Monday, March 16, 2009

Mad Mom!

Today an envelope came in the mail. I opened it, and guess what fell out? Not one, not two, but THREE FAILURE NOTICES from DD's school. She only takes six classes, and two of those are Special Ed and "Reading for Fun".

It's really tough, in a situation like this, to know what to do. But I do know, that DD, last semester, had one "A", four "B"'s, and a "C-". No "F"'s at all. And we've been hearing a lot more "I don't have any homework" stuff. (Ahem....apparently that was a little mistruth...)

Now. Knowing that DD has Fetal Alcohol Effects, this could go in a number of directions. Her therapist has said to me, on a couple of occasions that were similar, but not as awful as this, that DD just plain doesn't "get" the cause-and-effect thing, where you turn your assignments in, so you get good grades. I can buy that a little. I know that DD doesn't have the best cause/effect reasoning. So it's possible. But how do we explain last semester, where, presumably, she had the same deficits? And while she may not understand the cause/effect relationship of assignments to grades, I am positive that she knows that when we ask her whether she has homework, we expect the truth.

According to her IEP, she is supposed to bring an assignment book home every day, signed by the teacher(s), saying that there is no homework, or that there is some. This often does not get followed up on (in other words, DD 'forgets' it at school, or the teachers forget to sign it), and I don't have the energy to babysit the teachers to babysit my kid to do her homework. I know that makes me a bad mom. I just can't do it. And DH can't do it. I do the best I can, by attending conferences and going to IEP meetings, but with the two jobs, I just can't be home after school every day, checking, calling, etc.

And even when we are PRETTY SURE that she has homework, she (DD) will tell us that she "already turned that in, the teacher just didn't sign it." I get so frustrated. Her grades last semester tell me that she is very capable of doing the work. Or is it one of those Fetal Alcohol things, where sometimes she can do it, but other times she can't? Am I expecting too much?

Right now I'm going on the assumption that she CAN do the work, and a little (or big) struggle with schoolwork can lead to big successes. I'm not expecting straight A's. But I am expecting her to put her best effort into this. Her PCA has tried a lot of things to give DD positive reinforcement for getting her homework done. They work when they are new, then they get "boring", even if the end reward is something really fun. I don't know what to do except nag. And I don't have the energy for this!


perphila said...

You are not a bad mom. No way. You go the conferences and other things and I can tell you there are a lot of parents who don't. Don't take that for granted.

Stacy said...

Acknowledging her issues immediately makes you a good mom.

Maybe it is time for another IEP meeting to force the school do a little more. Also, you could email with the teacher. Maybe she could send you the assignments each day? Before we started homeschooling we had a similar arrangement with my son's teacher!

Queenneenee said...

I have the same situation with my 13 year old son, you can read about it here http://queenneeneesworld.blogspot.com/2009/02/my-week.html

So you are NOT alone and you are NOT a bad mom! I am all over the school now, at least YOU got a letter whe things went downhill, I got nothing.