Pregnant and hearing rumors about violent student

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by Kate Change, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    Jan 27, 2011

    Hi all,

    I just found out that I am pregnant! (We've already had one miscarriage, so keep your fingers crossed for us!) I teach in a k-2 austim specific classroom. Normally, the programs stop at 6, but we can have up to 8 kiddos. I now have 7. I heard a rumor today that I maybe getting a kiddo with fragile X who is extremely violent.

    Only my para's at work know that I am pregnant, because I am so early. I've only found out this week. All of the other kids in my class have their behaviors relatively undercontrol. (At least to the point that I am not worried about being pregnant while teaching.)
    I do not want to work with extremely aggressive children while pregnant. I originally taught in an ED/BD setting, but moved when I became pregnant one summer. The stress of worry that something might happen was too much for me. On the other side of things, I would not be getting an additional para and one of my para's is not particularly young.

    I love my job to death, but have had a lot of problems with the district special ed department. What do I do?
    I don't even know if the rumors are valid. From what I understand the child was in an ISP program, the parents threatened a lawsuit to get him into a different class (I think self contained) and the school there successfully gave me a child with behaviors in the past, so they are thinking of trying to give him an autism label, even though they know he has fragile X. The truth is, I don't mind kids with behaviors, but I am EXTREMELY paraniod about miscarrying again. I need and love my current job and really don't want to make a scene with the school district. I also don't want to tell everyone that I am pregnant so early on. It was horrible coming back when everyone knew I had miscarried the first time.

    My district will not help me, they really don't care and my union rep will probably need a little more than rumors to go on. How do I prevent this move from happening? This child will get better care from a teacher who is not afraid that working with him will lead to the death of her unborn baby. But I know that isn't politically correct to say. Is it time to publicize the pregnancy?
     
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  3. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    Jan 27, 2011

    Or are there other options? This school basically "dumped" a child they considered difficult on me. He wasn't difficult after a couple of months and he's doing great now, but we had a number of extremely violent situations the first few months. This student sounds far, far worse than the other. But maybe that's just the limited perception of that school?
     
  4. mopar

    mopar Multitudinous

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    Jan 28, 2011

    Congratulations! This is going to be an exciting time!

    Okay...who makes the decision about placing this child in your classroom? Your principal, special ed direction? I would talk with that person about what you heard. Maybe just tell them that you are expecting. Talk about what you are feeling with them if it is looking like a possibility.
     
  5. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Jan 28, 2011

    Exactly what I was going to say.
     
  6. DaveG

    DaveG Companion

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    Jan 28, 2011

    Definitely mention it to your principal and/or special ed director. Unfortunately, as you know, dealing with students with violent behaviors is part and parcel of the job.

    I'm not sure what you meant by them trying to give him the label of autism, even though they know he has fragile x, though. FXS is one of the most established causes of mental retardation and often autism, so it seems like your classroom would be the appropriate placement. Maybe I missed something.
     
  7. teachersk

    teachersk Connoisseur

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    Jan 28, 2011

    Not all children with fragile x have autism. Only about one third of kids with fragile x have some form of autism.

    With that being said, my first instinct would be to see what the criteria is for placement in your classroom.

    If you don't have some sort of guidelines or standards, I would work on writing something up and having it approved.

    I have had similar issues where the school district sees that i made huge amounts of progress with kids that have previously been written off... And then they want to give me more challenging kids because they know I'll work my bum off to get those kids to make progress.

    Flattering, but unfair to me, my current kids, and the child that doesn't belong in the autism classroom.

    Finally, i made a brochure of my classroom/program. I had to do it for the purported of evaluators coming in and me always having to explain our community based instruction, curriculum, daily schedule, etc. I had been wanting to make a brochure for a long time... But this was the perfect time to do it. Within the brochure, it says, "___ Autism Spectrum Disorders Program is a self contained special education classroom for students between the ages of 10-14 who are eligible for special education and related services under the category of autism." Sounds so silly, but it just makes sense now. Someone says, oh put that kid in mrs. Teachersk's class, she's great with that kind of student. I whip out with, "is he classified under autism?" and when the answer is no-- the discussion is over!!! Long story short, i have helped myself by coming up with some standards and expectations of kids that would be appropriately placed. So, just look into why they re considering your class. Just because he doesn't have a current classification as autism doesn't mean it might not be a good fit or a good classification for him.

    Next- if he fits the profile of your classroom... I would wait and see what the timing is. Are they planning on putting him in there next week? Month? Year? It might be a moot point to be announcing that you're pregnant and don't want a kid in your class because he's aggressive. Also, be reminded that people who don't normally work with kids wih severe disabilities think that ANYTHING is severe. They may be saying that he's severely aggressive but it might just be something so simple that would be solved in an autism classroom... (structure, schedule, DTT, etc.)

    Next-- i have actually had this exact concern myself. I teach in a middle school autism classroom. Just think.... Bad behaviors but middle school sized kids!!!!!!!! It's 5x worse in the middle school room.

    At any rate, if you do end up finding out that this kid is coming for real, thats when i would bring up the pregnant thing. Just wait until you know more information. You could inquire now because thats what any teacher would do.... at least that's what i do.. Haha. I stalk when i hear about a kid coming to my room. I read every paper, every email, every file, etc. I like to be informed. When soemthing is more set in stone, thats when I'd sit down with the sped director, etc. And divulge a little more info and your concerns with him in the classroom.
     
  8. Kate Change

    Kate Change Companion

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    Jan 28, 2011

    Thanks for the great responses! In our district, students with mental retardation and severe behavioral issues generally go to ISP classes, unless autism is determined to be a stronger impediment to learning than mental retardation. Students with fragile X are considered on a case by case basis, but generally don't end up in programming. In his case, there has been no mention of autism before the parents mentioned sueing. I haven't met him, so I really can't comment on the reality of the situation.

    The class I teach is focused on the usual things, life skills, social skills, academics, inclusion, etc. We focus mainly on teaching communication, though and this student is apparently very verbal. I think if they suggest the meeting, I will find out who the diagnostician is and explain to him that I am pregnant and would like to go and observe the child to see if I feel I can provide him with quality services or if he seems to qualify for autism programming in general. I think they are thinking of me because in the past I have enjoyed working with kids with problem behaviors, so they probably assumed that even if this isn't the ideal fit, we could stabilize his behavior and then the parents will be happier and less likely to sue.

    But I think I will take your advice and worry about this when I get invited to the meeting. I will tell my administration, but I think I'll wait a little bit longer. I want to wait as long as possible, actually, but if I can get to the March, that would be great! I really want to avoid drama if I miscarry again. But thanks again for the responses, they really made me feel better! And I love the brochure idea! I may make one myself!
     

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