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Please, please donít judge me
Old 03-01-2019, 07:43 AM
 
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please, Iím begging you all. Iím a regular poster, but logged in as a guest for anonymity.

I canít handle this. I want out, and itís because of one student. The rest of my kids are mild/moderate. This student is severe, non verbal autistic. I love her, I truly do. Most of the time, sheís a sweetheart. But sheís very high needs, and Iím not equipped to emotionally deal with her for the next three years until she moves to a new building. She has an aide, and we split the day with her because sheís that exhausting. My aide more than likely will not return next year because of how high needs she is.

I know when I tell my principal this, Iíll get a verbal smiting, saying I knew what I was getting into when I took the position because I knew this kiddo was coming to my building eventually. And, I agree 100%, but I had no clue how severe she was. Iím pretty sure she wonít let me move to another position, even if there was an opening, because sheíll view kids like her ďas part of the job.Ē Again, I agree with this. But, three more years with this kiddo makes me want to cry.


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Old 03-01-2019, 09:39 AM
 
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I'm so sorry. Your student sounds very challenging.

You haven't explained what her needs and behaviors are. Perhaps with more information, someone here might have some helpful suggestions. I'm wondering whether the IEP committee needs to reconvene to talk about how things are going and what perhaps needs to change so your student can learn and the other students and adults are not negatively impacted.
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Old 03-01-2019, 09:56 AM
 
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Thank you for not judging me.

I think the worst part is the fact sheís actually well behaved. Sheís at school for three hours, and Iím with her for one of those house so that my para can have a break and work work with our other kids.

I think itís the constant having to be right by her side, all the time, accompanying her everywhere kind of thing that exhausts is both. And thereís not a lot sheís capable of at this point, things like colors and item recognition is whatís being focused on right. Simply put, itís boring and I flat out donít enjoy working with her. I love her as a kid, donít get me wrong, please.
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Old 03-01-2019, 11:24 AM
 
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I didn’t proof read my above post and realize there are typos
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Old 03-01-2019, 05:12 PM
 
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I can understand where you're coming from. I did ESY for one summer with severe needs and it's absolutely not for me either. I found the position to be tedious/boring. Is there a reason she's with you and not in a severe needs program? Is it because of her good behavior? Is there no way that you can recommend she moved to a more appropriate placement based on academic needs?

If you're really miserable, you can always look into transferring or getting a job elsewhere, but I would keep in mind that this is only an hour of your day. I've had some really challenging kids in my position that I didn't really enjoy working with (I had an extremely violent kid earlier this year who I was literally afraid of). While you'd get away from this particular need, you might have students with similar or equally challenging needs elsewhere.

You might also see if there is any way to split up more of the time with her- are there other aides in the building that could help? Are you allowed to get creative with scheduling at all, such as having your para cover something like a recess duty while a gen ed para works with your student? We've done that at my school when personalities just didn't mesh.

Under ESSA, interventionists and other gen ed staff can also cover IEP minutes. Is there someone like an interventionist who might be willing to spend 30 minutes (or even 15-20 minutes) per day with her? If her behavior is good, they might welcome a small break to work with a kid 1:1 rather than dealing with difficult behaviors in some groups.


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Old 03-01-2019, 06:09 PM
 
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Thank you for understanding.

Weíre a small school, so there isnít a severe needs program. Itís one room for all my kids. I try really hard to rationalize itís just an hour of my day. But sheís so needy sometimes it really sets the tone for the rest of my day.
There only other aides in my building are PreK aides, and I donít see any of them being okay with that.

I donít think it would be quite as daunting if I didnít know her day was going to continue to be extended, and I will probably be with her even longer when that happens.
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Old 03-01-2019, 06:21 PM
 
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I get it. Being bored working with a student can really make time slow down.

Have you thought about using some new materials? Especially Education has a new Made For Me Literacy program that my low students are really loving. The Autism Helper also has great materials.

And, sometimes when students are low but not a behavior issue, I ask them to participate in groups with students whose skills are higher. Even if she can't do everything in the group, participating and learning with others is often beneficial. So if a group is working on adding manipulatives, could she "find the blue block" with the help of her aide? In reading groups when others are taking turns identifying or reading sentences, can she point to a specific item in the book?

I know when you're just stuck in the grind it can be hard to see alternatives. I am right there with a student who has decided hitting and kicking the crap out of me is a fun way to spend the day. I'm asking a teacher friend that I trust to come in and see what I might be missing/something different I could try - do you have someone who could do that for you?

Hang in there.
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