got a note that said he pulled the OT's hair.

I am a little concerned now. You have to realize that Micah is not a violent kind of kid. He does not randomly choose people to beat up, nor does he get his kicks out of torturing teachers. I'm getting the picture that he's being pushed into this kind of behavior and it's a defense tactic for him.

Let me also clarify that Micah hates OT. It wouldn't take much to push him to frustration. He frequently throws pencils across the room when we ask him to do homework in the evening. But it's a far stretch from throwing a pencil to physical harm. And there are also ways to therapize so as to avoid as much frustration as possible while still getting the job done.

I figured that two incidents are now a pattern and something needs to be said. The problem is that I don't know who to say that something to. Do I say something to his teacher, or go directly to the principal? And which principal would I talk to? We are in a district that is so small that it does not have a Life Skills class for Micah. They bus him to a larger district for school. So we have 2 principals on his IEP team.

After a bit of debating I decided to start with the principal in my district. He's not as directly involved as all that and could point me in the right direction. Plus I wanted a reason to stop in and chew him out for leaving tell him that we'll miss him. He accepted another position and will be leaving next month. Just when you get someone good in your corner, they up and leave. I just dread having someone who doesn't know the ins and outs of special needs or worse, won't be willing to learn them. I know by law they have to, but what if the new principal is like the OT and does what he has to just to get by?

The principal wasn't in, but the principal-in-training was. He seemed like a nice enough guy at first meeting. And it was a bit impressive that he knew who I was right away. In fact, he was just reading over Micah's IEP the other day.

Bonus. The guy is doing his homework.

I discussed the problem with him and asked what I needed to do to change OT's. He assured me that he'd look into things for me and see what he could do. Then? He said that he was a Special Ed teacher in high school before being hired here.

Total score. The guy will be a keeper.

He called back the next day (another brownie point for the new guy) and gave me the number of the company that the OT is hired through. I was to call them and request a new therapist. He would also call and let them know what was going on. And miracle of all miracles, there was no red tape or paperwork involved. Micah will have a new OT next week.

Wow. If only all the world's problems would be that easily solved.

(Ignore the road rash. Apparently he has his mother's coordination.)


Leanne said...

Wow. I'm very impressed, extra credit for the new guy too. I think we're gonna like him.

Trannyhead said...

Ok, so I already got the dish on this from you, but it IS odd for him to randomly lash out at people. I'm sure it's a frustration issue combined with something about that particular OT that he just didn't like. Anyway, glad it's resolved.

Krista said...

I'm glad you're getting good results. I usually advise parents to go to the teacher first, then principal, PTA and then district. Actually, the PTA can usually go up their chain to make changes that need to happen for kids.

CC said...

You have such a nightmare of people and logistics! 2 principals to deal with?? Wowzers. An outside agency providing OT? Again, ouch! I'm so glad you were able to get some action in fast. Make sure to work with the team again so it doesn't happen with the next OT (even if the new OT has the best personality, if he is frustrated I'm guessing it could happen again?)

the planet of janet said...

sometimes the stars align ... and it all works.

this looks like one of those times.

Michelle said...

Nice! I love that this was so easy to do. And I'm jealous -- you have good people in your corner. Of the 8 elementary schools in our district, mine is the one with the principal who doesn't get it and the teachers who are ... taking their direction from the top. And I wonder why I spent 50 minutes on the phone with a private school this afternoon.... Bonus, I think I just found out that I don't have to give up getting services from the district if I go to private school. Of course, I'd still prefer that that public school that all his buddies go to works out. Good luck with the new OT!

Karen said...

Wow....I would have never guessed this story to go so easy. I am so happy he new guy is going to be a great guy.

Andrea said...

Way to go new Principal!! I am so glad he understood where you were coming from and was so helpful. It really does make life go a lot smoother when you have people working with you who understand where you are coming from. Wow, that was a run on sentence!! I hope Micha likes his new OT

Trisha said...

That Principle-in-training seems on top of his game. Just wondering - did you ever find out just what exaclty the OT was doing that caused the uncharacteristic reactions from Micah? Is it a particular skill or just her lack of recognizing his frustration?

Viv said...

Wow! I am amazed that you were able to get it resolved so quickly...you go Mom!

Flea said...


SunflowerMom said...

Glad that worked out so promptly. I hope the new OT is better for M.