Saturday, February 16, 2013

I Guess I'm Not Normal...

As a follow-up to my last post (here), we spoke with the disability director, who spoke with the professor. The director did tell me that the professor does seem a little scattered and could not keep one train of thought. She would say one thing and then either countermand what she previously said about CM1 or change her story entirely. But this is what we gleaned in the end: that this professor seems to have issues with the fact that CM1 does not agree with her and continues to argue about a topic and it annoys the other students (truthfully CM1 doesn't ask too many questions and most of the time says nothing in class), that CM1 was anxious about a paper that has to be written which is open-ended and that he did yell at her in class. And yes she is horribly ignorant about aspergers and anxiety issues. And yes, I think the news media has added to her stupidity because the things she said are the sound bites you consistently heard after Newtown.

Needlesstosay, the issue became how are we going to protect my son so that he can graduate in May and go on to the next stage of his life? I was adamant that I didn't want anyone in the class with him but the hubby, being the Wise Old Sage that he is, said forget it. Don't worry about September worry about today. If the professor has a bug up her ass about CM1, one misstep by him, then she will file a disciplinary complaint against him and he will not be able to graduate. Also if she has a bug up her ass about CM1 then we need another pair of eyes in that class to make sure she doesn't fabricate issues or turn something into a hullaballoo when its not.

So we spoke with the para who at the time of CM1's class is in class with CM2 and he said that he can work it out. CM2 is doing well in his class and enjoying himself. The para will go to CM1's class and see if he can find support for CM2 from a friend or even another person in the class for the time being. There are many education majors in this particular class that he knows and they can help CM2 if he gets confused. So we will see what happens on Monday.

In the meantime, I left a message for the disability director actually asking if she knows anyone who can help out too. Didn't hear from her, but I suppose I will on Monday. I didn't tell her that the para will be with CM1 on Monday but I will when I hear from her.

The tricky issue was telling CM1 that he was now going to have support in the class from the para again. I asked him what the para would do for him anyway. He told me "nothing really." He told me that the para just sits there as a backup if CM1 needs some info, but that CM1 tended to take care of himself. So the reality is that CM1 is capable of taking care of himself, he just became overwhelmed for some reason by the assignment. The professor didn't explain what she wanted clearly enough. Yes she didn't like getting yelled at (I wouldn't have either) and that CM1 did have a mini-meltdown (even though it was under his breath the class did hear it).

So I told CM1. His response was, "Well I guess I'm not normal." Could you just feel your heart drop at that moment.

"Of course you are normal," I said, "You just have some issues that you still need to work on, that is all."

"OK, I'm sorry, that was a stupid thing for me to say," he answered.

I told him that normal is also relative. That everyone has issues and problems, that his are just more out in the open that is all. I remember this conversation with him from 4th grade too when we finally told him he had aspergers. He didn't say he wasn't normal back then, sadly in some ways I suppose he has grown up and seen some more of the world. CM1 is extraordinarily intelligent and he understands that a 22 year old shouldn't need a babysitter in class and that there are parts of life he is missing out on.

After our little talk CM1 went on with his day and was quite happy actually. He worked on that idiotic paper that is causing all the fuss and watched his videos. CM2 made tacos for dinner and we had a fun time at dinner. Life went on for CM1 with no problem.

As for me, my heart still hurts....


Elise