Who’s the retarded one?
Paula, I just put a switch in front of you. I am going to name 100 colors and I want you to hit the switch when I say a color you happen to like. OK?
Red, blue, green … etc. At the end of the 100 colors, we see you hit the switch 47 times. Got it?
Then I turn to each therapist and teacher in the room and ask …
Is it true that Paula utilized the switch properly 47% of the time?
Each and every one said “yes.” Every one. Educated teachers and therapists with degrees.
I explained that every report they gave me about Pearlsky, the OT, PT, SLP, teacher, etc., each speaks about Pearlsky and switches and percents.
You are all wrong. Not only is using switches the way you are useless, your reporting of it is outrageous. Paula most likely utilized the switch properly 100% of the time. She hit it 47% of the time because she liked 47 colors, but not hitting it 53 times is just as important. And IF she followed directions, she got it right 100% of the time. Additionally, since I have no idea what colors she likes, if she heard wrong and thought I wanted her to hit the switch for colors she did not like, she utilized the switch properly 0% of the time. She may have just randomly hit the switch to mess with me as well.
The teacher’s report says “Pearlsky communicates her desire for an activity to continue by pressing a ‘yes’ switch in 48% of opportunities.” I am not really sure what that means, but the inference is that she is missing it 52% when in fact, she may NOT want the activity more than she wants it and is using the switch “in 100% of opportunities.”
The big time out of district communication consultant says “Pearlsky releases items upon request but this is inconsistent.” Isn’t that the definition of “random”? She mentions a switch that causes music to play for a little bit every time it is hit. “If the switch remained on the tray, Pearlsky would hit it multiple times even though the music was playing. The jellybean switch was moved away after Pearlsky accessed it resulting in more music.” Since she would hit it inappropriately, they move it after she activates it, then put it back. Huh? And if she does not like the music and never hits the switch?
Speech and Language Pathologist: “She is able to inconsistently utilize a switch to indicate she would like to continue an activity.” Love that sentence, go read it again.
Psychologist: “She was able to follow instructions and utilize the yes/no switch 50% of the time.” And she can flip a coin and get heads 50% of the time. What is your point?
Punch line? Every report brought to the meeting is being rewritten. No more sentences with numbers, percents, and the word “switch.” And no more use of the word “intent.” Ever.
Want to know more of this IEP or do we move on?
1. So glad you are back
2. You make me want so smack some teachers/social workers/ psychologists and become one to give the positions a better name
3. Bless you for everything you do.
Very interesting and astute points made by you, and I’m sure this is all very educational for the team. I am interested to know how the goals involving the switch are to be rewritten.
More. More more more more tell us more. (I am intentionally saying more because I want more 100% of the time.)
Pass the bottle.
OMG OMG OMG…. Could they be anymore obtuse?!
I work in the field and unfortunately there seems to be no end of people that just do not get it at all!!
Forget wanting to be a fly on the wall. I would have needed to cover them with fly shit. Are there equally ridiculous goals in any other areas?
More. 100% of the time. 🙂 I read every thing you post, although I rarely comment. And I agree 99 out of 100 times :).
I would find IEP’s almost amusing if it weren’t for the fact that it’s a real life we are battling over. It took me 12 hours of IEP meetings with 7 people (the principal got smart after the first one and sent in the VP after that so she would stop getting called on the carpet) to get them to understand even slightly that my child has a poor short term memory and excellent long term memory and processes very slowly in new situations. Oh, and don’t feed her. Anything. Ever.
And by slightly, I mean, they sort of listened but heard “your child is exactly like every other special needs child and we will treat her with the exact same formula we’ve been using”.
About 8 weeks after she started going to school, they gave me a report on how much she had learned at the school and what a good job they were doing with her. Interestingly enough, it was all the things I had already taught her in the previous three years and luckily for me, already in the parent report of “what your child can do well”. I don’t think they liked my comment that it was amazing to see her doing exactly what she has been doing and I was quite impressed with their ability to keep her consistently at the same level she came into the school at.
And then the day she came home with a bag of candy, and the TA told me in front of her that I could decide what to do with it. I wanted to come to the next IEP meeting with the most delicious baked goods in the world, set them on the middle of the table for them to salivate over, and tell them they could have them to take home. Then, just prior to the end of the meeting, dump them all in the trash and turn and ask them how they felt about me at that moment… and tell them they were making me do that same thing to my daughter when they handed me something they knew she couldn’t have so they would not have to deal with the meltdown.
However, I did not. I kept my cool, brought cranberry scones and simply told them that handing her the candy was the equivalent of handing a child with a severe peanut butter allergy a PBJ sandwich and telling them to wait to eat it till their mother said they could. I think they “sort of” got it. At least for about 10 seconds.
An 8 year old PWS child died this past week because he ate too much. Olivia is allowed tablespoons of food at a time. If she ate like a normal child, or even had seconds, she would begin to have GI issues and eventually burst stomach or perforated GI. It doesn’t take much and it happens fast. They shovel food in like crazy in seconds.
I know it’s not at all similar to what you deal with, other than the people who think they are helping are really just warming up a chair. I’m always afraid to say something on this blog because I know the situations are so different with our children. I don’t want to negate or invalidate what you go through. That happens a lot in our military community. Some spouses get very pissy about civilians trying to understand what they are going through by comparing their husband being away for a work weekend and having a flat tire on a highway vs our husband being away for a year and getting blown up. But to me they are the same… gone is gone, whether it’s for 1 weekend or 1 year – if its the worst you’ve ever known or felt, it is comparable. I’m probably not saying this right at all. But I relate to a lot of what you say, the emotions you talk about feel very familiar to me. The anger, rage, sorrow, betrayal, contempt, hatred and sometimes a small amount of peace and joy, feel recognizable to me, even if the situations are vastly different.
And for some reason I really like Pearlsky. I know this sounds crazy, but I think of her sometimes when I go shopping for my girls. I think she is beautiful and looks good in vibrant colors, purples, things like that. Sometimes I will see a shirt and wonder what her size is and think, I bet she’d look good in that.
I really admire you for being able to be so honest and direct. I hope I haven’t stepped over the line and diminished how you feel by adding my story to the mix.
SD, just because you have mad mensa level math skills doesn’t mean you can just walk into an IEP and throw advanced level statistics around. Dial it back a notch for these …. hhmmm what would you call them?……education professionals.