Wednesday, September 28, 2011

High School: don't assume staff actually communicate

#1 is now in High School. He seems to like it and we're proud of what he is doing. On the other hand, the school is short resources.

That's not a surprise. The lesser depression has been persistent. We were a bit surprised to learn, however, that at least one of his mainstream teachers didn't know much about his disabilities -- or even that he had an IEP.

We shouldn't have been surprised though. We're physicians, and we know docs have trouble communicating about patient care. I used to tell my patients to always copy notes and results and hand carry them between caregivers. It was by far the safest way to pass information.

So we've drafted a summary of #1 and sent it to all his teachers. Now they know a bit of his story, what his disabilities are, what he likes, what works best, etc. Seems to be helpful.

That leaves his aide(s). (Supposed to be plural, but it looks like he's got about 1/3 of an aide in 1 class.) Schools, for reasons I can guess at, make it very hard for parents to communicate with aides. Everything is supposed to go through the (overloaded) teacher.

There's a fix though. My son carries a "planner". We've started using that to pass messages to his aides through him. They write notes in the planner -- such as the assignments #1 invariably "forgets". (One advantage of a defective memory subsystem is that "forgetting" is an awfully convenient excuse.) Old paper and ink technology goes where email can't.

Update: Things get better.

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