We're trying so hard to teach her that she can't always have her way. She can't always go first. She can't just take whatever she wants. The world won't revolve around her forever. Her peers are so good about accommodating her to the point that they will put themselves in positions of disadvantage in order to appease her... all the time. But what is this teaching her?
With the exception of this paragraph, my post was written during 4th period. I ran out of time at the end of class and decided to edit when I got home. And... since it was so timely with today's post, I have to inform you that J had ANOTHER meltdown during period 5 that lasted until lunch (7th period) was half over. This time it was because she didn't feel like doing her work. She was supposed to answer ONE question about a text that was read aloud and discussed in class. ONE QUESTION! And we even told her where to find the answer.
I learned recently that her parents are the ones who push for her to be in mainstream classes rather than the functional classes where she would be among students at her same level. I have to admit that I don't understand the rationale for this.
There is not a single activity that we do in the mainstream classes, including note-taking, that she can do without modification. Although I'm not technically a 1:1 aide (and specifically requested so at my interview), that's what I've become. I have to modify every assignment and intervene in her interactions with peers and staff just to get through each period.
I wish her parents were privy to her daily schedule. I wish they knew how often she shuts down in class because the work is just too overwhelming or because it's incredibly boring for her when they might as well be speaking a different language completely. I wish they could see how much she comes to life when she's in her functional math class. Her peer interactions are much greater, and her confidence is apparent.
The reality is that she is not a student who will earn a high school diploma. She will end up in an alternative school where they can help her gain job skills and better prepare her for her future. Knowing this, I wonder why there's such a push to keep her in these classes that cause her to struggle so much.
Does it really matter if she learns the structure of a plant and animal cell? Is it really important that she read a book and do research about brain damage?
I'm fully willing to accept that this may be something I simply can't understand because I'm not a parent of a child with special needs. I know I'll never get the whole picture. But from where I'm standing, it seems like there's a lot of frustration and grief when there could be thriving and happiness. What am I missing here?